Save your dollars for splurging on Melbourne‘s brunch spots 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.
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.
Judy Cogan contributed additional reporting to this article.