There is a fine line between a 5* breakfast buffet and a self-service cafeteria; the Langham strays dangerously close to that line. Luke-warm stewed tea dispensed by an over-worked, often missing, waiter, with no option to have a freshly made pot to oneself, is just one example that has been remarked upon by other reviewers.
International travelers can re-set watches at precisely 10.30am each morning, for that is the time the buffet is closed. Not after the customary "is there anything else that you require before we close the buffet?", but by the unannounced removal of all serving implements.
Cleanliness is to be commended, but the use of a loud vacuum cleaner at 10.35am whilst gusts are still eating breakfast is simply unacceptable.
We had arrived in Melbourne on an overnight flight from Hong Kong and so had booked our room from the night before, to ensure that our it would be available immediately; it was, but getting our luggage delivered to the room was a different matter!
Apparently the porters had assumed that we would not be given our room until early afternoon and so had put the luggage into store. This was the excuse we were given; it does not explain why it took three calls to guest services and nearly two hours for us to be re-united with our belongings.
Service standards continued to fall. We spent a few hours catching up on sleep and then went out for a walk and a meal after asking for our room to be made up and the bathroom refreshed. We returned some hours later to find that nothing had been done. I had passed a domestic with a service trolley on the landing, so went back to ask her to attend to matters. Unfortunately I speak only English, French, and German, which meant that I was unable to communicate with her; we didn't see her again.
On a plus point, the next evening we met up with chums in the lounge bar. The service there was fast, friendly and professional; exactly what we had received in the Hong Kong Langham a few days earlier.
The Langham Melbourne property is ideally positioned to enjoy the wonderful Yarrow riverfront area and our river-view room was excellent. The management team, however, should consider a visit to their Hong Kong counterparts to see the benefits of investing in having a professionally trained staff in all departments of a hotel.
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- Also Known As:
- The Langham, Melbourne Hotel Melbourne