11 Reasons I Loved the Lyall Hotel in Melbourne

the Lyall Hotel in Melbourne

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.

1. Service

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.

Lyall Hotel Melbourne

My new best friend in Melbourne

2. Discretion

Lyall Hotel Melbourne

Me and Rowina

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.

3. Comfort

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.

Lyall Hotel Melbourne


4. Yummy Food and 24 Hour Room Service

This rocks.

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.

Lyall Hotel Melbourne

Fruit granola parfait on the balcony

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.

Lyall Hotel Melbourne

Posing on the balcony

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.

Lyall Hotel Melbourne

Feeling fine in my fluffy robe

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.

Lyall Hotel Melbourne

The bathroom is well stocked too with lots of lovely smellies

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.

Lyall Hotel Melbourne

Writing away at the Lyall Hotel after writing about dreaming about being here

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.

Lyall Hotel Melbourne

Loved the red velvet heels by Dolce y Gabana in this South Yarra shoe shop - the Mucho Man loves that I didn't buy them

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.

Lyall Hotel and Spa Melbourne

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.

Lyall Hotel and Spa Melbourne

Another of my new best friends in Melbourne

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?

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  1. Linda @ Stuff I Like October 26, 2011 at 12:37 pm - Reply

    That fruit granola parfait looks amazing. Will definitely consider this as an option next time we’re in Melbourne. Thanks for the review.

    • Annabel Candy October 26, 2011 at 4:59 pm - Reply

      Hi Linda, it was! I need to get that recipe. The Lyall omelet with herbs, gruyere and spring onions went down a treat too:)

  2. Catherine White October 26, 2011 at 10:13 pm - Reply

    Look at you sizzling in your robe. It looks like a great place Annabel, indeed the right hotel, in a city like Melbourne, can make it a memorable experience.

    Kudos all round.

    • Annabel Candy October 27, 2011 at 10:54 am - Reply

      Thanks Catherine. It definitely made my trip special staying here:)

  3. Sonia Marsh/Gutsy Living October 27, 2011 at 12:43 am - Reply

    Hi Annabel,

    Isn’t it funny when you haven’t visited another continent, like Australia, you say, “Oh, they have the same drinks we have, or the same parfait, or robes or the bed looks the same as …. Is it just me or is the world getting smaller? I’d love to visit Melbourne and the rest of Australia too. You know that Annabel. The “Tailor” has offered you a wonderful trip, I wonder if they would like to offer a prize to a winner of my new monthly contest “My Gutsy Story.” I shall be mentioning some of the sponsors I have for writers and bloggers tomorrow. Writers and bloggers love to travel too.

    • Annabel Candy October 27, 2011 at 10:56 am - Reply

      Hi Sonia, that was my very first parfait;) Maybe The Tailor would like to help you though not sure what they can offer. I’d be happy to offer a copy of Successful Blogging in 12 Simple Steps:)

      • Sonia Marsh/Gutsy Living October 27, 2011 at 1:21 pm

        I shall mention your kind offer on my blog contest tomorrow. I am very grateful, and stupid me didn’t think of asking you. Now that you suggested your Successful Blogging in 12 Simple Steps, how about you enter the contest, I know you have tons of Gutsy stories and when you come to the U.S., you can drive a GM car for free, if your story is “Gutsy.” I can see you in a Corvette on Pacific Coast Highway heading to Malibu, or Blog World.

  4. Seana Smith October 27, 2011 at 4:48 am - Reply

    Aaarrrgghhh…. ‘smoked cheddar and apricot jam toasted sandwich on walnut bread’ !! Annabel! I haven’t had breakfast and started salivating when I read that line!

    I have a ‘hotels website wishlist’ where I make a note of hotels I’d like to stay in and the Lyall is being added forthwith! It sounds terrific and a breath of fresh air after the big chains.

    Now then, I was brought up camping and sailing in Scotland and I still love all that outdoors stuff. But as I often say to my husband, I’m a five-star sort of woman, as you can imagine, he shudders.

    The last place that I really loved, and which had been on my website wish list was the Skycity resort hotel, attached to the casino, in Darwin. I’d torn a page from a magazine, looked up the website and filed it under ‘Darwin.’

    So my son and I stayed there after our Kakadu trip; luxury!! (Don’t tell my hubby that all the others on our 4WD trip went off to backpackers hostels afterwards!)

    See you at the Lyall for DPBlogCon2012???!

    • Annabel Candy October 27, 2011 at 10:59 am - Reply

      Hi Seana,

      So excited you’ve added it to your list and hope you get there one day.

      I have experienced the whole gamut of accommodation. If the choice is there who wouldn’t go for luxury? It’s a treat I appreciate and will never take for granted.

      Ooh, I will be checking that out when I go to Darwin!

      Yes, hope you can make it to the conference next year:)

  5. barbara October 27, 2011 at 5:53 am - Reply

    I LOVE staying in a lovely, cozy, service oriented hotel! This looked like my kind of place!

  6. Dave Doolin October 27, 2011 at 6:35 am - Reply

    I’d have to say the Cooper Square Hotel in NYC, in the Bowery district. Be sure to click on images search on their website to see how cool this thing is. Note that it’s also a “tensegrity” structure (like a dome works). The building actually vibrates on certain frequencies, like slamming a door really hard rings the walls up and down a few floors.

    Lots of rock stars and stuff stay there, so I’ve been told.

    • Annabel Candy October 27, 2011 at 11:01 am - Reply

      Hi Dave, that sounds very cool and a few rock stars never do amiss:)

  7. Dorothy @ Singular Insanity October 27, 2011 at 8:26 am - Reply

    Oh, wow, Annabel, you are living the dream! The Lyall sounds lovely. I definitely need to extend my travel blogging ;-)

    • Annabel Candy October 27, 2011 at 11:02 am - Reply

      Hi Dorothy, you’ve got to have a dream if you want to make it come true:) I love travel and blogging so it’s a match made in heaven for me!

  8. Penelope J. October 27, 2011 at 1:38 pm - Reply

    Sounds lovely! Hope I can stay there some day. Like you, I always need a kettle nearby for my constant cups of tea. What is it about the English and this tea thing? Don’t you drink coffee.

    Great photos. Liked the one of you in the fluffy robe.

    • Annabel Candy October 27, 2011 at 7:58 pm - Reply

      Hi Penelope, I don’t need caffeine to get me fired up so weak tea works fine. I hardly ever drink water. Just tea, tea and more tea!

  9. Cate October 27, 2011 at 5:59 pm - Reply

    Hmm… sounds nice.
    Hottest hotels? I once spent a night at The Dorchester… but I was only 5 and my most enduring memory was of the maitre de filleting my fish for me (Mum was juggling a newborn) – from there we caught a plane to North Africa where we lived for a while and there was a fabulous holiday in Tunisia (can’t remember the name of the hotel but it was right on the beach at or near Gerba (?), brand new and amazing). All a long time ago.
    More recently, well, all the hotels seem to be much of a muchness, so the Lyall sounds truly tempting. Thanks for the heads up. :)

    • Annabel Candy October 27, 2011 at 7:59 pm - Reply

      Hi Cate, that was brave of your parents taking kids to the Dorchester. Sounds like you’ve had some excellent holidays!

  10. UmaKM October 30, 2011 at 1:23 am - Reply

    The front desk service is one thing which will make us keep going to the same hotel every time we go there. Thanks Annabel for the pointer to “The Lyall Hotel”. You have made our search narrow.

    Loved your post with yummy fruit granola parfait.

  11. Lisa Wood October 31, 2011 at 2:54 pm - Reply

    Hi Annabel,

    The Lyall Hotel sounds amazing – I love how you got to spend four nights there while in Melbourne for the blogging conference. It looks amazing – love the idea of the balcony, the robe, the kitchne, the amazing service and even how you got a wake up call :)

    That sounds like the best place to stay while in Melbourne.
    Even the drinks sound super yummy :)


  12. Mrs Savage December 19, 2011 at 11:58 am - Reply

    I am DESPERATE to try out their spa, it continually wins awards in Melbourne. I look forward to reading about that post.

  13. Johanna July 11, 2012 at 12:29 pm - Reply

    Wow, looks like a fab place to stay in Melbourne for a break-away. Great personal service is always such a pleasure.

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