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“Great location, tranquil setting”

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Lyall Hotel and Spa
Ranked #95 of 160 Hotels in Melbourne
Certificate of Excellence
Sydney, Australia
Level 4 Contributor
29 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
“Great location, tranquil setting”
Reviewed 10 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
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Cmsalt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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321 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
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English first
Melbourne, Australia
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
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
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Elise M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bristol, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
41 reviews
41 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
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
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Rach680
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Melbourne, Australia
Level 5 Contributor
30 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 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
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank pkirbyau
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 March 2012

Wonderful location in the heart of south Yarra. Perfect for restaurants, coffee, parks. Lovely residential feel. Really good rooms. Not 5 star though. Little shabby. Cheap fittings. Good solid serviced apartment feel- tarted up to give the impression of that little extra.

  • Stayed March 2011
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank aweigh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
WithThanks, Owner at Lyall Hotel and Spa, responded to this review, 5 March 2012
Dear Aweigh,

Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts on your stay one year ago.

I'm so glad that you like the area of South Yarra for its restaurants, cafes, parks and
mix of residential and shops. For visitors to Melbourne it is the perfect location to
experience "living like a local" with the best of Melbourne at your doorstep.

The Lyall is celebrating it's 10th Birthday this year and much has already been refreshed.
When my husband and I built the hotel 10years ago, great care was taken in selecting timeless, quality fittings that would give a contemporary feel but also not date. Facilities in the suites were built to international 5 star standards (not just Australian) and our furniture was custom made by exclusive Melbourne designers and fittings were chosen for their quality and luxury appeal. Unlike many serviced apartments and new build 5 star hotels, the cheap option was not taken here at The Lyall.

Already in 2012, we have redecorated our foyer, library and restaurant area with new carpet,
furniture and light fittings. To our regular guest's delight we have kept our original colour pallate of taupe, bronze, black and moss green and are working on further in-suite improvements going forward.

The Lyall has a reputation for its genuine and caring service, the kind of service that is usually
only found in smaller independant hotels. Our standards comply with international 5 star levels
including twice daily suite service. It's the personal attention that usually sets us apart. If during
your stay, this level of service was not evident, I apologise. Our consistent delivery of high level service is something that has been regularly praised and keeps so many of our guests coming back.

Once again, thankyou for your comments and we would be delighted to welcome you back in the future.

With kind regards
Rowina Thomas
Hotelier
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Lyall Hotel and Spa

Property: 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:
#19 Spa Hotel in Melbourne
#28 Business Hotel in Melbourne
#35 Romantic Hotel in Melbourne
#41 Family Hotel in Melbourne
#86 Luxury Hotel in Melbourne
Price range (per night): $180 - $498
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
Lyall Hotel And Spa Melbourne, Victoria

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