“Good morning Mr. Jenkins! Your suite is ready.” I almost danced around with joy when I heard those magic words. It was 10am and I’d just arrived at The Lyall after a gruelling 30+ hour journey from Amsterdam to Melbourne and all I wanted to do was sleep. I looked around as the receptionist completed my check-in. The reception area was small and intimate. To my right, I noticed a casual-looking bar and café, and to my left, a gorgeous sitting area with a fireplace and a library. The home-like ambiance was unmistakable. I was thousands of miles away from home but I felt very much at ease here. I smiled at the thought of spending my first few days in Melbourne in this lovely home away from home – what better way to acclimatise than to stay at a place that felt familiar and which offers a host of five-star services!
Staying at The Lyall
The Lyall is a privately-owned, luxury boutique hotel located in the posh suburb of South Yarra, ten minutes away from Melbourne’s Central Business District. I soon discovered what a perfect location this is. The hotel is situated just off Toorak Road, in a quiet, leafy street. The famed Chapel Street, with its dizzying array of boutiques and restaurants, and the South Yarra train station (with frequent connections to the CBD) are just a few minutes’ walk away. South Yarra itself is a vibrant neighbourhood bursting at its seams with restaurants, cafés, bars, boutiques and all sorts of shops.
The hotel has 40 suites, a restaurant/bar and a beautiful Spa. My suite was very spacious, with a large bathroom, ditto bedroom, a kitchenette and a separate living area. It also had a small terrace.
The kitchenette is probably one of the best-equipped I’ve ever encountered in all my travels. Packed into that small space was a good-sized (well-stocked) refrigerator, a microwave, oven, dishwasher, laundry, Italian coffee-maker, electric kettle, iron/ironing board, pots and pans, utensils, as well as spirits and snacks.
The living area featured a cosy L-shaped sofa with a coffee table littered with travel magazines (I read them all!) whilst the bathroom had a separate bath and shower facilities, bath robes and designer toiletries. I looked around and thought, “Gosh, I could live here!”. Just before I crashed onto the (very comfortable) bed, I couldn’t help but notice the little pillow menu at the bedside table… a very nice touch! I was in dreamland in no time!
Over the course of the next few days, I became acquainted with the hotel’s terrific, personalised services. They know their neighbourhood very well and are more than happy to recommend restaurants and things to do and see. A little booklet I received upon check-in contained a handy map as well as a list of their recommended restaurants and shops. The Lyall also offers its guests an exclusive Shopping Privilege Card which can be used at twenty shops and restaurants in the neighbourhood for discounts and freebies – a very impressive service for a small establishment. The hotel also offers its guests a limousine service and free bikes. And… there’s the Lyall Spa! There’s a wide variety of treatments that can be booked in 15-minute time slots from 45 minutes to 1.5 hours. For maximum indulgence, try the three-hour “Detoxifying Ritual”. Oh, and there’s free WiFi!
Around The Lyall
South Yarra truly is one of my favourite districts in Melbourne, and The Lyall is right in the heart of it. There’s always something going on in South Yarra’s swanky culinary, café, entertainment and fashion scene.
The thing I love most about this area is that there’s always something surprising around every corner, like a quirky store, or a designer café, colourful graffiti, a quiet park, stately homes or bustling markets. If you love markets, Prahran Market on Chapel Street is a must-visit. If you’re feeling giddy from jet-lag (like I was), a leisurely stroll around the Royal Botanic Gardens (a ten-minute walk away from The Lyall) is the perfect remedy. You could extend your stroll to the Yarra River for stunning views of Melbourne’s skyline, to the beautiful Shrine of Remembrance or around the leafy streets of South Yarra to admire the gorgeous homes.
I absolutely enjoyed my stay at The Lyall. Its homey comforts, combined with its excellent location and personalised five-star services, were the perfect antidote after my long journey. If you’re looking for a luxurious ‘home away from home’ in Melbourne, head for The Lyall!
Note: a big thank you goes to The Lyall for your terrific hospitality. As always, all opinions expressed above are mine, and mine only.