Save your dollars for splurging on the best brunch spots in Melbourne or an exhibition at the National Gallery of Victoria with a stay at one of these affordable hotels.
Travelling in Australia’s cultural capital doesn’t mean paying top price for a comfortable bed. In every neighbourhood, from the centre of town to St Kilda by the sea, there are plenty of stylish rooms to suit every budget. Take a peek at the famous fairy penguins under the pier or stroll through the hipster Fitzroy area, packed with great coffee and dining options. Here’s our top picks of the best cheap hotels and places to stay in Melbourne – bookable on Culture Trip.
This budget hotel’s grand setting on Little Collins Street, next door to Melbourne Town Hall and minutes from the iconic Flinders Street Station, sets the tone. It originally opened for business in 1880, and the lobby features a huge chandelier and marbled floors, while the 370 spacious “heritage” rooms are decorated in muted tones with traditional furnishings. The on-site eatery, Mister Munro Restaurant and Bar, is a convenient spot for a pre-theatre dinner and serves mod-Aussie dishes and signature cocktails.
The promise here is “comfortable, affordable and centrally located” – and the Hotel Claremont Guesthouse certainly ticks all these boxes. The property dates back to 1886 and sits on Melbourne’s prestigious Toorak Road, just 130 metres (430ft) from South Yarra Train Station. The price tag might scream budget, but the feel is rather fancy. All guests will get unlimited high-speed wifi access, plus a free breakfast when you book directly. Choose between twin, double or single rooms, or dorms depending on your travel preferences.
The Brady Hotels Central Melbourne’s location will pique your interest as much as the low price. Tucked down one of Melbourne’s hidden laneways, Little La Trobe Street, it is situated in the bustling CBD, next to Melbourne Central Shopping Centre and Queen Victoria Market. Rooms include regular doubles as well as studios and two-bed apartments, decorated with a traditional bluestone, buttery-tan leather and natural timbers. Some even have balconies. This is a great base from which to explore Melbourne on foot.
Spoiler alert: the massive indoor pool is a real surprise here, as is the spa and sauna. It just goes to show that Mantra on Russell prioritises guests who want to explore and relax in equal measure. Choose from a spacious studio or a one- or two-bedroom apartment, most with private balconies. The 24-hour room service and reception make staying here really convenient. Hop on the free City Circle tram, just four minutes from the hotel’s doorstep, to explore Melbourne.
A perfect stop for sports fans, the Atlantis Hotel is just across the road from the Marvel Stadium, where AFL (Australian Football League) games are held throughout the season. The 232 contemporary rooms vary in size, from doubles to family suites. Each one is fitted with a flat-screen television, tea and coffee maker and fridge, plus there’s also a heated indoor pool and fitness centre. The hotel has private parking, which works out to be much cheaper than parking elsewhere in the city, while those on foot can reach Southern Cross Station in five minutes.
The Crest on Barkly is situated in central St Kilda, eight minutes from the Central Business District and a short walk to the numerous restaurants along St Kilda Road. The hotel offers an on-site bar, al fresco restaurant and café where breakfast is served every day. Standard rooms and two- or three-bedroom apartments are available; some of the deluxe rooms include a luxurious spa bath. Wifi comes at a premium, but the use of the fitness centre and sauna is included, and you’ll have access to free parking for the duration of your stay.
Taking its name from the shortened version of the South Yarra neighbourhood in which it’s located, the monochrome SoYa Apartment Hotel operates out of a classic 1960s complex situated right next to the train station. The minimalist interior offers the perfect backdrop for the Pop Art and floor-to-ceiling photos of indigenous Australian wildlife that decorate its walls. You’ll also find retro furniture inside, including Eames tables and chairs by Jesper Holm, with selected pieces available to purchase on the hotel’s website. Each apartment – including a limited amount that are pet-friendly – is equipped with a tablet, Google mini-speaker, Spotify, a flat-screen TV with Netflix and Molton Brown toiletries in the bathroom. Downstairs, there is also a large private garden with a barbecue and on-site parking.
Rated among the best hotels in Australia, the Larwill Studio in Parkville is a four-star hotel, inspired by Australian contemporary artist David Larwill. Each room, or “workspace”, includes signature Art Series hotel bedding, a mini-fridge stocked with local produce, large windows, a flat-screen TV, yoga mat and phone-docking station. Take a hotel artwork tour or book onto a yoga class, free of charge. Smart cars, covered in Larwill’s paintings, are available for hire, as are bicycles and prams. Don’t leave without trying brunch at the on-site restaurant, the Farmacy.
Travelling with your kids? Discover our guide to the best family-friendly hotels in Melbourne, or opt for a hotel in the city with parking, now bookable via Culture Trip. For more options, see beautiful hotels in Melbourne that guarantee a great holiday. Heading elsewhere? Discover our guide to the best resorts in Australia.
Judy Cogan contributed additional reporting to this article.
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