Nestled onto Melbourne’s Southbank, The Langham Melbourne is perfectly positioned for business travellers to Australia’s cultural capital. The business hubs of the CBD and St Kilda Road are a stone’s throw away, while the city’s arts and leisure district are within walking distance, discovers Gayatri Bhaumik.
In the sophisticated, marble-clad lobby, impeccable staff efficiently breeze through check-in, while the Concierge desk easily handles all questions. The vintage-style display table and chandelier, and the antique-look wooden post box next to the full-service Business Centre add old-world charm to the modern lobby.
Rooms with Style
The blend of timeless luxury and modern sensibility continues through each of the 388 spacious guest rooms. Images of old Melbourne adorn the walls, setting off vintage-style carpets, drapes, and lampshades. The rooms’ highlights are postcard windows offering magnificent views – my Club River King Room boasts iconic Melbourne views of the Yarra River and Flinders Station.
The sizeable workspace features several power outlets, complimentary WiFi, and a vintage desk lamp. It’s easy enough to settle in for a few hours’ work, accompanied by tunes played through the MP3 dock in the fully-functional media hub.
After a good night’s sleep – the king-size bed dressed in luxury linens is like sleeping on a cloud – getting ready for a 9am meeting is a delight. The well-stocked minibar has a full tea and coffee service for my morning caffeine hit, while the expansive marble bathroom features a separate shower and bath, and luxurious Chuan Spa amenities. The day’s clothes are ready to go, pressed the night before with the in-room supplies and laid out on the valet stand.
When it comes to events, The Langham Melbourne is all business. Flexible meeting spaces can be set up for banquet, theatre, classic, reception or conference events catering to a maximum of 400 guests. The online ‘TakeTheLead’ initiative gives event planners full control over their events, and a range of other benefits. Planners are issued with a mobile phone to stay connected, a dedicated event specialist to assist with the details, an on-site office to act as mission control, and a few special treats to help them recharge.
For CSR-focused companies, CONNECT Conferences offers a spate of sustainable meeting solutions to help offset the environmental impact of their event. Companies can make environmentally-friendly choices like filtered water instead of bottled, and local organic ingredients for dining.
Business travellers will also appreciate the exclusive Langham Club. The quiet, elegant space offers a range of useful amenities including complimentary meeting facilities, garment pressing, butler service, and all-day refreshment services. The relaxed setting of the Club’s intimate library section, created by a novelty typewriter, shelves of books, board games, and stunning views, is perfect for the pre-dinner service which includes Chandon sparkling and a delectable buffet of hors d’oeuvres.
Dining & Entertaining
With easy access to the city’s incredible dining scene, The Langham Melbourne has wisely limited itself to just one bar and one restaurant, both of which are exquisite.
The award-winning Melba Restaurant brings a touch of theatre to the table with floor-to-ceiling views providing the backdrop for innovative dishes of quality Victorian produce and wines. A perennial local favourite, Melba offers guests the chance to chat with the chefs in the open interactive kitchens that whip up international and local dishes.
A discreet bar and lounge ideal for after-hours socialising, the Aria Bar & Lounge offers quality classic cocktails, as well as artisan wines from Victoria’s Yarra Valley. By day, locals and visitors alike flock here to enjoy the refined Afternoon Tea with Wedgewood service.
The highlight of the Health Club is a 15-metre indoor pool bathed in natural light by the glass skylight. A few laps in this quiet oasis – followed by a dip in the adjacent Jacuzzi and a few minutes lounging on the alfresco skydeck – are the perfect start to my Monday morning. There’s also a fully-equipped fitness centre, and a schedule of group exercise classes that includes yoga and Pilates.
Executive travellers looking to take a load off should head straight for the Chuan Spa. The Oriental-inspired oasis, dressed in rich woods and earthy tones, offers a comprehensive menu of indulgent spa treatments created according to the principles of Traditional Chinese Medicine. Spaophiles are treated to Australian-made Chuan Spa products, and revitalising marine-based therapies from European spa brand Thalgo.
The ideal balance of style and functionality, luxury and efficiency, all in an unbeatable location, The Langham Melbourne offers an enticing proposition for business visitors to the city. www.langhamhotels.com