Visitors to Melbourne who are looking to save on accommodation in order to instead splurge on the city’s art, culture and restaurant scenes will be able to find some fantastic accommodation close to the city centre.
Travelling in Australia’s cultural capital doesn’t mean having to pay top dollar to lay your head down for the night. In every neighbourhood, from the centre of town to St Kilda by the sea, there are plenty of comfortable and stylish rooms on offer to suit every budget.
Crossley Hotel is located close to bustling Bourke Street | Courtesy of Crossley Hotel / Hotels.com
The modern Crossley Hotel is located in the heart of the city centre, close to Parliament Station and the bustling Bourke Street and Spring Street, a 10-minute walk from the iconic Regent Theatre and a two-minute walk from the Princess and Her Majesty’s Theatre. Guest rooms come with queen-size beds, Wi-Fi, air-conditioning, fridges and coffee makers. Concierge service, free parking and a buffet-style restaurant are available on-site. A five-minute drive from the Melbourne Cricket Ground and Rod Laver Arena, it’s also a great spot for sports lovers.
Located in the Central Business District, Hotel Sophia is a 10-minute walk from Southern Cross Railway Station, where the convenient SkyBus connects guests to the airport. The hotel offers 49 rooms across three categories: economy rooms with Wi-Fi, air-conditioning and shared bathrooms, and standard and superior rooms with free Wi-Fi, televisions, air-conditioning and tea and coffee making facilities. There is an in-house restaurant that serves a complimentary buffet breakfast, a bar and a billiards table.
A former gallery, the Tolarno Hotel has maintained its eclectic style with each room brightly decorated and furnished. The hotel exhibits original artwork by local artists and awards prizes for the best art pieces to students from local colleges. The Tolarno has a French bistro and bar, and each room comes with a microwave, fridge and Nespresso machine, a flat-screen cable TV and an extensive room service menu. Located in St Kilda, the hotel is within walking distance of the beach, Luna Park and the foreshore restaurants and bars. The rooms are spacious and some offer spectacular views from their balconies. The Tolarno Eating House and Bar is known for its original Mirka Mora artworks on display and features daily specials on its award-winning menu and an in-house mixologist.
The perfect stop for active budget travellers, the Atlantis Hotel near Marvel Stadium offers a heated indoor swimming pool and a full fitness centre. The 232 contemporary rooms vary in size from doubles to family suites, and are all fitted with a flat-screen television, desk space, sofa, tea and coffee maker and fridge. The hotel has private parking for AUD$20 a day, which works out much cheaper than parking overnight elsewhere in the city. The Atlantis is the perfect hideaway from the Central Business District but is still close to transport links, including the free tram zone, and a five-minute walk from Southern Cross station.
Luxury meets budget at the Seasons Heritage, which is situated in the business district, 15 minutes from the city centre and Chapel Street and close to St Kilda Beach. The hotel offers simply furnished, Victorian-style rooms with air-conditioning, desk space and free Wi-Fi. Guests can dine at the hotel’s Asian-inspired modern Australian restaurant or take advantage of 24-hour room service, and an outdoor garden is open in the summer months. There is paid parking on-site, a 24-hour front desk and concierge service and a gym and fitness centre.
The Crest on Barkley 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, an al fresco restaurant and a café where a complimentary breakfast is served every day. There are standard rooms and two- or three-bedroom apartments, and some of the deluxe rooms include a luxurious spa bath. Each room is minimal in its design, but spacious. Wi-Fi comes at a premium, but the use of the fitness centre and sauna is included, and guests have access to free parking for the duration of their stay.
For those looking for luxury on a budget, the Toorak Manor is a four-star hotel set in a 19th-century mansion in Toorak, a wealthy inner-city suburb. The hotel is located near Marvel Stadium and Melbourne Cricket Ground, among cafés and galleries, and a four-minute walk to the nearest station. There are 18 en-suite rooms, from standard to deluxe king, each individually decorated in period, old-world style – with wall-to-wall floral carpeting, dark-wood panelling and high ceilings – and some rooms even feature antique four-poster beds. There are tea and coffee facilities, heating and air-conditioning in every room, plus a guest lounge and laundry.
Budget doesn’t always mean having to skimp on luxury. The Waratah Acland 41 Stay is located in the heart of St Kilda, and within walking distance of Melbourne’s top restaurants, the Palais Theatre and the National Theatre. The mansion has its own private driveway and beautifully manicured topiary, interior hardwood floors, high arched ceilings, chandeliers and stylish furnishings. There are four guest suites, each bearing an indigenous Aboriginal name: Kurrajong, Cumbungi, Geebung and Nardoo. The rooms are flooded with natural light and come with free Wi-Fi, Netflix, central heating and air-conditioning, and all share the mansion’s spacious lounge area, coffee machines and full chef’s kitchen facilities. There is reserved on-street parking, and airport transfers are available for every guest.
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 grey and white minimalist interior offers the perfect backdrop for the pop art and the floor-to-ceiling photos of indigenous Australian wildlife that decorate its walls. The retro furniture, including Eames tables and chairs by Jesper Holmes, is on-trend, and the hotel even sells some of the pieces through its website. The little details are what matters here. There are four apartments and one pet-friendly room, and each is equipped with a tablet, a Google mini-speaker, Spotify, a flat-screen TV loaded with Netflix and Molton Brown toiletries in the bathroom. The communal space offers barbecue facilities, while there is also a large private garden and parking.
Art Series – The Larwill Studio offers tours of the artworks on display | Courtesy of Art Series – The Larwill Studio / Hotels.com
Rated among the best hotels in Australia, the Larwill Studio in Parkville is part of a collection of four- and five-star hotels inspired by Australian contemporary artists. Situated close to the Queen Victoria Market and the 58 and 59 tram stops with direct links to the city, Larwill Studio offers unmatched views of green parks and the city beyond. The hotel is decorated with works of art created by Australian artist David Larwill, and is styled to convey the sense of colour and space within his own studio. Free tours of the artworks on display are offered daily. Each room, or ‘workspace’, includes signature Art Series hotel bedding, a mini-fridge stocked with local produce, large windows, a flat-screen TV, a yoga mat and a phone docking station. Guided yoga classes and access to the full fitness centre are available free of charge, and guests can even make use of art supplies and art books. Smart Cars covered in Larwill’s paintings are available for hire, as are bicycles and prams. Covered parking is on offer for AUD$25 per day. The on-site restaurant, Smith + Singleton, offers brunch, lunch and premium coffee.