The good: the king-sized bed has 4 different pillows to choose from. Interesting room on 3 levels. BBQ (grill) in the courtyard next to the pool. The milk in the fridge is free. Hotel close to Southern Cross Train Station and its shops with long opening hours. Room has a full sized kitchen.
The not-so-good: Room & pool area not very clean, property maintenance could be better, very expensive WiFi (AUD 10/night) and pay TV (18.50), but there is free-to-air TV as well.
Hints: make sure you book a refurbished room. The 20 AUD per night more is probably well spent.
The train station at Spencer Street has a Woolworth which is open till 10 pm every day.
Impressions during after 7 days, 2 adults & 1 child:
Refurbished room, new full sized fridge with freezer, Nesspresso coffee machine (capsules at reception AUD 1.00, limited selection), new toaster, glass ceramic cook fields (4), stove. Plates, cups and cutlery for 3 persons; coffee cups and other dishes did not match, and there is no divider in the drawer for the forks and knives.
The room has double glassed windows towards Spencer Street. Traffic on Spencer Street was not loud enough to be an issue. There is no view to speak off, just a high rise on the other side of spencer street.
The deducted aircon was much louder than the traffic outside, and the temperature was not easy to adjust. If we set it to heating, it started heat the rooms, but it soon begun to alternate between cooling and heating. Room 515 is divided to three levels. If you are not fit to walk stairs, this is not your room.
Room 515 has one TV in the living room with pay TV (expensive!! AUD 18.50 per movie), analogue free-to-air channels, and a very basic Foxtel setup. We were surprised to find analogue TV here as we assumed that all Australia was switched to digital and the bad picture quality analogue offered was a thing of the past. Maybe this is a feature to match the olden-days ambiance in this former Grand Hotel ?
The bed is a soft, king sized bed on the gallery. A built in wardrobe with mirror doors is next to the bed. It is also were you find an ironing board with iron and a hair dryer. Unlike room 512, and assuming all other similar rooms, room 515 does not have a TV in front of the bed.
The shower with toilet is also located at the gallery level. Because the light switch for the shower/toilet is located outside the bath, and the entrance to the shower/toilet is next to the bed, it is impossible to switch the light on without annoying the person sleeping in the bed next to the door. The floor is covered in stains which may have been a chewing gum or silicon from the recently finished refurbishment.
The indoor pool is nice if you have kids, and there are a few BBQ just outside the pool area which you can use for free. There is also a small dry sauna and a rudimentary gym.
Cleanliness is an issue. As we moved in, the shower/toilet had hair on the floor from previous guests, and the carpet looked as if it has not seen a vacuum cleaner in a long time. There was a coffee spill around the Nespresso machine and dust around the microwave from when the trades people sanded the grouts. We asked nicely at reception to get this all cleaned, but only the spill around the coffee machine was taken care off. This is probably what happens if one does give the clearing people not enough time to do the rooms, but I am convinced that this is rather short sighted by management. It gets clear that hotel management saves money by reducing maintenance. How else would one explain that there were several lights in the hall and the pool flickering for the whole week we were in this hotel? This is only an example, but you get the picture.
Because I did see great potential which was not realised in this hotel, I am writing this line with the hope that management does take my, and other travellers critiques as a constructive feedback and improves these points.
The location next to Melbourne CBD, close to large train station, the tram lines (including the free circle route 35) only minutes away is its major draw card. Over all, we enjoyed our stay despite the few issues with maintenance and cleanliness.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Centrally located adjacent to Southern Cross station and close to Melbourne city shopping, theatres, galleries and museums, The Grand Hotel Melbourne - a member of the MGallery collection is one of the most treasured heritage buildings in Victoria. Offering modern five star comfort, it exudes Victorian grandeur, with ornate detailing harking back to the 1800s. The Grand Hotel Melbourne provides deluxe Melbourne accommodation, with 103 spacious suites, a pool, spa, gym, library and hidden garden. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Grand Hotel Melbourne
- Sofitel Melbourne