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“Great but some teething problem apparent and not 4.5 star feeling!” 4 of 5 stars
Review of The Sebel Melbourne Docklands

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The Sebel Melbourne Docklands
5.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Cnr Aquitania Way & Marmion Place, New Quay, Docklands, Melbourne, Victoria 3008, Australia (Docklands)   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #54 of 171 Hotels in Melbourne
Sydney, Australia
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“Great but some teething problem apparent and not 4.5 star feeling!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 19, 2014

Just spent 2 great nights here over the Australian Open middle weekend. Overall a fantastic stay and perfect location for the Tennis as the free shuttle tram stop was right across the road, plus it was reasonably priced for such a weekend.

However, there were a few things across the stay that we found irritating/funny/confusing which I feel stating here, for a new hotel still finding it's feet, would go far as constructive feedback to put to use for future guests!

Firstly - the reception area really is not welcoming. No door-man, push doors (not automatic) which are covered in grubby hand prints and didn't appear to be cleaned the entire time we were there, and a general bland and cold area, makes for a serious bad first impression. Although the decor is modern and the entire place somewhat funky - I missed the traditional hotel style reception with someone to welcome us as we stepped inside and to take our bags.

The way the rooms and apartments are split across different buildings, each with different entrances and little in the way of clear signage for guests to know where they are going, is confusing. I understand the place is built now but feel like whoever is in charge of things has never walked through the place in a guests shoes clearly.

The one bedroom apartment we stayed in was pokey! Beautifully decorated and clean but very small all the same, and looked nothing like the one-bed apartments pictured of course! They would have been better leaving it as a normal hotel room instead of squeezing in a kitchen and living area! There was just enough room to talk around the bed to get in at night and we had to leave the slide-door open because otherwise, we were sleeping in a box!

The pool being located in the main building, meaning we had to get a swipe card to access it from reception each time we wanted to use it, was completely inconvenient and left me annoyed.
Which brings me to the access overall.
The keys to our hotel room were just that - keys, on hugely oversized keyrings! This was just hilarious to me that a brand new hotel with seperate buildings as explained above, and access issues to the pool, would choose old fashioned keys instead of investing in a swipe card system everywhere, where guests could come and go with the simple touch of a card! Did anyone think how annoying it is to carry around that huge keyring all day in my bag which is already at capacity with stuff I needed for spending a day at the tennis?!
And this is not to mention that opening and locking our apartment door was cumbersome and difficult. We had to check several times we had done it right and it hadn't worked - the door would open again unlocked. If we weren't double-checkers, we could have been at the tennis all day while our apartment lay wide open to everyone in that building!

In contrast then, inside the pool changing rooms, the lockers for storing your stuff while you go for a dip are operated by a 'enter a 4 digit pin then #' system. So advanced and fancy that I couldn't get the thing to re-open when I got back out of the pool and had to call for someone on reception to come and open it with the 'master-swipe-card'!
I think there must have been several different designers working in this place when it was being modelled!?

A few other things - there was only one bowl in the kitchen meaning we had to eat our cereal separately each morning!
One side of the 4-slice toaster didn't work.
The foxtel only worked when the door to the TV cupboard was opened.
Just two towels for a two night stay and had to ask at reception for pool towels - come on people! Again, has anyone on staff ever tried this place out in a guests shoes?!

I realise the above all sounds very negative but honestly, overall we had a really nice stay. I just think they should call themselves what they are and not a 4.5 star hotel - upmarket serviced apartments, plain and simple!

Room Tip: Just get a normal hotel room and don't buy into the one-bed apartment thing!
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  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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163 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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25
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (54)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
20 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 18, 2014 via mobile

I booked in here last minute for a couple of nights while staying in Melbourne. I wanted to revisit the Docklands and this was well priced for being five star.
The apartments are small, but very clean and well appointed. The shower was great, and the bed comfortable. I liked the separate living area and small balcony.
I had a first floor studio overlooking the main reception, so no waterfront views but I think they are rare.
The swimming pool is a nice touch but the jacuzzi was only partly working and the water pretty cold.
Only disappointing part was the lady on reception was very rude, to me as well as other guests checking out. Agreed, she was manning the desk on her own with several guests queued but she called one guest rude behind their back, and just grabbed my keys from me without looking up.
I went back later that day to collect my luggage and chatted to Denise on the front desk who had been very helpful and friendly when I'd checked in, luckily my lasting memory of Sebel is not the rudeness of the other receptionist.
Wifi is free in the apartments which is great. Didn't park but my understanding is it's charged.
A 10am checkout on a Sunday is early, could be 11am, makes all the difference!

Stayed January 2014, traveled solo
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Victoria
Senior Contributor
33 reviews 33 reviews
21 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 13, 2014

Upon checking into our room the air conditioner was broken -it was a 36C when we arrived in our 4th floor room, Harbour One tower (No views, apart from the carpark). This room was teeny tiny, but with a separate bathroom, kitchen and laundry. The room was well designed to fit it all into a small space. Rang the front desk to advise them of the air conditioning problem - you have to ring an outside line to ring the front desk- quite odd. Anyway, after waiting half an hour we rang again and we were then moved by a helpful staff member to a nearby room with an air conditioner that worked. This room was slightly larger and more comfortable. The furnishings, the kitchen and bathroom were spotless and well presented. Although the dishwasher did not work. The bedside table lamp area was dusty and the bed was noisy, just sitting on it made it squeak.The double glazing helped keep out the street noise. We really liked the night light that was built into the wall, as the lamps were over-bright. Checkout is early at 10am, but we were able to extend until 11am. Great value if you can this place on sale. I think the marina view would be nice, but there is an extra charge for this. The hotel is made up of 3 towers, I think the Condor or the Sebel tower would be more likely to have marina views.

Room Tip: Choose a high floor marina view room for a special occasion, or if you are on a budget, the non view...
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  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brisbane, Australia
Senior Contributor
33 reviews 33 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 7, 2014

The price for the buck I got here was unbelieveble. All the colors of the place and its surroundings... the lift, the floor, the ROOM! The position of the TV was very good (80% of hotels miss this), ultra-comfy bed (I prefer harder, wife prefers softer, both loved it). City Circle tram for free almost next door. Can't find words to recommend this place.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Australia
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
44 helpful votes 44 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 4, 2014

My wife and I stayed for two nights and three days, apart from the fact that the building is a masterpiece of architectural design, we had one of the best sleeps we have had in any hotel we have stayed in, we have been in hotels around the world.
The rooms were quiet and very comfortable, every thing you could possibly need, big flat TV, DVD and another one in the bed room, a stove and dish washer, clothes washer and microwave if needed, bathroom was spacious and clean as you would expect.
The bed was a king size and was very soft, not like the wooden planks you get at a lot of hotels. you are a stones throw from everything, shops and sights, also a free tram stops just out side the door, that takes you to the city, literally just minutes away. in the room you can cook your own food or go to one of the many restaurants just out side the hotel along the board walk, lets get this straight, your not in the city, you would be forgiven if you thought you were somewhere else, like Queensland, if your fit and or young, you could walk to the city but if your like us, trams and taxi's are the way to go, especially the free tram, we are not cheep, its just because its more convenient, your also a few minutes walk from the wheel, Melbourne version of London's eye feris wheel, its around $35 per person, but that's another story. over all the hotel/apartments are a very good choice, we will definitely be going there again, I am not going to hope you have a good time if you go, because I know you will.
PS: there is a great pool and spa as well

Room Tip: All the rooms are good, but if you want a harbor view, you should ask,
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  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne, Australia
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 3, 2014

We recently spent one night at the Sebel Docklands apartments. Due to its newness, everything looked fresh and clean. The apartments have a modern and stylish look to them. They have used colour in their furnishings and in their prints on the walls to contrast with the white decor. The kitchen and apartment itself was nicely set up with quality brand appliances. The full size fridge would be a bonus for a larger family or people staying longer. Toiletries, tea and coffee were supplied. We loved the full height foyer with the glass decorations which gave a quality feel to the Sebel as you walked to the lifts. We used the Number 70 tram to travel to Flinders St. One thing that is really needed is a photocopy of the operating instructions for the dishwasher as well as the free Foxtel. We were unable to figure out how to display Foxtel on the TV. It shouldn't be necessary to have to ring the desk for simple explanations for something like this.

Room Tip: Ask for a high floor and to have a room with a marina view.
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Canberra, Australia
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 3, 2014

Based on the standard of the accommodation and the servicing of the room, I probably should give this a higher rating. But there are simply too many teething problems which individually are minor but collectively are annoying detract from the stay. It started with the entry cards not working, confusion over parking (poor directions, faulty entry card and it seems we should have been given a remote control to the car park (which meant at one stage we were trapped in the car park). There is a need for clearer signage to the car park on each accommodation floor. I nearly went the wrong way and could have ended up trapped in the fire escape. There are no directories in the room to explain how to use the equipment such as air-conditioning etc (All of the equipment is of a high standard). I'd recommend the hotel on the basis of the quality accommodation and cleanliness, but they really need to get their act together.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Sebel Melbourne Docklands

Address: Cnr Aquitania Way & Marmion Place, New Quay, Docklands, Melbourne, Victoria 3008, Australia
Location: Australia > Victoria > Melbourne > Docklands
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Kitchenette Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #54 of 171 Hotels in Melbourne
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:5 star — The Sebel Melbourne Docklands 5*
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