We've been to Melbourne many times but only ever as a couple. This time, we had with us our 7 year old child and needed to find something that could accommodate them without encroaching on our personal space or on the budget. The Alto ended up being the perfect place. I'd like to point out those things that really made the difference from a family perspective (there's a few!).
We took the 1 bedroom apartment option. When so many hotels want to charge $50-$100 per night for a child to use a rollaway bed or to sleep in existing bedding, with the Alto, it's $15 per night and they received an entire sofa bed to themselves! The apartment gave us the flexibility of being able to put them to sleep in the bedroom at their normal bed time (which is important when travelling) and allow us to stay up in the lounge/kitchen area without disturbing each other. Also, windows are double glazed so we barely heard a peep from anything outside which was just fantastic!
Having a kitchen in the apartment was excellent - fully working and well stocked with pots, utensils etc. First day, we went to Coles around the corner, bought some essentials and stocked the fridge. Kept the little belly happy for days!
Foxtel - 2 actually (one in the lounge and one in the bedroom). A saving grace when you have a child who is an early riser and you're dying for a sleep in! You can record family movies and shows and all adult content is pin locked. A definite sinful luxury especially if you don't have it at home (we don't!).
Bathroom - Being a typical mum, I packed everything but the kitchen sink expecting those little bottles of shampoo and soap. I could have saved myself the hassle. Excellent quality, environmentally friendly products abound in pump containers which are super handy especially for kids. There was no bath in the 1 bedroom apartment (there are some with baths but you pay extra) but the shower has a detachable, hand held head to facilitate washing. Oh, and did I mention spotless? The entire place is spotless! I've never been in a hotel like it to be honest. The cleaning staff need to be congratulated!
Restaurant - we managed to have a dinner to ourselves one late night (they currently have a special on - 2 courses for $42 including house wine/beer/soft drink). We indulged in T-bone steak, ice cream and meringue. Wow. Well worth it! The free hot chocolates became a fav with our little one who would sit in the reading nook (yes, they have one!) and watch cartoons while sipping away.
Staff - The Staff at the Alto were always engaging and helpful - no matter the time or when we bumped into them (or how hyper our kid was!). For me, this really meant a lot and put our family at ease especially when children are suffering from tiredness and lag.
Location - The Alto is in an excellent location. Having to deal with tired children is a pain but being so close to the Skybus was a blessing! The 85 and 96 tram stop is right out the front which easily takes you to Bourke Street Mall and to connecting trams and the 85 heads straight to Docklands while the 96 goes straight to St Kilda and the Exhibition Centre (which was our reason for coming).
As a last point, the Alto has some fantastic food options around it if you're either looking for something cheap or different (let's face it, not everyone can eat in a restaurant every night!). Every fast food you can think of plus plenty of cafes. If, like us, you have a habit of missing the 9:30am breakfast finish, head next door to Langleys who serve some awesome breakfasts until 12pm.
The Alto really surprised us and surpassed all our expectations. So much so that we've already rebooked for our trip back later this year.
- 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