From the prices and standard of the Langham in London I was expecting a pretty decent hotel. The location is good, the lobby is impressive and the rooms are a fair size with great views if you get one facing the city. What really lets it down is the service (first noted when no-one came to help with our cases when we arrived).
They put me in a smoking room when I had requested non-smoking and when I rang reception to tell them I couldn't deal with the smell (think pub at the end of a heavy night) someone came up with an ionizer which required me to leave the room for 30 minutes. Didn't do any good so I rang round down again and got told there were absolutely no non-smoking rooms. In a hotel of 387 rooms on a weekend when nothing in particular was going on I found that hard to believe - I think what they were saying was they didn't have any rooms left in the category I was paying for and they weren't going to even consider upgrading me. I kept plugging away though (despite it being their fault for not listening to my request when I booked) and even kept my calm when a 'guest services' rep. told me I was actually on a non-smoking floor. She did have a bit of trouble explaining the hotel ashtrays and matches in my room and overflowing ashtrays by the lift but still swore blind that I was in a non-smoking room. Eventually they found me a non-smoking room, 10 floors down, by the lift and overlooking a car park as opposed to a city view corner room with sofa area that I was paying for. By that point I was just pleased to be out of the smog and naively thought they would adjust the rate.
Next stop was the swimming pool - fine if there were no more than 2 people in it. Jacuzzi - nice, and overlooking the city. The reception staff were as unhelpful as the reception/guest services people. Stood around waiting for someone to sign me in, had to ask which way the changing rooms were, where the towels were etc. and to top it off when I went to collect my room key (have to give it in if you want a locker) on the way out they had muddled them up and lost it. The solution for this was for me to go up to reception with wet hair and get another one - no suggestion at all that they could call up there first or be at all helpful despite losing it in the first place.
Didn't eat in the restaurant, but did have room service one night, which was not horrendous, but really not great. Fatty meat, no bread or even a glass of water.
Was very happy to be checking out until I got to reception and was told that the rate was the same for my car park view square room as it was for the city view corner room with a lounge bit. When I questioned it I was told that all their rooms are the same size so the rate was the same. After offering to go up to both rooms with Mr 'Guest Service' and show him that that really wasn't true we agreed that I would not be paying the same.
I think what got me about this hotel was that for 5 stars you expect that little bit extra which usually shows itself in the service and care and attention to guests. Maybe having spent a few days in Asia beforehand I had been spoilt, but I still would expect the bare basics to be there and they weren't. It is pretending to be something it really isn't.
For the money there are plenty of other places to stay in Melbourne and I for will be in one of them next time I'm there.