I have recently returned from a stay at the Crown Promenade Hotel whilst attending a conference. I chose to stay here for the convenience of being at the conference hotel. At the time of booking I was a little concerned that it would feel like "the poor relation" to the more luxurious Crown Towers, however, my fears were quickly proven wrong! Although the lobby area is somewhat unspectacular in comparison to the Towers, the accommodation was 5-star standard and the views spectacular.
LOCATION:- Having lived in Melbourne for nearly 30 years, I was apprehensive about staying in this part of town as I have always preferred the boutique Eastern aspect of the city, around Collins St and the Fitzroy Gardens. However, this region has come a long way in the last decade, and the Southbank and Crown Complexes have a much more upmarket feel now. Southbank has lovely cafes & restaurants, whilst the Crown Complex has the casino and boutique shopping all well-linked by stylish enclosed walkways. It is still conveniently located for walking access to the central city, and to the new Docklands development and DFO outlet shopping. Being close to major arterial routes, it is also easy public transport or taxi access for shopping or dining outside of the city centre.
ROOM:- I stayed in a luxury corner suite on the 22nd floor after finding an early bird deal online through the hotel website. The suite was very spacious and had spectacular views of the Melbourne skyline being situated on the corner of the building which allowed nearly 180 degree views. The furnishings were modern & comfortable, and the facilities excellent. There was a large living & dining area with full length windows, comfy couches, widescreen plasma, dining table, workstation desk & minibar. The bedroom was spacious with plenty of robe & drawer space. The suite had a large ensuite bathroom (large oval spa, separate walk-in shower, toilet & double vanities). The curtains were electrically controlled with both sheer & blockouts to allow full views of the city or privacy, and the air-con/heating very efficient & quiet (you are likely to require both on the same day in Melbourne!). The suite was very quiet with no external road noise whatsoever, and very little noise from adjacent rooms. Housekeeping was excellent, and the room was spotless each day. On my second last day, the manager arranged for a surprise delivery of a complimentary bottle of chilled sparkling wine which was an unexpected and appreciated gesture.
HOTEL FACILITIES:- The business centre was excellent and efficiently assisted me when I was faced with attending to some urgent documents back home. I did not have the opportunity to use the fitness centre, but other work colleagues commented that it was of a very good standard.
My only criticisms of the hotel - no spa onsite (you would need to walk to the Towers or Metropol for their onsite spas) and a somewhat understated and lack-lustre hotel lobby - very small criticisms for what I would otherwise consider an excellent hotel.
Of the three Crown hotels, I would definitely highly recommend the Promenade. I prefer the light and airy spaciousness of the Promenade (the Metropol, whilst modern and luxe, seemed a little dark & pokey - I think it was a combination of a comparative lack of natural light due to the buildings' position and orientation, and darker coloured furnishings). Whilst the Towers has the reputation for being the more luxurious with a higher star rating, it is also noticeably more expensive, and I wonder whether you actually get that much more for the money spent (I can only comment from recent website pictures when I was making my booking as I have not been to the Towers for many years).
In summary, I had a very enjoyable stay in this hotel which definitely exceeded my expectations. The suite was comfortable and spacious, the views spectacular, and the service great. I think overall the Promenade represents excellent value!