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“Homey, excellent location, fab service, a bit overpriced...”

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Lyall Hotel and Spa
Ranked #94 of 161 Hotels in Melbourne
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 7 May 2012

Me and a Group of friends went to Melbourne for a long weekend and booked The Lyall since it was featured in the Tablet Hotels website and the location and reviews were not bad. We stayed at the super deluxe 2 bedroom suite with a rate per night of 538 AUD (550 usd). The room basically fits 4 adults, there is a small living room with a huge tv, dining table and kitchen, common bathroom with bathub, separate bedroom and master bedroom with ensuite bathroom with shower.

On the plus side:
Location! It was our first time in Melbourne and we totally loved South Yarra… The Lyall is walking distance to Toorak and Chapel street… the street is beautiful and easy to get to the South Yarra Train Station or Tram 8 to CBD… The service at the hotel was warm at attentive at all times and the common areas of the hotel have a luxurious feel… They provide dvds to watch in your room. The suggestions from the guys at front desk were super good and they are certainly knowledgeable about South Yarra and Melbourne in general.

On the negative side:
Not really negative, but worth noting for a hotel of this price: the room has definitely seen better days… they were comfortable and cosy, but had a common feeling to it… bed was good and sheets as well… bathrooms looked a bit tired as well and our rain-shower did not work and they installed a supplementary wall shower-head. Also, breakfast is not provided and there is no breakfast area to begin with. Some guests were having breakfast in the lobby, but it feels like improvised, just with pastries and canned/bottled juice at a hefty price. Actually I do not regret that they were not providing breakfast, since there are fantastic breakfast and coffee shops in the area… we tried the small coffee shop right in front, Café Republic on Toorak, Café Gaia on Avoca and Station and BK on Chapel… loved them all…

Overall, we enjoyed our stay but mainly because Melbourne is fantastic and the service in the Lyall was great. However, at that price range, we were expecting something else… in the future, if I go back to Melbourne, I would definitely stay again in South Yarra, but would try The Olsen (one of our initial options) or the Punthill Apartments… both are within 2 blocks of The Lyall but the price range is much more crisis-friendly…

  • Stayed: May 2012, travelled with friends
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3  Thank TravelingMx
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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257 - 263 of 344 reviews

Reviewed 19 April 2012

This small boutique apartment hotel offers all the facilities necessary for you to stay comfortably away from home. Washing machine lets you do laundry, the kitchen lets you prepare your own breakfast or whatever, and the spa facilities and staff, bar and restaurant all combine to make this a very comfortable place to stay, especially if you are planning on staying in Melbourne for a week or two and can take advantage of the special 10 day plus rate.

Room Tip: Most rooms are private and have a balcony. Mine was not overlooked (206) and room servicing was dis...
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  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled with family
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3  Thank Ivor T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 April 2012

As Melbournites returning to the city to visit family, we chose The Lyall for its '5-star' accommodation rating and location. We were sorely disappointed! Whilst the location is superb, this is a 'has been' hotel with very 'tired' features. Rooms are extremely small (almost claustrophobic), mattresses are old and uncomfortable, there are dirty grout lines in the bathrooms, and the hi fi equipment is substandard for a 5 star hotel. We really wanted to make this hotel work for us (we even upgraded to a 2 bedroom) but this made no difference. It is such a shame to see the demise of a hotel with such a fabulous location and fine reputation! We would most certainly return if the Lyall would 'lift its game' to compete with other 5 star hotels in Melbourne.

  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled with family
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5  Thank andreawMarlow
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 April 2012

We recently spent three nights at The Lyall and were very impressed. Suites were spacious, clean and well appointed. The bed was very comfortable and the bathroom quite lovely with an excellent shower. The hotel's location cannot be beaten. It is close to the Toorak Rd shops and public transport options, yet its position on a very quiet side street delivered tranquil surroundings. A couple of small gripes - the wardrobe space is very limited, a supply of decaffeinated tea would have been appreciated (though to be fair, I did not ask for this), and I'm not sure that the bedsheets were cotton as both my husband and I woke up several times feeling quite clammy. We cannot comment on dining options as we chose to eat out at the nearby South Yarra restaurants and cafes. Staff were polite, professional and helpful.

  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Cmsalt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 April 2012

I recently took my boyfriend away for a weekend for his birthday and we stayed at The Lyall. The experience was fantastic, mostly due to the incredibly friendly and helpful staff. They really went out of their way to make you feel welcome and we felt like nothing was too much trouble for them. We were greeted warmly and offered a coffee while we waited for our things to be taken to our rooms. The whole hotel had a lovely, warm and intimate feel where everyone would feel comfortable and welcome. The decor was beautiful and cosy and they had the most comfortable bar stools that I have ever sat on!!!
We were recommended to go to a local restaurant called 'Da Noi' for dinner. We had a fantastic time, the food was amazing, and the experience was made unique by the wonderful Sicilian gentleman who had such a passion for his food!
Upon our return to The Lyall, we were asked if we'd like to join the bartender for some cocktails (made with his homemade syrups and fruits!) and had a very pleasant hour or so chatting with the staff before retiring to our room.
The room itself was a lovely mini apartment rather than a single hotel room with a very well-stocked kitchen and all the comforts of home. The bed was incredibly comfy and the shower was one of the best showers I've ever been in. I would have happily stayed there for much longer than our one night stay.
I would highly recommend The Lyall to any of my friends and will hopefully stay there again one day!

  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Elise M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 March 2012

We stayed at the Lyall recently for the Grand Prix and chose it for its relative proximity to Albert Park. The short version is that its 5* status didn't shine through in every area (the food definitely needs to improve) but the rooms were great and we'd consider staying again.

The long version...

Check-in
Our room wasn't ready when we arrived to check in at 1.30pm so we were asked to wait in the bar/lobby area. As we'd just flown in, it would have been nice to be offered a drink or even a menu but the staff all disappeared. Eventually I found someone and asked if they served lunch. She seemed reluctant to admit they did, although their menu was very small. Thinking maybe chef was having a nap(?!) we asked instead where we could get a sandwich locally. She became very animated and said we had to go to Cosi's, just down the road. So we went. Cosi's is a lovely, modern Italian restaurant, but it does not serve sandwiches or light snacks. Main meals are $30+. It was a really strange recommendation, and made us wonder what was wrong with the Lyall's lunchtime offerings (on a very ample menu, I might add, once we'd finally seen it)!

Room
Our room (or 'suite') exceeded our expectations. There was a very well-equipped kitchen with laundry facilities, living area with a balcony and small separate bedroom with really comfortable bed. The bathroom was fantastic, with one of the best hotel showers I've ever had, and a separate bath. I wasn't sure the 'sulfate free' toiletries did exactly what they said on the tin given one of the top ingredients was sodium lauryl sulfate, but they worked nicely. The room was fairly clean, although we had a very grubby net curtain in the living area and some of the walls and door frames could've benefited from a wipe down. I liked the luxury travel magazines scattered around to remind you you're in a high-end establishment.

Food
And you did need a reminder when it came to the food - it was a real let-down.

Our continental breakfast was included in our room rate (note to all hotels - this doesn't mean it's free, just that it's been pre-paid) and we opted to have it delivered to the room. The continental breakfast is described on the menu as either fruit salad or a bakery basket plus drinks for $20. Between us, that translated as a bowl of very uninspiring (and sometimes brown) chopped fruit and some cold toast (sadly none of the fresh pastries that were on display in reception). On the second day I swapped the fruit for the 'home-made' muesli, but it turned out to be more economy brand than home made.

I realise when breakfast's been pre-paid, some places might try to get away with providing the bare minimum. But when your patrons are paying over $300/night for bed and breakfast, do you want them to leave your hotel in the morning refreshed after a satisfying breakfast (and a proper continental breakfast can be very satisfying) or still hungry and a bit disappointed that their hotel hadn't delivered what they were expecting? For the sake of adding a few freshly baked muffins and a couple of croissants, which offers the best experience? Which will have people raving about your hotel in a tripadvisor review?

We did try the room service menu one night, but it too, wasn't great (we should have listened to the girl on reception that first day!). We had a soggy, microwaved pie and tomato pasta with congealed cheese on the top. The pasta was one of the cheapest mains but at $18, they could've stretched to a shaving of Parmesan.

Location
Great. Despite the sharp intake of breath from the guys on reception when we said we were planning to walk to Albert Park for the GP, it only took 20-25 minutes. We walked to Chapel Street easily and the tram is just a couple of minutes away to get into the CBD. South Yarra is a lovely area and there are loads of cafes and restaurants nearby (some that even sell sandwiches!). We had a great dinner at Ecco; the food, service and atmosphere were really excellent - it's worth booking though, they had a queue out the door until about 9.30pm.

Overall
You leave some hotels feeling like you've been really well looked after. Like your money has been well spent and like they've gone above and beyond what they needed to. I didn't get that impression at the Lyall. With just a few small changes it could be SO much better, and you wouldn't leave feeling just the tiniest bit hard done by. We'd consider going back for next year's GP because of it's location. I'd give it 4* - just.

  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank Rach680
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 March 2012

There is no doubt South Yarra is a great place to stay in Melbourne. Transport is accessible and the cafe and shopping scene at your fingertips.

From the outside, the Lyall Hotel positions itself as a boutique 5* hotel. Unfortunately, there were a number of significant items which let it down.
1. Front desk sometimes not manned and ringing concierge would often ring out and not be answered. (took 3 staff to check me in)
2. Courtesy umbrellas broken
3. Shower grout dirty

More seriously, I stayed for several days as a romantic get away with my wife joining on the second day. She had luggage sent ahead to be delivered to the room. When returning to the room around midnight, not only was the luggage not there, but it was locked away an inaccessible. Apart from lack of spare clothes, all makeup remover etc couldnt be accessed. For anyone who's partner cant remove makeup after a black tie function, this is not a fun experience. The earliest we could get it was *8am* the following day.

Similarly, the service at the spa was very poor. After my call was not answered first time, I went to see if I could make a booking. After about 4 or 5 minutes of not even being acknowledged by staff, I just walked out.

I dont mind small bedrooms. I dont object necessarily to being positioned over a carpark. But at over $300 per night, I expect to be blown away. Back to the Olsen or one of the many other true 5 star hotels around Melbourne next time for me...

  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank pkirbyau
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Lyall Hotel and Spa

Address: 16 Murphy St | South Yarra, Melbourne, Victoria 3141, Australia
Region: Australia > Victoria > Melbourne
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#16 Spa Hotel in Melbourne
#28 Family Hotel in Melbourne
#28 Business Hotel in Melbourne
#35 Romantic Hotel in Melbourne
#84 Luxury Hotel in Melbourne
Price Range: £125 - £317 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Lyall Hotel and Spa 5*
Number of rooms: 40
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Let us pamper you. A true 5 Star service Boutique Hotel centrally located close to Toorak Road / Chapel Street shops and restaurants. Melbourne's only privately owned/operated luxury hotel with 40 one and two bedroom suites of contemporary oriental design. The Lyall Hotel and Spa's welcoming ambience attracts a discerning international clientele seeking genuine and professional service whether travelling for business or leisure. All suites have full length windows that open for fresh air and a balcony. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Lyall Hotel Melbourne
Lyall Hotel Melbourne

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