Crown Towers has established itself as the best hotel in Melbourne for luxury accommodation, and this was again reflected on this trip, where I enjoyed an Executive Suite with access to their Crystal Club.
The process of booking was very straight forward thanks to Crown VIP Services, but booking through their site could be better as could response times for request emails. The booking site needs to be more streamlined and easy to use, and forget about booking on mobile devices at the moment with very poor support.
On arrival for the two night stay I was directed immediately to the Crystal Club on level 3 and lead by a friendly member of the reception team. Like most club floors, checking in at Crystal Club offers no lines and personalised service while you sit back and relax. Car parking was available right underneath the hotel meaning going back to the car for luggage etc was very easy throughout the stay- although this comes at a premium if you’re not a Signature Club member with free parking.
In just minutes I was checked in and had the keys to my Executive Suite on the 24th floor. The suite design is modern, luxurious and spacious. It’s also got a well-designed flow from the entry door into the lounge, then into the bedroom followed by the bathroom.
Inside the room is a full lounge suite, separate lounge room, bar with snacks and beverages to purchase along with a Nespresso machine and complimentary pods- a must have in any luxury hotel these days. The coffee table was already stocked with complimentary magazines, and the room had floor-to-ceiling windows in both rooms offering stunning views over the Yarra River and Port Phillip Bay. The TV screen was larger than most hotels, and full connectivity was available in the wall next to the desk for brining your own entertainment. The blinds and curtains were electronically operated by a remote control and control panel on the wall.
In the bedroom, one can find a king size bed with a pillow menu and smaller flat screen TV. The bed is very comfortable and sleep quality excellent, with the automated curtains blocking out all light. The lighting system uses push buttons on the wall to set a preset lighting level- reading, dim light or full night lighting. These light panels create a bit of blue light in the dark, and a way of turning these off or reducing the light output would assist sleep quality. Also the clock radio doesn’t offer an easy option for dimming and needs to be covered or pulled out at the wall. The nightly turndown service was much appreciated; replenishing towels, placing slippers and complimentary water by the bed along with chocolates, and ice should it be required.
There is a closet of a generous size with ironing facilities along with a safe and lots of amenities not found in other hotels- tote bags, branded slippers and a well-stocked bathroom. The bathroom was exactly the same as the Deluxe Room- some differentiation such as a longer bath to accommodate taller people would be a good idea to add value to the suite. The bathroom has a TV for in-bath viewing. The interactive system was a little slow to respond, and on one occasion, I had to call maintenance to do a reset. A way for guests to reset the TV in the bathroom would be a great addition. The bath tub is also a little slow to fill due to the design of the tap or poor water pressure, and the tap control is at the wrong end when watching TV- you need to use your feet to operate it.
Other than these minor shortfalls the whole bathroom presents very well and is very luxurious. The shower is ‘oversized’ and featured a rain showerhead and wand making showering a very relaxing experience. The capability to use both the showerhead and wand at once would be a welcome add-on.
The Crystal Club lounge presented good value, but recently the price has increased for access while the pre-dinner drinks and canapés seem to have diminished somewhat from previous stays. The first night of the stay was quite busy and staff were a little overworked, while on the second night, the club was nearly empty and the staff were able to provide more personalised service. The lounge offers free wi-fi but staff didn’t provide access to this system and it was difficult to login to on a mobile. Free wi-fi should be provided at club level throughout the hotel as is the standard around the world. Wi-Fi access is too expensive at this point. Read more on Crystal Club.
The breakfast wasn’t huge in spread but offered an extensive enough option that ticked all the essentials from the traditional English fry up through to continental with a small amount of Asian options.
The hotel is located on the Crown Casino and Entertainment Complex meaning you could go for three days and not leave the building. The casino is nearby for those who want it, but isolated enough for those who don’t. The room was located on top of the Mahogany Room which offered a complete experience for the stay. Use of the Mahogany Room during the stay is a must for Crown Signature Club Platinum members and above.
The Crystal Club team gave complimentary late check out to 12pm which was much appreciated – I would advise travellers to ask for it when needed. Check out was easy and the bond was refunded immediately onto my card and funds were available straight away which was excellent.
Would I return? Crown Towers is probably Melbourne’s best hotel and provided that the price was right I wouldn’t hesitate to come back as this hotel makes the holiday experience on its own. It gets the 5 stars from me, but pricing can fluctuate.