The old adage ‘location, location, location’, is one reason The Langham Melbourne is well-loved by locals and visitors alike. If you’re lucky enough to book The Residence by Kerrie Hess you’re in for an even bigger treat.
The Langham Melbourne has been part of the landscape in the heart of the city since 2005. But this classy hotel does not rest on its laurels. It is a trailblazer of creativity and guests will always find something fresh and playful to surprise them within the palatial grounds.
Langham Melbourne facts
Traveller: Jocelyn Pride
Room: The Residence by Kerrie Hess
Address: 1 Southgate Avenue, Southbank, Melbourne
Date: February 2020 – updated December 2020 to reflect strict COVID -19 safe protocols in place since re-opening.
Best for: Travellers looking to indulge in a city haven with the best of Melbourne on the doorstep.
The Signature factor
The Langham brand opened its first hotel opening in London in 1865 and now has properties across four continents. It stands for undeniable luxury and innovation with that rare homely feel.
The Langham Melbourne has gone one step further with a unique suite where art and fashion meet pure indulgence.
From it’s Yarra River frontage in Southbank, The Langham Melbourne offers sweeping views over the city. The vibrant arts district is moments away as is the famous Southbank Promenade.
The hotel’s 388 rooms have large windows to make the most of the view, neutral tones and marble bathrooms.
But one suite is totally different.
Australian born and internationally-acclaimed fashion artist, Kerrie Hess calls The Langham Melbourne, her ‘home away from home’.
Hess produces illustrations for the likes of Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Calvin Klein, Cartier and Net-a-Porter. In 2019, she designed a whole suite – The Residence by Kerrie Hess for The Langham Melbourne, and that’s where we are staying.
The entrance for this suite is at the back of the building to enable vehicle access. It may seem a little underwhelming, however, that’s all part of the reveal. A Langham pink London cab sits sitting waiting to whisk guests away in style and pink bikes stand at the ready for pedal power.
This entrance gives you a quick getaway and privacy.
The Langham concierge expertly handles the luggage and valet parking as I’m ushered through the glass doors.
I opt for the escalator and grand staircase rather than the lift just so I can soak up every detail. A stunning central chandelier fills the space between intricate inlaid travertine marble walls.
Vases filled with pretty pink flowers add a splash of colour and the signature Langham fragrance lingers in the air.
Check in is warm and welcoming before I’m escorted to ‘the next level experience’ – The Residence by Kerrie Hess.
The sweeping double doors open to reveal a 134sqm showstopper with beautiful inlaid parquetry flooring and a palette of neutral tones accented with soft pinks.
This ‘room’ has a lounge, office nook, dining room and a fully accessorised kitchen. Down the hallway, I find two king-bedrooms, (main with walk-in wardrobe and dressing area), two marble bathrooms and a laundry.
Plump cushions are invitingly strewn over the snuggly couch and armchairs; chandeliers hang from the lofty ceiling and the bedrooms are filled with elegant French provincial furniture.
And then there’s the way the light falls on the 14 Kerrie Hess ‘Dior pink’ illustrations scattered throughout the suite. It’s simply magical.
The Residence by Kerrie Hess versus The Chairman Suite? The jury is out on this one.
At 161sqm The Langham Melbourne Chairman Suite is slightly larger and has amazing views over the city, however, the quirkiness of The Residence is hard to beat.
On my plate
Although dining in the suite is a tempting option, it’s always hard to resist dinner at Melba.
The famous Melbourne restaurant has views across the Southbank promenade and river. And in true Langham style, the atmosphere is elegant without a hint of stuffiness.
Melba at The Lanham Melbourne showcases seasonal ingredients with a focus on Victorian produce. The team of chefs prepare specialities such as sashimi, hand-made pasta, Tandoori chicken, roasted duck pancakes, char-grilled meats in a series of open kitchens with silver service directly to the table. Daily theme focus on specific regions and you can also order from the a la carte menu.
My sake-infused abalone sashimi comes from Indented Head, outside Geelong, and I also savour the Tasmanian sea urchin gunkan-maki, battleship sushi followed by oysters from St Helen’s and crayfish Thermidor.
With little room left, I manage a small taste of roast chicken with oregano and garlic chicken jus paired with a salad of heirloom carrots, mushrooms, beetroot, asparagus and artichokes.
As divine as the desserts look, I opt for a selection of cheeses from Victorian artisan cheeseries including L’Artisan, Timboon, Milawa, Tarago River and Yarra Valley Dairy.
The chic Chuan Spa uses its own label of organic products, in an extensive range of treatments and therapies based on Chinese medicine principles. Although I didn’t have time to try it, word has it the LED light therapy facial is a game-changer.
I wish I could take home…..
I did do quite a bit of shopping in the onsite boutique shop Flavours of Langham. The shop stocks everything from signature scented candles to monogrammed pens and adorable pink piggy banks to ‘save for your next treat’. But I wouldn’t mind recreating the Langham experience at home with their custom-designed ‘blissful bed’.
At The Residence, it is hard enough to remember to sleep, let alone to leave. The Langham Melbourne provides generous welcome nibbles, fruit platter and French champagne (pink of course). It also has a cocktail cart so afternoon check-in soon easily melts into the evening. All meals (including the Langham’s famous afternoon tea), can be organised for in-suite dining.
The Langham’s Aria bar, a favourite haunt for Melburnians, serves up cocktails that reflect Melbourne’s most popularr locals such as Lygon Street, Collins Street and Port Melbourne. The signature cocktail is the Pink Taxi – a twist on a Cosmopolitan.
This hotel also has an impressive conservatory covered pool area. The pool room opens onto a sun-drenched patio with over-sized sun lounges from which you can soak up the city views while you sip on a sweet cocktail.
The best of Melbourne is moments away from The Langham, starting with the Yarra River promenade and its eclectic mix of restaurants, bars and designer shops.
If you like your chances, you can stroll to Crown casino. Feeling cultured? The National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne Recital Centre, Arts Centre Melbourne and the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art are just a short stroll.
The Langham staff can arrange a picnic cruise on the Langham tender or time to relax with a decadent hamper in the nearby Royal Botanic Gardens.
The Langham Melbourne has won several awards, most notably the Conde Nast Traveller’s readers’ choice award. It is consistently named within the top ten hotels in Australia and New Zealand.
The tariff for The Residence by Kerrie Hess is for four people, so it’s ideal for a super special occasion.
Kerrie Hess could do a makeover on my house.
The Langham Melbourne is the city’s finest hotel –above and beyond in every way imaginable.
Where to find
The Langham Melbourne is about one hour Tullamarine airport and transfers can be arranged. Flinders Street train station is nearby as is Melbourne’s extensive tram network.