I think this is probably the loveliest hotel I have ever stayed in. I love traditional, old fashioned things and this hotel is beautifully renovated and sufficiently modernised to offer all the comforts you could want. The room we stayed in was spacious and comfortable, with delightful decor and old world charm. However, a couple of things happened that jarred.
Firstly, we were asked to pay for the mini bar up front, to be told it would be credited back to the credit card if we didn't use it. When we questioned this, we were told it was standard policy at all hotels. Well, not in any of the hotels my partner and I have stayed in all over the world in recent years. Given that they have the credit card details anyway, why take the amount out in advance? Maybe we just haven't encountered this practice but it surprised us.
Secondly, there was an extremely noisy wedding celebration in one of the function rooms that night. When we got back to our room at 10.30pm, the noise was so loud there was no question of sleep or peace! When we contacted reception, we were assured the noise would stop at 11.30pm but in a hotel of this calibre and cost, one does not expect to have to have the feeling that you are next door to a very loud disco and to have to put up with it. They then made the offer to move us to another room, which is what we did. The second room was even nicer than the first one, so in the end, all was well.
The buffet breakfast offered a reasonable choice of foods, although I would have liked to have the option for eggs to be cooked to my taste, rather than simply scrambled. The breakfast sausages were delicious though and made up for the eggs!
Location wise, this hotel is great - right near the Treasury and Fitzroy Gardens, not far from the Yarra river and with the free City Circle tram running right past the door. We went for some lovely walks in the gardens and the city. I would go there again, and would recommend it to those wanting an old world charm - for that, there is no finer in Melbourne!