Inspiration Destinations Australia European Sophistication in South Yarra at The Lyall

European Sophistication in South Yarra at The Lyall

May 13, 2024
The facade of The Lyall, a new boutique hotel in Melbourne - Luxury Escapes

Tucked down a tree-lined side street off busy Toorak Road, The Lyall is the little hotel that could, a boutique space but with the service and sophistication in the tradition of a grand hotel.

The rooms tout Parisienne balconies, French bubbles and the hotel itself appears to be channelling a local Saint-Germain stay, right down to the prominence of several Gallic staff.

What’s the neighbourhood like?

The greenery and boutique shops of South Yarra also nod to the French capital, in fact if you turn right on to Toorak Road from the hotel you will head to the “Paris end” where you will find popular diner France-Soir that has been serving French cuisine for more than three decades. Turn left on Toorak Road and head to Chapel Street and you will get a different vibe, in fact things are positively red-states USA at Leonard’s House of Love, a dim-lit dive bar with cowboy-hatted bar staff, fried chicken sandwiches and chilli fries.

Where am I sleeping?

My room is decorated all the greys of an overcast Melbourne day and the balcony has views on to the Japanese maple garden and street below; all furniture is made in Melbourne but utilising Tasmanian Oak. The room is incredibly spacious, and my corner spot means I have windows on two sides with thick block-out drapes, a small desk sits in the corner and there is a walk-in wardrobe big enough for visiting European royalty (I take up about a tenth of it). The bathroom looks out on to the fairy-light strewn trees at the front of the property and has a freestanding tub, wide double vanity and Molton Brown bath products; the toilet is separate, located just inside the front door.

A room in the Lyall, a French-inspired boutique hotel in Melbourne - Luxury Escapes

What's on the menu?

Dinner is on pause when I stay, but the breakfast downstairs, just off reception, is indulgent with an eggs Atlantic coming with a huge side of asparagus and blistered truss tomatoes that almost makes my morning meal choice feel healthy. It was a tough choice between that and the harissa chilli scrambled eggs with dukkha and feta. In room, the mini bar snacks are no supermarket fare with jars of roasted cashews and nougat, plus there is a bottle of Taittinger in the bar fridge and wines from Red Claw on the Mornington Peninsula.

The dining room in the Lyall, a French-inspired boutique hotel in Melbourne - Luxury Escapes

What are the facilities like?

Being a small boutique hotel there is not much in the way of facilities, but the fireplace in the lobby is a big draw on a crisp Melbourne evening. The Lyall has a range of seamless services behind the scenes; valet parking, laundry and dry cleaning and transportation are all arranged from the helpful front desk.

What sets The Lyall apart?

Intimate size does not always mean intimate service, but at The Lyall the two go together like a gin and tonic by the aforementioned fire. From excellent local recommendations for dinner to a faultless breakfast service, the staff make sure that guests feel right at home.

Who will love The Lyall?

Couples on a staycation can get a touch of European style for a fraction of the cost and if you are in town for business, the rooms are large enough to have a slightly longer stay without going stir crazy.

The lobby in the Lyall, a French-inspired boutique hotel in Melbourne - Luxury Escapes

The writer was a guest of the hotel.

Looking for more Melbourne inspiration? Find 9 of the Best Things to Do in Melbourne with Kids.

About Paul Chai
Paul Chai has been a travel writer for over two decades. He has dived with great white sharks in South Australia, walked the red carpet at the Cannes Film Festival and stuffed himself with enough food and wine working on the Good Food Guide to make his GP shake his head. Chai is currently managing editor of Dream by Luxury Escapes.

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