I stayed in a standard king room for two nights over 1 and 2 December 2009.
The location of the hotel is great and close to a multitude of top quality eateries on Southbank, not to mention the wide selection of restaurants in the Crown Complex. It is a very short stroll into the CBD over one of the many foot bridges. It's also just nice to be on the bank of the river and on the weekend especially there is a really nice ambience with street performers and music from the many bars.
Check-in was quick and easy. I was given the option of upgrading to a corner king room for an additional $35 per night. I think this is about the same as the difference in price of the two rooms through the normal booking avenues. But it was still nice to have the option. I didn't take it though because I was already stretching my budget staying at the Crown Promenade as it was.
The room was beautiful and very spacious. It is tastefully decorated with a neutral colour palette. The photos on the website of the rooms are fairly typical of what you actually get. The bathroom is also very spacious and well appointed. The mini-bar is well stocked. The television is a little dated - not a flat screen. This wasn't an issue for me, but it may be for other people. My room was on the southern side of the building so my view included the ocean.
The only thing I could fault was the fact that I was on a smoking floor despite requesting a non-smoking room. I wasn't told at check-in that it was a smoking room. If I had, I probably would have paid the extra $35 per night for the upgrade. The stentch was really strong for a non-smoker and without the airconditioner on fully all the time, the room really stunk - to the point that it made me feel ill. That being said, there were always air-filtration systems plugged into the hallways in the morning when housekeeping was doing their rounds. But if you are a non-smoker, I would avoid the smoking floors at all costs.
The airbridge which connects The Crown Promenade to the Crown Complex is handy, except the bridge comes out in the casino. So if you are under 18 you obviously can't go that way - you'll have to actually cross the road. However, I did notice that they were constructing a walkway from the Crown Promenade to the Crown Complex at the shopping end of the complex. Once that opens, minors can get through that way.
Crown Promenade guests can use the Crown Spa facilities. I didn't get to use them, but I did go there to enquire about a massage. It looked lovely and the staff were very helpful - such a shame they didn't have any appointments free! If you are wanting to book spa services, I would recommend that you do so right away so that you avoid disappointment.
I ordered room service late one night and it was extremely prompt. However the serving sizes were quite small. The prices for breakfast were fairly hefty and so I didn't bother.
You're in Melbourne after all - go and have breakfast in a laneway - it's much more enjoyable in any event.
As the title of my review suggests, the Crown Promenade attracts mainly business clientele. Well that was my impression at least. This is probably due to the business facilities at the Crown Complex. I didn't see many other younger travellers - although that could have something to do with the price.
That being said, the hotel is still plush enough to serve as a luxury weekend get away or just a nice place to stay for the leisure traveller.