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“Overlook this hotel at your loss” 4 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   |  
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Ranked #9 of 158 Hotels in Melbourne
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
Singapore, Singapore
Level Contributor
75 reviews
39 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 100 helpful votes
“Overlook this hotel at your loss”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 12, 2013

I and my wife stayed at Alto Hotel on Bourke for 3 nights after reading thru the good reviews at Tripadvisor. Indeed, the good reviews written by past reviewers were well warranted. Check-in and check-out was smooth without hiccups, and the reception was friendly. Although the rooms were not that big, but good enough for us with 2 big luggage and other stuff. Rooms were also very clean and relatively new.

As for the location, it’s just opposite the Southern Cross Station (this would be the place to board and alight if you’re going to/fro the Melbourne Tullamarine Airport), so fantastic location!! From this hotel, it’s only about 15 min leisure walk eastwards to the main shopping belt area in Swanston Street, and about the same walking time southwards to Crown Casino.

Being a boutique hotel, their dining area restaurant can only accommodate about 20 guests or so. Thus, you may be asked to wait in your rooms if the restaurant is filled, but they will call you once there are available tables/seats. Having said that, their cooked breakfast (which is part of our package option) tastes really good so much so that both I and my wife do look forward to it every morning to start off our day.

If you’re looking for a bargain stay with competitive rates, and one with good service and safe location vicinity, then do give Alto on Bourke a shot… You’ll not regret it.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    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 (220)
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English first
West Midlands, UK
Level Contributor
18 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 10, 2013

Alto Hotel Melbourne
Stayed here for 2 nights in February 2013.The hotel is very well located opposite Southern Cross station. We got the sky bus from the airport (17 AUD one way, 28 AUD return (Ithink)) which arrives at Southern Cross and we could walk to the hotel in less than 5 minutes. The hotel staff were very welcoming and efficient. We were upgraded to a 2 bedroom apartment. This was light and airy with a very well equipped kitchen which included a microwave and washing machine, a fridge freezer, hob, oven and dishwasher. There was adequate cutlery and crockery for 4 people. There was a downstairs shower and a further upstairs shower. Adjoining the kitchen area was a lounge area with a sofa and TV and a table and chairs. Upstairs there was a double room and a separate twin room. Both the lounge and double room had small balcony areas but the view was very industrial. The hotel has a small bar with a section for books which guests use on a swap basis. There was also use of massage chairs and a gym was available but off the premises. We did not use either of these facilities. We were very impressed by the hotel and would definitely stay there again if we return to Melbourne.
It is different to the"Business hotels" I have stayed at in Melbourne,but this hotel would be hard to beat for a couple/family wanting a few days in Melbourne.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Australia
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 8, 2013

We stopped at the Alto for five nights this week. The location is fantastic with Southern Cross Station just down the street giving access to trains and the airport connections. A tram stop outside the hotel gives the access needed to see the city. The hotel itself is wonderful with great clean and comfortable rooms. Very quiet due to double glazing and extra sealed doors while the shower was always hot with a great rain head. An ipod dock on the radio was a nice touch but it is the old type dock so for iphone 5 you need an adaptor and it wont dock an ipad. Wifi is fast and free as it should be in all hotels there is no justification for charging $10 to $15 a day for access. You can use a gym free just up the road and a free massage chair in the relaxation room was just what the dr ordered after long days walking. Breakfast was plentiful and fresh. It's good to get hot breakfast cooked to order rather than in a buffet. Hot crisp bacon and eggs made with real eggs not powder like the chain hotels. It was included in the room rate giving a great start to the day. I really have nothing to complain about with this hotel. One of the best I have stayed in to date and I highly recommend it.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Letchworth, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
12 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 7, 2013

This was a really outstanding hotel. The staff in reception set the standard. Great welcome Polite, helpful,friendly and knowledgeable on all things in Melbourne. The room was clean, comfortable and quite. Breakfast was freshly cooked and quickly served. Complimentary tea, coffee and newspapers available in the lobby. Location is excellent, near the station and near enough to the city centre to walk. No worries about security.

  • Stayed January 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 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
85 reviews
71 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 158 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 4, 2013

Recently stayed here to attend a concert at Rod Laver arena which is at the other end (kind of) of the CBD area.

I have rated it overall as 'very good' as it:
- our 'petite queen room' was clean, neat, nicely appointed in terms of bed coverings, pictures on walls, etc;
- staff were friendly, efficient and knew which tram to catch to which destination (e.g. from Alto to Rod Laver arena and from Alto to Queen Vic market area, Docklands, etc);
- had a very small private carpark at hotel and a deal with a larger, secure parking place a 2 min walk away (we were lucky and scored a park in the hotel carpark);
- security for coming in late at night (need your room card to swipe to get past the double glass doors into the foyer;
- toiletries, towels, etc provided were plentiful;
- mini fridge (no mini bar inside it) with milk and carafe of water; tea/coffee/sugar/salt/pepper and biscuits provided alongside a kettle, sink, sideboard and toaster. The next class of room has a microwave as well but the petite queens do not;
- good lighting and a full length mirror in main area as well as writing desk, chair, flat screen TV, radio, ipod docking station on radio, side tables by bed, very comfy bed, ironing board and iron, etc;
- window we could actually open for breeze and when closed the sound was almost obliterated (must be double glazed);
- air con worked great and was pretty quiet.
- location is great; basically across road from main entrance of Southern Cross (Spencer St) train station and the Direct Factory Outlet complex (DFO). Trams run along front of hotel on Bourke and along Spencer etc.
- there is internet and a large TV in their small lounging area near the foyer with tea/coffee and fruit available gratis. The toilets in this lounging area were immaculate. If you are a smoker there appears to be a small room behind the toilets with a lounge and chairs and plants - it is between the toilets and the carpark as we walked through it to get to our car on check out.

The reasons I did not vote this property as 5/5 or 'excellent' are based around the cost of the room versus other similar rooms in a similar area of the CBD, such as:
- whilst they are honest in advertising the 'petite queen room' as a small room it is not a small price even for Melbourne! The room is not the smallest I've ever stayed in.. but it was the smallest at anywhere near the cost I had to pay... by far! We could have stayed in much larger, just as nicely appointed rooms for similar or smaller cost in the CBD (and have). The Vibe Savoy is just around the corner and their lead in room is MASSIVE and much more luxurious for less cost. The Best Western is just a bit further up Spencer St and the room is larger, etc, too.
- paid $178 for 'room only' - no breakfast, no bottled water, etc.
- parking cost was additional $16 extra (in fairness though this is not an unreasonable price for Melbourne for 24 hour parking but it did take our tiny room up to a total of $194 which is extreme).
- bathroom is TINY (but is clean and functional). Shower is a nice rain head one but it comes straight out onto bathroom floor if door is opened at all so bit of wangling to get the water going without drenching everything first. Cannot open shower door and door to bathroom at same time. Cannot fit two people in at same time unless one of you is sitting on the loo or in the shower!

This is not the hotel's fault but just a side note; the Alto is not far from the rather crappy part of King St (late at night this area can be an issue regarding drunks and nightclubs, etc). The area is fine in the day and early evening but if catching trams along Flinders it is better to get off at the Spencer St corner and walk up past the station to the Alto then get off at King and walk up King. Distances from both stops is about the same but one feels a whole lot safer IMO.

We walked from the Alto to Docklands and Harbour town; had late lunch then walked from Docklands to the Crowne Casino. From Crowne we walked up past the Aquarium back to the Alto Hotel. In the evening we walked to the corner of Spencer and Flinders (about 4 or 5 mins at the most - easy walk) and caught Tram #70 directly to Rod Laver Arena stop. Too easy. Tram #70 back after watching Keith Urban's concert (amazing concert) to same Flinders/Spencer corner and walked back the 4 or so mins to the hotel.

The next morning the Alto let us leave the car in their carpark after we checked out (kudos to them for this) and we walked to Queen Vic Market (about 20 min walk at most) then caught a tram back from the market to Bourke St. Short block or two and we were back picking up the car and on our way home.

The Mail Exchange Hotel is a stones throw from the Alto and I had a meal at their lovely Bistro a couple of months ago when on a business trip. Nice spot for a drink after a hard day or evening.

If this property lowered the price of these 'petite' rooms to a more reasonable level in line with what else is available (I think they are priced highly due to it being marketed as a 'boutique' hotel) I would give raise my rating to 'excellent'.

Room Tip: 'Petite Queen' rooms are petite! Appointed and laid out well but are expensive & overpri...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Calgary, Canada
Level Contributor
107 reviews
41 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 3, 2013

We were not very impressed upon check in as the hotel foyer is very small. Our room smelled of bleach and we later learned that it was to disguise the offensive odor in the bathroom that did not go away. Our room had a very small window looking out at a concrete wall and so it was very dark. There was a lot of sound transfer through the walls, which was not peasant. Our bathroom had the smallest sink I have ever seen. Discovered their one bedroom suites had lovely light so would recommend booking one of those if you plan to stay here.

We had booked the hotel online months in advance and discovered to our dismay that we could have saved significantly had we looked a last minute deal which would not have included breakfast.

The staff were very helpful and was the main reason I am rating this 4 stars. The location is within walking distance to many of the CBD sights and there is a tram right outside your door.

Room Tip: Book a one bedroom suite: rooms 101, 201,301 or 401. They are very modern and have lovely bathrooms...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tasmania
Level Contributor
79 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 64 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 2, 2013

We had stayed at this hotel a few years ago and we were looking forward to visiting again. However first impressions were not great at check in, as our apartment was not ready for us until approx 5.30pm, the bored attitude of the the receptionist was simply couldn't care that we had been up since 5am travelling and had a meal booked for 6pm (which we would have liked to shower and change for) Fortunately the deputy manager was around who smoothed things over, gave us refreshments and offered a complimentary breakfast for our stay.
Other than that we thoroughly enjoyed our stay here, the 2 bedroom loft apartment is small but very well designed and equipped for a family stay including laundry facilities and 2 bathrooms. The apartment was very clean, breakfast was great with a good range of cooked items made fresh to order.
The hotel is very well located, near the bus and train stations, a tram stop almost straight outside and within walking distance of the river and CBD. The remainder of the reception staff were very friendly and helpful, you can borrow a bike helmet to use on the new free city bikes form here, word of advice, don't try it at 5.30pm unless you are used to cycling in a busy city!
Despite a disappointing start, we really enjoyed our stay here and would happily recommend it and return again.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 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
Amenities:
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:
#1 Green Hotel in Melbourne
#6 Business Hotel in Melbourne
#9 Luxury Hotel in Melbourne
#10 Family Hotel in Melbourne
#11 Romantic 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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