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“Excellent short stay” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Alto Hotel on Bourke

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Alto Hotel on Bourke
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   636 Bourke Street, Melbourne, Victoria 3000, Australia (Melbourne CBD)   |  
Hotel website
Hotel amenities
Special Offer
5% off + Free WiFI
Ranked #8 of 171 Hotels in Melbourne
Sydney, Australia
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
“Excellent short stay”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 11, 2013 via mobile

Alto on Bourke is a small, comfortable and friendly hotel in a great position. Close to Southern Cross Station, with a tram stop at the door and a 15 minute walk to the centre of town. Our room was small but very comfortable with excellent fittings and inclusions. The breakfast (included in our room rate) is excellent and service is attentive and professional. A walking tour, that we included in our booking, is highly recommended. The desk staff could not have been more helpful when we had an issue with our airline booking. Will definitely be back.

Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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948 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (191)
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English first
Sydney, Australia
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 10, 2013

I have stayed at the Alto Hotel several times over the past 6 years for both business and pleasure trips. The staff are always unfailingly polite, considerate and welcoming. Nothing is too much trouble.

All [queen] rooms I have stayed in are moderately sized, but the tariff is quite 'compact', so I believe the Alto represents great value. [But their rooms are NOT small like those in some London hotels where you feel like you are in a walk-in-cupboard!]

The décor is contemporary, fresh and stylish.

All rooms I have stayed in have OPENING WINDOWS [which is unusual in modern hotels]. I often really appreciate that I can open a window [I prefer fresh air over air con,] but on holiday trips the double glazed windows ensure a long sleep in - noise control is excellent not only due to the double glazing, but also effective wall and floor insulation.

The menus in their intimate restaurant change frequently to reflect changes in seasonal produce; the meals are always delicious and of high quality - and very reasonably priced!

It’s lovely to go back to the Alto after a long day of meetings and just 'go downstairs' to dine or have a leisurely drink. Breakfast is prepared at a pace to suit you – fairly quickly for business people [eat in or ask for take away and eat on the run,] and at a slower pace for holidaymakers.

I have conducted meetings and interviews in the library nook. [Free coffee and tea available all day]. In winter there is a wood fire in this area too.

If you are concerned about the environment the Alto operates on wind power/saves rainwater for its garden/ is carbon neutral/and recycles almost everything – even guests rooms have a dual bin for recyclables! They have a 4 GREEN Star rating.

On a trip with the family? Fully self-contained 1, 2 and 3 bedroom apartments [with full kitchen] are also available.

Did I mention free wi-fi? [Included in the tariff.]

The Alto is a short walk from the heart of the CBD and public transport is close by; the tram stop is just across the road and Southern Cross Railway Station [with big brand discount outlet stores over it!!], is only a short walk away.

I just love staying at the ALTO HOTEL! It’s my ‘home away from home’.

Room Tip: All [queen] rooms I have stayed in are compact, but the price is 'compact' also, so I believ...
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 9, 2013 via mobile

Stayed here jan 3-5, based in combo of price and TA ratings. The location is so convenient to use the sky bus to the southern cross station, it's literally a half a block from there, a 3 minute walk. The trams also stop out front, although we walked mostly everywhere. This location is good for the CBD, but, we walked all the way to the Fitroy area, no problem. The room is small, really small, but spotless and well arranged so that you can function. Free wifi and the gym access were great, the gym is just down the block and is really first rate. There is some tram noise, but being ex-new yorkers, nothing bad. I think if you are a light sleeper it could be a problem. No view our room, 107, had a window facing the back alley. There is a lift if you need one, although we took the stairs. The staff, especially Andrew were really helpful and friendly. Melbourne has such great food, and you are very close to some cool laneways if you stay here, just a quick walk to hardware lane, flinders lane and others. Overall small, but clean, convenient to mass transit and a great value for money.

Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AltoMelbourne, General Manager at Alto Hotel on Bourke, responded to this review, January 9, 2013
Thank you Jfmas, we are glad you enjoyed your stay and found our staff to be helpful & friendly. Andrew is quite a star and much liked by many of our guests. Our housekeeping team like to read comments about spotless rooms as they are often not seen by guests so having the results of their work mentioned helps to let them know they are appreciated.
True, Melbourne is a walkable city yet the trams make a convenient option if you want to rest your feet.
Room 107 is one of our Petite Queen rooms, as the name implies they are compact but do have an ensuite with walk-in shower, free WiFi, desk, refrigerator, tea & coffee facilities, LCD TV and our new Alto Indulgence beds with deep pillow top mattress.
Our Studio's have all of the above plus a kitchenette and are a little larger. Alternately our 1 bedroom apartments have a separate lounge / dining room from the bedroom and a galley style kitchen complete with large refrigerator, cook top and oven. While these rooms a small additional fee compared to the Petite rooms they are still good value.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bozeman, MT
19 reviews 19 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 9, 2013

We booked this hotel based mostly on information gathered from Tripadvisor. (Our concerns included price, location, laundry facilities, internet access, parking availability and breakfast availability.) Overall, we were satisfied, but there were both positives and negatives about our stay.

Melbourne was our stop after a week-long road trip along the Great Ocean Road. So, we needed a hotel with a place to park the car. After all of the driving, we were interested in a place to just leave the car parked and walk or take public transit to sight-see; the Central Business District (CBD) was a clear choice for that convenience. We also preferred to have internet access (in our room, not just in public spaces), breakfast available (with a plus for being included in the price), and a guest laundry (or even a laundromat nearby, instead of a hotel-run laundry service).

We decided upon Alto on Bourke and booked a rate directly through their website that included parking in the rate and a cooked breakfast (which we looked forward to, since we found this to be a rarity at the hotels we stayed at on our roadtrip; if breakfast was available, it could cost up to $15 AUD [!] for a continental breakfast of dubious quality). Upon check-in (on Christmas Eve), we were informed that the next two days were public holidays so that no cooked breakfast would be provided (only continental). I checked my notes (I always make a print-out of the confirmations from hotels, airlines, etc. when I'm traveling) and saw that their booking confirmation specifically mentioned a cooked breakfast, to which they claimed that we should have been informed upon booking about the holidays. Obviously, they had not put up this notice before I booked, and they gave a lackluster response about "we can see about some sort of refund". I wasn't impressed by this response, and was a little put off by their claim about how I should have been informed during booking, since I clearly hadn't been. So, we emptied the car and loaded into the room (no luggage carts in the hotel, but an elevator just through the main entrance helped). I was a little miffed by the check-in experience, but I am happy to report that everything from that point on was good to great.

Price: we paid $138 AUD for two of our three nights and $158 for the last (Boxing Day). The price seemed reasonable given that parking, wifi and a cooked breakfast were included. We stayed in a queen room (not an apartment), which was small but as much a space as we needed. We did quite a bit of packing and repacking of our bags, folding laundry, etc. but we were able to pull it off in the space allotted. I appreciated the mini-kitchenette (microwave, fridge, decent size-sink, plenty of plates and utensils), and we made use of it on Christmas Day when few places seemed open to serve food. It was one of the few hotels on our trip that didn't overload the fridge with expensive minibar items that they wanted to overcharge you for; there was a decent amount of space to fit the few perishables that we bought and drinks we wished to chill. There was only a carafe of chilled water and milk for tea in there, I think, when we checked in. The window looked out on to an alley; we seemed to be in an angled part of the building, but that didn't bother us. There was room for a desk with a comfy office chair (the tv sits on the left side of the desk), and we were able to set up our laptop next to the tv and still have room to work on it.

Location: on the western edge of the CBD, very close to the bus station, which we walked near on several occasions (to window shop, to get groceries at Coles, to get a Slurpee at 7-11). I found that the usual variety of humanity associated with bus travel made an appearance; some people find this to be off-putting or scary, but I was neither off-put nor scared. It's worth a mention, though, for anyone considering staying here. There is a tram stop just outside the hotel door; we never used the tram, but we were pleased to see how easy it would have been. We attended midnight mass at the Catholic church across the street, and a sign posted on the door warned, "bags have been stolen from the church; keep an eye on your bags" (or something to that effect). When a church is warning you about theft, I think it's worth noting!

Laundry: we used the guest laundry to wash several loads. You pay $3 AUD to wash and $2 AUD to dry; each cycle takes 20-30 minutes (as best I can recall; I may have the prices for washes and dries switched). Our laundry needed at least 2 drying cycles to finish. Even so, this was about the mid-range for what we paid to do laundry on our trip. They provide soap powder in the laundry room for guests to use, so I didn't have to use my own supply.

Internet: upon check-in, they asked how many devices we planned to connect to the internet (each requires its own password). We had three devices; I don't know if they have a limit to the number of passwords they will provide. We needed to log in again after a period of being idle, but the internet signal was strong enough for our needs and worked well for us. On a computer-related note, the staff printed our boarding passes for us when we checked-in for our return flight; we brought a memory stick down to the front desk, but you can also email them the file.

Parking: upon check-in, we were given a remote to open the door to the parking lot. The lot is just around the corner, and I believe it is controlled by another local hotel (Vibe?). Due to the locked door, I felt a bit more secure about leaving the car there (vs. on the street); however, we encountered lots of broken glass in the lot (from bottles, not from a car accident or anything), which makes me wonder how rowdy the people who parked there were getting. When we needed to leave, I handled check-out while my husband pulled the car around; we left the car in the loading zone temporarily (as we did upon check-in) to return the remote and were on our way.

Breakfast: as I mentioned earlier, we were disappointed that the public holiday prevented us from receiving our cooked breakfast (since we booked a rate that included it). I didn't even know this was something I should have checked on; I'm sure the staff is more aware of their public holidays than a foreign visitor, like myself, would be. The continental breakfast was nice enough, though; the watermelon was the best pick of the fruit, with strawberries coming in second. The rest of the fresh fruit was lackluster. I ordered french toast and bacon on the day that cooked breakfast was available and it would have been nice to have it on the other days, too. It's a city and I bet there are plenty of options to try if your rate does not include breakfast, but we appreciated the convenience of breakfast at the hotel (a la carte: continental breakfast was $14 AUD and the least expensive cooked dishes were $18 AUD, I think).

Relaxation Room: I came across this room (through a door at the back of the breakfast room) on Christmas. Since we didn't have a lot going on anyway, and since the hotel was pretty quiet, we decided to give the massage chairs a try. They were such a nice treat! We used them again the next day after a day on our feet walking around the CBD; I recommend it!

Staff: aside from the disappointment at check-in, the staff were very friendly and helpful. Charly was a standout. They recommended a variety of restaurants, and considering how highly they spoke of the food at Melbourne Pizza Bar (MPB), I was surprised at how crappy our meal was there. Another restaurant they recommended was fine, though.

Personal touches: I appreciated that there was an umbrella hanging up in our closet for our use (instead of being available to borrow from the desk). I travel with an umbrella, but I know that not everyone does. They have a coffee machine available in the breakfast room for guests to use all day; you can make lattes, hot chocolates, just get hot water for tea, etc. It's coffee from a machine, though, so it's not the greatest. The clock radio has an iPod dock, but we didn't try it out. Note--the toiletries, in keeping with the green initiatives, are not individually bottled (they're in dispensers on the wall), so no stocking up your travel shampoo supply here ;) We never seem to plan enough time to just sit and do nothing while on vacation; if we had, I would have enjoyed the library area toward the back of the breakfast room; it seemed quite cozy.

Be warned that upon booking, I was charged for one complete night's lodging. The policy stated that if I needed to cancel (according to their rules), I would be refunded that money. Of course, upon check out, I was only charged for the remaining two nights of the three night reservation. Just be aware that you not only provide a credit card to hold a reservation, but that it gets charged when you book.

Overall, we appreciated the friendly staff and the amenities offered at this hotel. Once I noticed the difference in price between continental and cooked breakfast, I decided not to attempt a refund (for what? $8/day?), since the rest of the experience between check-in and check-out was pleasant. I'd love to return to Melbourne, and I would certainly consider staying here again.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
bath, uk
Senior Contributor
32 reviews 32 reviews
22 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 5, 2013

we stayed here for 2 nights on our arrival in melbourne from the Uk. The location is really convenient for the skybus from the airport and close to the tram around town as well as being a reasonable walk for melbourne's attractions. Our room was clean and quiet - needed to get over the jet lag. We did not book breakfast but there was an amazing cafe a few doors down and there are other eating places close by if you don't want to eat in the hotel. We used the restaurant on our second night and the food was excellent although the actual room is a little disappointing

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
wooburn bucks uk
Top Contributor
50 reviews 50 reviews
23 hotel reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 4, 2013

Stayed here for 2 nights ,ideal location for station otherwise need to catch the tram. Last minute booking so was only able to book the Queen room...the description does state small which it is !
No view from window (Facing a brick wall )which had to be kept closed because of traffic noise.bed was comfortable and the room was clean,a lot of room was taken up with kitchen sink and drawers,kettle but no toaster,as breakfast was not included in the price this would have been useful.Staff were helpful overall it was fine.

Room Tip: Choose a larger room with breakfast
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
11 reviews 11 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 3, 2013

The Alto Hotel was our base for our five night stay in Melbourne and it did exactly what it says on the tin, just about. Our room was small but clean and well equipped but we spent very little time there so it served its purpose. It's not the most welcoming hotel, the staff are not overly friendly and little or no effort is made to make you feel like your custom means anything to them. However, it was the city of Melbourne we were there to see and not the hotel we stayed in and that did not disappoint.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
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Additional Information about Alto Hotel on Bourke

Address: 636 Bourke Street, Melbourne, Victoria 3000, Australia
Phone Number:
Location: Australia > Victoria > Melbourne > Melbourne CBD
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#5 Romantic Hotel in Melbourne
#6 Business Hotel in Melbourne
#8 Luxury Hotel in Melbourne
#10 Family Hotel in Melbourne
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Alto Hotel on Bourke 4*
Number of rooms: 50
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Melbourne's multi-award winning 4 star eco-friendly boutique apartment hotel that is Carbon Neutral, Green Star and Green Globe accredited.Located in the centre of Melbourne city within a 2 minute walk of the airport shuttle bus, shopping, tram stops & train station. Easy walk to major attractions. Features include rooms, studios & apartments, restaurant & bar, library & book exchange with complimentary espresso coffee, car parking, gym access, massage room & free wifi internet. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Alto Hotel Melbourne
Alto Bourke

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