Category Archives: Melbourne Hotel Reviews

Melbourne Hotel Reviews, Australia

City View Room at the Hilton South Wharf Hotel in Melbourne, Australia

Hilton South Wharf Review

Hotel Review of the Hilton South Wharf – City View Room

After previously reviewing the two bedroom suite at Hilton South Wharf Hotel (read review here) we thought we would take the opportunity of a kid-free weekend to stay in Melbourne at the Hilton South Wharf again and enjoy one of its standard City View rooms.

As we touched on in our last review, the location of the Hilton South Wharf is excellent – next door to the South Wharf DFO which is great for shopping as well as the Melbourne Exhibition and Convention Centre. In our opinion this location gives the Hilton South Wharf the best views of Melbourne down along the Yarra River. For this reason we would always recommend booking a city view room when staying here.

The standard rooms here are a good size with a nice big comfy bed. The bathroom is well set out and comes complete with separate shower and bath. Like at all Hilton Hotels, the Peter Thomas Roth bathroom amenities now come in smaller sizes than they previously did. We love the very effective blockout blinds at the Hilton South Wharf, it makes for a good sleep in. If you need to be up early, make sure to set an alarm.

If it is in your budget we would also recommend getting a room on the executive level floors. The extra cost is definitely worth it. The executive lounge at the Hilton South Wharf is a really large size with both inside and outdoor seating. We rate this lounge very highly compared to some other Hilton lounges. As well as all day snacks and non-alcoholic beverages, the lounge offers breakfast, afternoon tea and evening pre-dinner canapés with alcoholic beverages. The evening drinks are available from 6.00pm-8.00pm on weekdays and from 5.00pm-7.00pm on weekends. The drinks are self pour sparking, wine and beer but you can order spirits from staff if that is preferred. Each night there is a selection of two hot canapés along with a good variety of cold canapés. Also since our last stay, the wi-fi here has improved and they have updated the computers which was nice to see.

During this stay we also tried out Dock37 Restaurant and Bar for a bite to eat. All we can say is try the burger here, it is amazing!

If you are a Hilton HHonors Diamond member, don’t expect too much from the Hilton South Wharf. We have been staying here for a few years now while being Diamond members and never get an upgrade or even a welcome note from management.  At check-in we were told that we have been “upgraded” to the exact same room that we booked, just with executive access. Also if you book for more than one night, you will only get the free bottled water on the first night and no other nights – unlike most other Asia/Pacific Hilton hotels. This may be something that the Hilton South Wharf management might want to look into.

We do however love that we get access to the executive lounge as it is well worth it. We also love that we always get to enjoy the buffet breakfast at Dock37 as it has quite a good selection and we always find the staff lovely and helpful.

Another feature of the Hilton South Wharf that we enjoy is the Lobby area. Every time we come here there is something different being showcased in the lobby. As we stayed here during the Melbourne Cup Spring Racing carnival, this time the lobby consisted of a racing theme with photos, paintings and horse sculptures.

You can view our walkthrough of a Hilton South Wharf City View Room on Youtube here.

For more information about the Hilton South Wharf go to www.hiltonmelbourne.com.au

Grand Hotel Melbourne, Australia

Grand Hotel Melbourne

Review of a two bedroom apartment at the Grand Hotel Melbourne, Australia

We recently became members of the Le Club AccorHotels hotel loyalty program, so we thought it was time to stay in one of their hotels to start earning points. The Grand Hotel Melbourne is part of the MGallery Collection in the Accor chain of hotels and was a perfect choice for us to stay with the kids as they offer two bedroom apartment accommodation as one of their room options.

We arrived at the hotel a couple of hours before check-in and were pleasantly surprised that our room was ready for us. Check-in takes place sitting at a desk rather than at a big lobby counter so it is a bit more personalised with a bit of chatter which is nice. Next to the check-in area is a great little sitting room or should I say Library – complete with comfy leather chairs, grand piano, gas fireplace and plenty of books that you can grab to read. It gives a real cozy and warm atmosphere to the lobby area. The whole hotel actually has a lot of old world charm as it dates back to the 1880’s and was originally used as the railway administrative buildings.

The two bedroom apartment here at the Grand Hotel Melbourne is a good size, very spacious for a family of four. There is a well equipped kitchen area where you can find cutlery, crockery, cooking pots and pan, oven, cooking stove, microwave, espresso pod machine, dishwasher and a fridge freezer (including mini bar items).

The huge living room area has comfortable sofas as well as a big dining table. There is also a good-sized desk with plenty of power points if you bring your own computer (although wi-fi is quite slow). The TV downstairs has quite a few Foxtel channels but does not have the best TV reception so some channels were quite fuzzy. A few days after our stay we received one of the MGallery post stay surveys and we mentioned about the poor TV reception problems and to the hotel’s credit, within 10 minutes the hotel sent an email apologising for this and that they would get maintenance onto it –  great service by the GM.

Upstairs are both bedrooms and the bathroom area. Loved that the stairs have an automatic light on them which is great when travelling with kids. The main bedroom has a nice big comfy bed and plenty of cupboard space so would be perfect for a long-term stay. Also like that there are plenty of spare towels kept in the cupboards too. There was a small TV in the room, but again the picture was all fuzzy and unwatchable. It didn’t affect us as we were only there for one night but it may have been annoying if we were staying for longer. The only other problem we had with the room was that the digital clock on our clock radio was not working so was always hard to gauge what time it was during the night. The second room had a double bed and also had plenty of cupboard space but no TV or clock radio in there.

The bathroom was a good size and we really enjoyed the highly aromatic Appelles amenities. There was a good sized shower (with nice big shower head), no bath but did have a washing machine and dryer in there.

If you want a meal at the Grand Hotel Melbourne there is room service available or you can dine at the RAB Restaurant and Bar situated next to the library area. We tried out dinner here and while the menu is not extensive, the food quality was excellent and pricing was reasonable. Our meals were the Pork Belly with mashed potato and must say the mashed potato here was something else, so delicious! Our other meal here was the Chicken Sandwich which was also very good. Of course we tried out a couple of our favourite cocktails and had no complaints. Have to really commend our waiter Anton who was filled with enthusiasm and our kids thought he was fantastic!

We also had breakfast here at RAB and while there is no buffet breakfast like most inner city hotels, our a la carte meals were delicious, reasonably priced and we didn’t have to wait long for them to be served.

Amenities here at the Grand Hotel Melbourne include an indoor heated swimming pool with spa and sauna. There is a gymnasium but it is quite small compared to other hotel gyms. Next to the pool area on both sides are quite large courtyards along with BBQ’s and outdoor settings. We also used the valet car parking service ($35).

The Grand Hotel Melbourne is ideally located on the corner of Flinders and Spencer Streets, making it easy walking distance to Crown Casino, the Melbourne Convention Centre, South Wharf DFO, Etihad Stadium as well as Southern Cross Station.  With a tram stop right outside, it makes for a quick tram ride to Federation Square, the MCG, Rod Laver Arena, AAMI Park as well as the Docklands area. It is also a good hotel to stay at if you intend to go on the Colonial Tramcar Restaurant – (review here). The Grand Hotel Melbourne is easy to find, just look for the big tram stuck in the pavement near its entrance!

Tram near the entrance of the Grand Hotel Melbourne, Australia

Tram near the Entrance

If you love the ambience of old heritage buildings then you will definitely enjoy staying at the Grand Hotel Melbourne with all of its charm and character. We certainly enjoyed our family stay here and will not hesitate to return again soon.

For more information you can go to www.grandhotelmelbourne.com.au

Parkroyal Melbourne Airport Hotel

Parkroyal Melbourne Airport

Hotel Review of the Parkroyal Melbourne Airport, Australia

With a recent 7.00am International flight departure out of Melbourne Tullamarine Airport, we thought it would be a great opportunity to stay at and review the Parkroyal Melbourne Airport Hotel – which is connected directly to the Melbourne Domestic and International Airports via a covered link-bridge. We stayed for just the one night without the kids – arriving at around 8.00pm on a Wednesday night and departing at 5.00am for our flight check-in on the Thursday.

As this was such a short stay we just booked a standard room and found it quite adequate. It was a good size with a comfy bed and nice bathroom. Our view was of the Airport carpark so wasn’t very interesting, but there are rooms available at an extra cost that look out at the runway side for those that enjoy a bit of plane spotting.

The main restaurant here is Airo Restaurant – open for breakfast (daily), lunch (weekdays) and Dinner (daily).  If you prefer to just grab a light bar snack and unwind with a quiet cocktail, there is also the Cafe Airo and the adjoining Bar Airo. There is of course 24hr in-room dining available as well. After we arrived at the hotel we went down and had a quick drink and bite to eat at the Cafe Airo and had no complaints.

The Parkroyal Melbourne Airport has an indoor heated lap pool, spa and sauna. There is also a gymnasium facing the airport so you can watch the planes coming in to land and taking off while on the treadmill.

The convenience of this hotel makes it a perfect place to stay for weary travellers arriving late from a long haul flight or for those about to embark on an early morning adventure. There is always someone in attendance for check-out, so no matter what time your flight is – it makes for a nice, easy and quick exit from the hotel. Love that they have the airport arrival/departure boards in the lobby as well to check flight status updates. Now we have tried out the Parkroyal Melbourne Airport Hotel and realised how much easier it can make a travel experience, we will be returning again soon!

For more information go to www.parkroyalhotels.com

Hilton South Wharf

Hilton South Wharf Hotel Review

Hotel Review of the Hilton South Wharf Two Bedroom Suite

The Hilton South Wharf hotel in Melbourne, Australia is our home away home. Since the old Hilton on the Park in Melbourne recently became a Pullman, this is now our hotel of choice when staying in our home city. The only other Melbourne hotel in the Hilton chain now is the newly opened Doubletree Melbourne.

Hilton South Wharf is located in an ideal part of the city, right next to the Melbourne Exhibition & Convention Centre so it’s an excellent hotel choice if you’re coming to the city for an exhibition. Next door to the hotel on the other side is the South Wharf DFO (Direct Factory Outlet) which is great for finding shopping bargains. There is also a little convenience store right next to the Hilton South Wharf if you want to grab some snacks and drinks instead of paying exorbitant hotel mini bar prices. You can also find plenty of nearby cheaper eateries around and along South Wharf Promenade and Southbank as the Hotel restaurant is pretty pricey for meals. It’s only a short stroll to one of Melbourne’s biggest entertainment venues – Crown Casino which is another good place to grab a bite to eat.

For our latest stay with our two young boys we booked a Family Fun Package that included:

  • Accommodation in a two bedroom suite
  • Family pass to the neighbouring Polly Woodside Tall Ship and Museum (read our Polly Woodside review here).
  • Roast dinner with gourmet sides and soft drinks served in-room
  • One new release in-room movie with popcorn
  • Full breakfast for two adults and two kids in the Dock37 hotel restaurant

We had booked the package with a city view suite and were given one on the top 19th floor which had the most spectacular view of Melbourne. The suite has floor to ceiling windows that come with very effective block-out blinds, so if you need to be up early we would recommend setting the alarm or leaving the blinds open a little – otherwise enjoy a great nights sleep!

The two bedroom suite comes with a nice big comfortable King bed in one room which also has a bathroom with a good size shower and nice big bath. The second bedroom consists of two twin beds. Next to that bedroom is another smaller bathroom with a shower, sink and toilet (no bath). There is a living area with a couch and a little self-contained kitchenette with a round table and four chairs for dining. The kitchenette includes a sink, dishwasher and a microwave along with plates, bowls, cutlery and glasses. We found the house keeping staff excellent – they were happy to service our room at whatever time we requested.

The buffet breakfast is at the newly renovated Dock37 restaurant. It has a pretty good selection of hot and cold dishes. We love the self juicing station and staff also make some pretty good freshly squeezed juices for guests to grab on arrival for breakfast. The staff here at the restaurant really have to be complimented, they are extremely friendly and helpful. They only thing we didn’t like is the extra cost charged for a latte, cappuccino or even a hot chocolate for the kids. They did however bring the kids a babycino each free of charge. If you don’t want the full buffet breakfast there is the Caffe Cino which is good for a quick bite or breakfast on the go.

Also as part of the family fun package we received a roast chicken dinner served in-room which was absolutely beautiful. The chicken came with seasonal vegetables – broccolini, cauliflower, beans, onions, zucchini along with freshly baked bread rolls and 4 soft drinks. The only problem we had with it was that it was delivered 45 minutes late. Upon check-in we booked the dinner in for 5.00pm but we knew that was not going to happen when we got a call to the room just after 5.00pm asking what time we wanted dinner! Unfortunately we had to leave the room at 6.00pm so we were quite rushed, only having 15 minutes to eat it all.

As Diamond HHonor members we also have access to the Executive Lounge on the 4th floor, which we always make the most of at the Hilton South Wharf lounge as we think it is one of the best going around. It is quite a big executive lounge and as an added bonus it has a lovely outside decking area which is nice on a warm sunny day.

As well as all day snacks, coffee and soft drinks – the lounge offers breakfast, afternoon tea and evening pre-dinner canapés with drinks. The evening drinks on offer are self pour beer, wine and sparkling or you can order spirits from the staff (available from 6.00pm-8.00pm Mon-Fri and 5.00pm-7.00pm Sat & Sun). On this occasion there was also Canadian Club on tap.

Each night there is always a selection of two hot canapés as well as a good choice of cold meats, cheeses, dips, sushi and on this occasion there were prawns which we hadn’t encountered before. There is also free Wi-Fi and plenty of newspapers and magazines to read in there. We would recommend spending a bit extra to get the executive lounge access as it is definitely worth it.

Just a note on the Wi-Fi and the 2 computers in the lounge, they are very slow! We find the Wi-Fi pretty slow all throughout the hotel and the having to always re-log in is very annoying – we are just fortunate that we don’t have to pay for due to our Diamond status because if we were paying for it we would get pretty frustrated.

Also on the 4th floor is a good-sized gymnasium, but please note there is no swimming pool which is a big minus. Right next door to the gym is a little Art Gallery which is quite unique. In fact there is quite a lot of art available to purchase here all throughout the hotel and in the lobby. The lobby area also has a Mercedes-Benz or two on show which is also something a bit different for a hotel!

Just one nice touch that we wanted to mention – we stayed here on the Anzac Day weekend and got up at 4.30am on Anzac Day to attend the dawn service. It was nice to go downstairs and see that staff had set up a little refreshments table with coffee, tea, juices and pastries for all those people who were up early to attend the service. We found it a nice touch and the coffee at that hour of the morning was much appreciated!

We have also done a review of a Hilton South Wharf standard city view room – read review here.

Head to www.hiltonmelbourne.com.au for more details and rates for the Hilton South Wharf.