Greg Fleming checks into the The Langham, in Melbourne.


You can't beat the riverside location - a five-star hotel right in the heart of Melbourne's arts and leisure precinct. The National Gallery of Victoria is a few minutes' walk away (a Van Gogh exhibition was on when we stayed), there're restaurants and bars galore and it's handy to the Crown Casino and Entertainment complex - more restaurants, boutiques, cinemas and cafes. Melbourne CBD and Flinders train Station's minutes away across Princes Bridge. Across the road is Eureka Tower featuring the tallest viewing platform in the Southern Hemisphere.

Check-in: Quick and efficient, we asked and got a late check-out of 1pm. Even though we'd arrived early our room was ready.


Room: Room 1717 on the 17th floor - an executive River Room - with a business area by the window and a stunning view to the east across Melbourne's ever busy city skyline; oh and down below you can watch guests in the pool through the transparent roof.

Facilities: All the usual - safe, iron, free Wi-Fi - also an umbrella, shoe horn, suede brush, French press coffee maker and Vittoria coffee, complimentary water at turn-down and 24-hour full service in-room dining if required.

The room also comes with a pillow menu - just order from guest services. All the usual channels on the TV - CNN but no MSNBC.

The bed: A very comfy Blissful Bed by Sealy - people rave about this on TripAdvisor. Sink into it and disappear till morning.

There's free access to the gym and pool and steam/sauna facilities on the 9th floor.
Soak in the spa and look out at that view.

The Langham Club: As part of our package we had access to the Langham Club on the 24th floor which included a good buffet breakfast from 6.30am, afternoon tea from three and canapes and drinks from 5.30-8pm. As a family we used this a lot. It offers complimentary snacks and all-day tea and coffee and pastries, free water and soft drinks 24/7 - and did I mention that the views up here are pretty incredible?

As a Club member you also get three free items pressed on arrival. The Club is staffed most hours and is a great place to relax, organise the day's activities or just read a book or watch TV. The staff were happy to answer questions about Melbourne and activities and pointed us towards the cool new dumpling restaurant Din Tai Fung in the Emporium shopping complex.

Bathroom: Spacious, with a large marble bath and a good shower. Toiletries are Chuan products from the Chuan Spa on the ninth floor. Shaving cream, toothbrush, paste etc all complimentary.

Price: Executive rooms with Club privileges start from A$340 per night.

Would I stay again? I booked The Langham after asking seasoned travellers for advice on places to stay in central Melbourne - all mentioned The Langham - having stayed there for four nights I know why.

Contact: The Langham, Melbourne, 1 Southgate Avenue, dPh +61 3 8696 8888