After staying in most of the 5 star hotels in Melbourne my favorites have become Crown Towers and the Sofitel on Collins. However, after reading the good reviews on trip advisor for The Langham I decided to give it a try.
I choose a Grand river corner room with the executive lounge package and a view over the Yarra and Melbourne city. The rooms are pleasant with traditional decor, heavy olive green curtains and velvet green chairs. The king sized bed was very comfortable with a thick and soft mattress topper to sink into.The bathroom with tub, separate shower and double vanity is decked out in a very nice natural organic looking beige marble. The whole space though is fairly compact, even though it is one of their larger non standard rooms. There is space for one suitcase and a small wardrobe that was a bit awkward to use with narrow sliding doors.
In comparison to The Sofitel, the rooms here are more modern in decor but about the same in size. I choose the Jnr suite here and it is larger with a great view as it has the advantage of being up higher.
The service was very good at Langham and you can tell the staff have been given the pep talk on how to treat customers. In other words, it doesn't seem to come naturally and they all seem a bit inexperienced at it but are trying hard. Unlike Crown Towers where they get the service right every time and seem to have an amazing knack of making you feel like a relative coming home (a loving relative!). Which amazes me every time as the hotel can seem so grand and intimidating in its elegance. The service at Sofitel can tend to be a bit "French", which is great if you are a Francophile like me but it can feel a touch arrogant sometimes. That said, their service for me has been faultless and I feel very at home there.
Now to the lounge. At The Langham, it is on floor 24 and has a good view over the city and river but the space is a bit awkward and not flowing. The breakfast is a bit limited with nothing cooked to order as they do at Sofitel and the scrambled eggs looking a bit dried up. There also wasn't enough healthy options apart from the fruit.The evening canapés are also a bit limited compared to Sofitel ( where there is enough food and variety that you don't need to eat dinner afterwards). That said though, when I remarked to the Sous chef that there wasn't enough vegetarian options he quickly made me up a plate of hummus with vegetable sticks and a tomato and mozzarella salad. The wine choices are of the cheaper variety, domain Chandon for the sparkling and windy peak Chardonnay as examples. The wines at Sofitel are well chosen with French wines also being available.
I did enjoy the swimming pool, jacuzzi, steam room, sauna and massage shower at the Langham. The Sofitel has none of these but they do have massage chairs in their fitness centre.
Both of these hotels are in good locations approx 2 blocks away from the main city centre and they are of comparable prices, although at the time of booking the Langham was slightly cheaper.
So on my return, which hotel will I choose? Right now I'm leaning towards the Sofitel as they are just a bit more polished, but I will check the prices. Both these hotels will bring you a pleasurable 5 star experience.
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- Also Known As:
- The Langham, Melbourne Hotel Melbourne