I was rightfully upset to find I'd signed up to pay over $200 for a standard room on a Saturday night, to find myself placed in room 403 - an 11x12 room that barely fit a double bed and overlooked a parking lot - especially since I'd booked the room over a month in advance, and specified I'd wanted a second floor room, preferably with a balcony. The hotel claimed only the premium rooms were the rooms in the historic portion of the hotel and that I'd have to pay more - but none were available that night. Did the hotel email me anytime in the previous month to ask me if I'd like to upgrade? No. My welcome to Australia for the first time was "Surprise!" - and not in a pleasant way. As for the on-site gym: 4 pieces of equipment - a treadmill that actually was dangerous to use, two bicycles that didn't work (no plug on one), and a stairmaster I didn't try, all in a barely heated room outside the main building. I complained to several staffers, and eventually got both a partial room credit and cancellation without charge for the second night I'd prebooked. When we were having trouble with a driver that didn't arrive, the hotel staff was gracious enough to safely store our bags and let us use the computer in their beautiful reading room at no charge. Though we were very unhappy with our room, I have to say it was clean, the bathroom was nicely appointed, and the room was quiet - though there was tangled hair left in the center of the shower drain that housekeeping had missed. But what upset me most was that I really wanted to like the Hotel Charsfield. It is in a beautiful historic building, and its common rooms (reading room, restaurant, pool/snooker room) are gorgeous. It's a good 45 minute walk into downtown/Federation Square area, and the tram is only a block away. Full cooked breakfast costs $22.50 per person, which was sticker shock for us Americans but apparently common in both Australia and Tasmania. My advice to travellers stayed at this hotel is to find out your room number before booking: the 400 series is the back of the hotel, facing the parking lot, and in a modern add-on. A small room such as what we had would have been fine if priced at $99 on a Saturday night. It may have been luck of the draw, but we found the day staff a bit more accommodating and friendly than the perfunctory night staff. Had we not been placed in what we felt was probably their worst room as our thank you for booking a month in advance, I might have had a very favorable experience. I am not sure I'd give the Hotel Charsfield a second try.
The 400 series of rooms are perfect for someone who is blind!
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
August 14, 2013
Dear David M,
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Thank you for your detailed Trip Advisor contribution. I sincerely apologise that you had a negative experience with us at the hotel, but found our staff to be helpful at the times you required assistance.
I would like to advise you, and future travellers alike, that the hotel is a heritage listed property and was not built as a purpose hotel. This does mean that no two rooms are alike and each room does have its quirks. Room 403 is one of our standard rooms which are all quite a petite room type. We do recommend our Deluxe Room to travellers who do contact the hotel in advance, to suggest this for this reason. I would also like to take this opportunity to advise that the hotel is actually located along St Kilda road which is primarily a business district. This means that the hotel is situated between two large office blocks which has resulted in most of our room types unfortunately not having a fantastic view unless you book one of our heritage style rooms at th front of the hotel which do come with an upgrade fee.
Our room rates here at the hotel are reflected on how busy melbourne is, so our day rate can go up and down depending on availability at the time. Our rooms are also allocated on the day of arrival. I believe on the Saturday night of your stay with us that the hotel was fully booked and unfortunately we were unable to upgrade you to a larger room type. We can absolutely take requests for rooms and we will do our best in every circumstance to allocate an appropriate room based on those requests, however all requests are not guaranteed until the day of your arrival.
I would also like to thank you bringing to our attention the on-site gym equipment. I have since placed our gym out of order until these issues are rectified. I was not aware of these issues, and we do take our duty of care to our hotel guests very seriously.
Breakfast at the hotel is $17.50 for continental and Full English Breakfast (which includes an order for cooked breakfast) is $22.50 per person. These prices are competitive in the Australian hotel market.
I do hope you give us another opportunity in the future to prove that our hotel is a supurb example of Melbourne's boutique hotels. Please contact me personally for a future reservation.
Assistant Property Manager
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.