Just checked out the other day so this review is fresh.
I would have given 4 or even 5 stars to The Hatton but it just did not meet my expectations. And that was the root of my issue: my expectations were not appropriate - not high, not low, just different.
To me, The Hatton should not be classified as a hotel. It does not have the expected trappings of a hotel, i.e. full service – 24-hour reception, concierge, room service/full F&B, complete room amenities inside the room (without need of asking), AND no elevator (I don’t remember that reviews I read on TA before I booked last month did not mention this). The Hatton does not have any of those. So if someone asks me if it is a good hotel, I’d have to say that it’s not. But as an inn, it is very good and I won’t hesitate to recommend it BUT expectations need to be set properly.
I knew that The Hatton was in an old residential building. I've stayed in small hotels that were previously residences and which had been completely modernized inside, including installation of an elevator, so I was expecting this of The Hatton. But it was not completely so. It is more homey than the usual hotel (which is good), and I’d even describe it as feeling like a rich relative's mansion renovated to modernize basics like plumbing/bathroom and electrical fixtures. But, the renovation and furnishings could use some improvements.
The details --
- Staff – the staff are very friendly, helpful and knowledgeable. We informed the staff upon booking that our flight is arriving early and asked if we could store our luggage before check-in. But when we arrived before 9am (check-in is at 2pm), our room was ready and were allowed to check-in so we were able to get some much needed rest (we took a redeye to Melbourne from Singapore and did not sleep well on the flight).
- Breakfast – the choice was limited to cereals/muesli/granola, fresh fruits, bread and breakfast pastries, yoghurt, milk plus fresh juices. But the quality of the food was above par and could have been the artisanal kinds, not the supermarket variety (except some of the spreads like the peanut butter). And they offered different kinds of fresh coffee all made upon order: flat white, long black, cappuccino, espresso, latte. Definitely not the usual hotel buffet breakfast which suited us just fine and in fact preferred it. Would have been good to have some hot items, though but there was no kitchen.
- Location – it is in South Yarra, an upscale quiet residential area just 10 minutes by tram to the CBD. It is perfect for those who want to get a neighborhood feel instead of being in the CBD and feel like being in any other city. The no. 8 tram which goes straight to the center of the CBD stops right in front, and The Hatton can sell tram tickets so there’s no worry about not having loose change for the tram.
- As I earlier said, it lacks facilities, even as basic as a 24-hour reception. The front door is closed at 11pm so the room key needs to be used to open the front door. But to me, the most critical was not having an elevator. We were at the start of a long Australian tour so had heavy bags which we had to carry up and down narrow flights of stairs.
- The furnishings were too Ikea-like and did not match the rich architecture around. The bed we had even had casters/wheels! What’s funny is that the motel (yes, a MOTEL) we stayed at in Lorne on our Great Ocean Road trip had the same wheeled-bed with plain white headboard. Even the lighting fixtures in our room at The Hatton seemed like they also came from Ikea. And there was not enough lighting, specially in the bathroom. There was no light above the bathtub, and the only light source above the sink/commode was not bright enough to light the whole bathroom.
- Speaking of the bathroom, the bathtub had one of those half-door or glass panel covering only half of the bathtub, which I still don’t understand the logic of. Don’t hoteliers/inn proprietors realize how much more work needs to be done to clean wet floors? Full shower curtains can have as much character and even costs less than a glass half-door.
- The bathroom door is only a sliding door that does not completely close. We visited in winter so the cold draft entered the bathroom through the door and made taking a bath such a freezing ordeal. Thank goodness the bathroom floor was wood so that helped ease the cold a bit. A proper door should be installed, or a heater placed in the bathroom. And there was very little bathroom and personal amenities, limited to the basic soap by the sink and the bathtub, small bath salt, shampoo, conditioner and shower cap. No cotton buds/cotton balls, comb, etc.
- There was no curtain and the window only had wooden shutters that did not block out light.
- Given that The Hatton is in an old renovated house, the sound of people walking and talking along the corridor goes through the door (it was a constant reminder that you are in a house, not a building). Fortunately, we could not hear the occupants of the room next door.
- Finally, the price, considering the lack of facilities and amenities, the price we paid - A$180 (close to US$200!) -- was too high. Then again, we realized that Australia in general is VERY, VERY expensive. The same quality accommodation we had at Napa Valley last year cost just US$150 per night. If not for the great service from the staff and the yummy breakfast, we would have felt that we got ripped-off.
Overall, I will recommend The Hatton to those who don’t mind staying in an expensive inn, but is not advisable for people who are expecting a full-service hotel.