On a tree-lined street in the chic neighbourhood of South Yarra, lies the under-stated Lyall hotel. This is where Pamela Anderson, Paris Hilton and Gwen Stefani check-in when they’re in town, drawn - no doubt - by its club-like ambience and its focus on class over fuss.
The large suites – all 40 of them – are more like small apartments than hotel rooms. The little kitchens are ideal if you have friends over, and there’s a cute terrace for cooling off. The décor, in hues of gold, bronze and black, appeals to both male and female guests, and the enormous bathrooms, with two entrance doors, sizeable bathtub, power shower and Lyall Spa amenities, are indulgent.
In the suites, rather than being greeted by an old-fashioned - quick-to-go-mouldy - fruit basket, you’ll find just two apples and two lemons, the latter for fizzy sun-downer G&Ts, and the apples for a slim-line snack. The gourmet bar in the room has locally-sourced treats like cheddar cheese and ‘Lick Me’ ice creams, while down at the lobby-level bar there’s cranberry champagne to tempt you. Drinks aside, find time to try a Sodashi Pure Radiance Facial at the smart and unfussy spa (sodashi.com is Australia’s best skincare brand).
The service at The Lyall is low-key and reliable. The friendly concierge can advise on everything from lengthy drives to five-minutes-walk-away shopping on fashionable Chapel Street, which is home to Aussie fashion designers Sass & Bide and Bettina Liano. A notable extra is that breakfast is served until a generous 1pm, in typical Lyall style. Here, you'll feel right at home, in the best ‘home’ you ever had.
- Known as the ‘fashion headquarters’ in Melbourne, as all the designers stay here.
- It is the only privately owned and operated 5-star hotel in Melbourne.
- Award-winning spa.
- Free internet for all guests.
- Reasonably priced personal bar.
- The bar is very small, so is not a place to linger for too long.
Location & Getting There:
Chapel Street for shopping and bars, a 10 minute taxi ride to the centre of town and Federation Square, where the Australian Centre for the Moving Image, National Gallery of Victoria and the cafes of Flinders Lane and Degraves Street. South Yarra station is a five-minute walk from the hotel and tram line number 8 passes the hotel and takes 15 minutes to get into the centre of the city.
Distance to nearest train station/airport:
- A taxi from the airport will cost at least AUS $60 (£40) and will take 30 minutes.
Number of rooms: 40 suites
Room service: Y
Swimming pool: N
Spa: Spread over 3 levels with 8 treatment rooms, the spa features designated areas for hydrotherapy and has an indoor and outdoor relaxation area.
Dogs welcome: N
Check-in/Check-out times: Check-in 2pm, check-out 11am
Deluxe suite from AUS $735 (£453) to Platinum Suite from AUS $2625 (£1,620). Includes unlimited wireless internet access, morning newspaper. Only some rates include breakfast.
Eating and drinking:
The mini bistro serves an excellent American breakfast and the champagne bar offers a good range of cocktails and has a strong wine list.