As I walked out of the hotel door the concierge mentioned:
“You might need your umbrella today.”
So I dashed back to my suite to get it. He was right. I did need that umbrella.
That’s the friendly, personal service and attention to detail the Lyall Hotel provides. The Lyall Hotel staff care and make you feel special. They do more than just welcome you, they make you feel part of the family.
That’s not something you get in most hotels, but the Lyall isn’t like most hotels.
While most luxury hotel are part of a big chain the Lyall Hotel is the only privately owned hotel in Melbourne.
One morning I even had breakfast with the owner Rowina Thomas who has a couple of decades of experience in the travel industry under her belt and knows how to use it to give her guests an experience you can’t get anywhere else in Melbourne.
Here are 11 reasons I loved staying at The Lyall Hotel and Spa.
The wonderful staff are friendly and helpful. They’ve mastered the art of the gentle wake up call and add those little extras like asking if you’ve remembered your umbrella or sunglasses when you step out of the door.
No matter how hard I pressed her Rowina refused to drop names of the famous people who’ve stayed her. I tried every form of torture I could come up with but she just won’t tell.
On my first night I set not one, not two but three alarms so I could wake up early to go for a brisk walk. It didn’t work.
My room was so lovely and dark, the bed so crisp and cosy I dozed on oblivious. I guess my body needed sleep more than it needed a walk.
So the next day when I had to get up on time for my blogging conference I asked for a morning wake up call and slept easy knowing that when it really mattered I wouldn’t oversleep.
4. Yummy Food and 24 Hour Room Service
I’m tucking in to a smoked cheddar and apricot jam toasted sandwich on walnut bread as I write. It makes the keyboard a bit sticky but tastes phenomenal.
If only I could train the Mucho Man to deliver these to me at any hour of the day and night life would be grand.
There’s a one page food menu so you don’t get overwhelmed with choice and it’s all fresh, healthy fare so you can’t order anything you later regret eating.
Even if you’re not staying at the Lyall can pop by for a meal, coffee or a cocktail.
5. Private Balcony
I love to get outside, eat outside and take in some fresh air. In many big hotels you can’t even open a window, let alone actually have your own private outdoor space.
The Lyall’s balcony is small but perfectly formed. It reminded me of being in France and I’d like to spend a lot more time on it.
6. Suites All Round
At the Lyall every hotel room is actually a suite. So I have a kitchen, a living room, a bedroom, a bathroom and the balcony. Room to move, breathe and be.
The first thing my daughter asked me when she called was how many TVs I had:
“No fair!” She said.
“How come you have two TVs and we only have two when there are four of us?”
What can you say to that? Sometimes life isn’t fair but sometimes it works in your favor.
7. The Kitchen
Being born and bred in England I can’t cope without regular cups of tea. A hotel room without a kettle is like a bus with no wheels.
But my Lyall kitchen not only has a kettle, tea bags and fresh milk (not those little uht things) but it’s fully stocked so you can even cook yourself a proper meal if the urge arises. Which it didn’t in my case. I did make use of the iron, ironing board and washing machine though.
8. It’s Personal
You need to really experience it to appreciate it. It’s amazing to call reception and be greeted:
“Hello Mrs. Candy. What can I do for you this evening?”
They always sounded so pleased to hear from me too.
9. Location, Location, Location
The Lyall Hotel is in South Yarra. When I stepped out to explore on the first day I ended up walking so far I got a blister.
There’s an eclectic array of shops, restaurants and people so you never need to leave the area. There’s also a tram stop a 60 second walk from the hotel which whisks you straight into the center of Melbourne in 15 minutes flat when you need to head that way.
10. The Lyall Spa
If you need a little me time the spa delivers and you don’t even have to leave your hotel room to end up feeling ab fab. I’ll tell you more about my sensational spa experience another time.
11. The Cocktails
In the name of research I popped into the bar after getting home from my hanging out with 300 other bloggers for 15 hours on day of the conference. Yes, I arrived at the conference at 8am and got back at 11pm after 15 hours of live blogging and chin-wagging.
There’s nothing I like more than an epic blog fest but it was great to chill out at the Lyall bar when I got back and chat with the bartender and other guests while I slowly recovered from all the excitement.
Paul the bartender lives out of town on a lifestyle property and brings his own fresh fruit to create some very special cocktails. He makes them up as he goes along and we even came up with a special name for a new cocktail – Pommie lips. It’s the red cocktail in the picture up top. Hopefully so named because it was had little sherbetty pomegranate syrup sugar encrusted lip shapes round the rim of the glass but possibly because it was destined to be sipped by my own Pommie lips. Mmmmm.
With all this to hand it’s hard to ever leave the Lyall Hotel to explore Melbourne but when I did I loved the city too.
You see Melbourne is bit like the Lyall – so relaxing and friendly you’ll never want to leave. As long as you’ve got an umbrella with you of course.
My Splendid Sponsor for the Problogger Conference 2011
I was thrilled to be sponsored by The Tailor for my trip to the Problogger conference. The Tailor is a luxury travel company that creates and organizes Australian and African travel experiences for discerning travelers.
Thanks to the Tailor I spent four nights at The Lyall Hotel in Melbourne and toured the city. I can’t wait to tell you more about my trip soon.
What’s the hottest hotel you’ve ever stayed in or visited?