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“Fabulous location & gorgeous, vibrant decor” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Tolarno Hotel

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Tolarno Hotel
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   42 Fitzroy St., St Kilda, Port Phillip, Victoria 3182, Australia   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #4 of 18 Hotels in St Kilda
Sydney
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“Fabulous location & gorgeous, vibrant decor”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 3, 2008

We stayed here for 3 nights in a Balcony Suite room, having booked through needitnow.com.
The position of this gorgeous boutique hotel is fabulous. Having come from Sydney, Fitzroy Street can best be described as Macleay St Kings Cross meets Bondi. There are several fabulous restaurants within a five minute walk, you can't go past Cuore Cafe, 49 Fitzroy St for stunning Northern Italian food or breakfast at the St Kilda Baths.. We also heard Lau's Family Kitchen is worth a visit but they don't seem to take bookings so you'd need to get in early.
The room itself was vibrantly decorated, clean and a reasonable albeit cosy size. The balcony overlooks Fitzroy street, so the rumbling of trams and general street noise is reasonably audible in the room. Nothing that earplugs won't fix at night, and a small price to pay for being in the thick of the action.
The staff seemed friendly, there were DVD's available to rent from reception for $3-5 and the room was made up quickly in the morning.
There is 4 hour on-street parking during the day, and all-night unmetered parking at night a block behind the hotel. Trams stop right out the front and run regularly to the city.
Would definitely recommend this hotel to young couples and anyone wanting to stay in a friendly, vibrant location.

  • Liked — Position and decor
  • Disliked — A little noisy at nights
  • Stayed January 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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127 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (32)
Date | Rating
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English first
Brisbane
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 2, 2008

I stayed at the Hotel Tolarno on two occasions, both within a few weeks of each other. First was with my husband for our Anniversary and secondly with a girlfriend when we attended a trade fair at the Convention Centre (about 20 mins on tram). On both occasions, I had the best hotel experiences I have had in all my travels.

The front balcony room/suite with kitchen (similar to a 2 bedroom unit with a cosy little cabin style bed in the 2nd room with its own ensuite) is absolutely amazing and the standard rooms are just as good. It really is like a home away from home, I just wish my home was as cool as this hotel!

In short, the location is super, surrounding cafes and restaurants are great, the decor of the hotel is amazing and the hot chocolate valhorna in Mirka (restaurant downstairs) is to die for - perfect for a rainy Melbourne afternoon! The staff were all more than helpful (even carried bags up the stairs for my friend who had hurt her back). It is a simple journey on the airport bus to Southern Cross Station, cross the road to get the tram which takes you right to the door of the hotel.

I would recommend this great hotel for anyone who wants to really understand what Melbourne is all about and get the vibe of the city in a non-touristy way, it is the best.

  • Stayed June 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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Sydney
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 24, 2007

Found Tolarno via Trip Advisor and booked direct on the Tolarno website.

Received email confirmation of a non balcony room at $180.

On arrival Tolarno had no record of my booking, but offered to put us a Balcony room at $160. After getting into the room and unpacking, we got a call to say booking had been found and did we want to check out the other room.

Went back down to reception but was told that we couldn't have our original room for the quoted price but would have to pay $200. Couldn't be bothered!

Asked for a late check out on our last day and was told it would be fine, but on the actual day different staff member told us we couldn't have one. Saw about 5 different reception staff members who didn't really seem to communicate well!

Hotel is nice, clean, great decor in rooms, corridors a bit shabby. Restaurant downstairs very glam as is bar. The in room literature says they do breakfast from 7.30 but they don't - Nice patisserie on the corner or great brekkie place down the road (look for place with large wooden circular windows).

In room goodies a tad pricey. DVDs available from reception for about $5. Our room was a balcony looking out onto Fitzroy street, which was pretty noisy on a Friday and Saturday night but nothing a few ear plugs couldn't sort out. Not the kind of balcony you'd wanna sit out on though, so if I booked again I'd just get a normal room.

Finally St Kilda is a good 30mins from melbourne by Tram and 20mins by cab, which can be a pain, but the beach front and lovely SUnday morning markets more than make up for this.

  • Liked — Trendy art, and cleanliness
  • Disliked — Poor service from reception (They were very nice but very forgetful)
  • Stayed December 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
England
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 30, 2007

In the heart of buzzy, artsy, St Kilda, the Melbourne equivalent of London's Camden (but much cleaner and friendlier), is this great boutique hotel. The whole place has the feel of an art gallery - but an unpretentious and bohemian one. Apparently, the hotel was founded by a local artist, and this makes sense. There is art in the lobby, up the stairs, and in each room. Giant paintings in bold colours that match the decor and the vintage furniture. In keeping with the bohemian feel the staff are relaxed and friendly. You can help yourself to breakfast. You can help yourself to the internet. We filled in a laundry form and the receptionist refused to take our order, recommending instead the launderette across the road that would charge us a fraction of the cost. She helped us with our airline booking, too, with no fuss at all, and gave us great advice about places to eat and things to do in Melbourne. Although St Kilda is not really a tourist heartland, it has a beautiful beach, with possums and fairy penguins that come out at night (I'm not making this up - they are real small penguins that live under the pier), great restaurants, cafes, and bars (and lovely bakeries on Acland Street) and various tram routes into other parts of the city. Our very large room came with a balcony right on the main road - noisy but fun to sit out on with a beer or two into the small hours. We also had our own kitchen and could buy food and drink from the supermarket across the road, although we ate out most nights because the standard of eating in Melbourne is far superior to our own cooking. The Tolarno was in the process of being refurbished while we were there, so it should now include its own restaurant and bar. We would definitely come back here again. In fact I would happy to live here!

  • Liked — Relaxed, friendly, stylish
  • Stayed December 2006, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dublin, Ireland
Top Contributor
157 reviews 157 reviews
46 hotel reviews
Reviews in 58 cities Reviews in 58 cities
271 helpful votes 271 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 14, 2007

The Tolarno hotel is located on Fitzroy Street, the main stretch inn St. Kilda which is the nearest beach suburb of Melbourne.
Its well located as trams stop outside the hotel on a regular basis. It takes about fifteen minutes to get into Melbourne Central but you pass many places of interest on the way such as the Memorial to the War dead and Victoria State Gallery which is brilliant.

We booked a twin Balcony room which was great as you could sit out and watch the world go by. The room actually has a double and a single bed so handy for three friends or a small family group.

A couple of people on here found the front rooms to be too noisy because of the passing trams. I think if you keep the balcony door open it is a bit noisy but as the windows are double-glazed, I didnt find noise to be a problem at all when the door was closed.

The reception is set back a little into the ground floor of the building. They give you a key to let yourself in and out as reception closes at eleven in the evening.
They are very helpful with queries and can book outings and taxis etc.

The room is very clean and well appointed with air-con and tv etc. The bathroom is compact but very clean and the water pressure in the shower is very good.The flooring is wooden as are the blinds on the balcony windows and the walls are white so its very simple and natural looking.

Fitzroy street is busy at weekends and there are many places to eat and drink.
We found a place about five mins down the road to the right called Banff. They do gourmet pizzas and so on. Two beers and two pizzas are only 26 Aus Dollars and the pizzas are very tasty.
There is also a good supermarket called IFA and a nice pastry shop/cafe to the right down the street.

Its only ten minutes or so to the seafront where you can walk out on the pier or stroll along the seafront and visit Luna Park and the cake shops down Acland Street.

I really liked the Tolarno as it is very well located, good value-(we paid 165 Aus each night not including breakfast)- and clean.

Stayed January 2007
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
manchester,
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 15, 2006

We stayed here with our four year old and had a great time. Yeah the trams can be a little noisy but they don't run all night (didn't disturb us)and if you are aware of it, it's a nice distant holiday noise to go to sleep to.

The room was clean, cool and modern. The staff were great. The bar had a great atmosphere, good beer and bar snacks - St. Kilda's an ace place; good beach, variety of cafe's and restaurants, lots of friendly people.
We wouldn't of wanted to stay anywhere other than this in Melbourne.

  • Stayed March 2006
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
Top Contributor
129 reviews 129 reviews
27 hotel reviews
Reviews in 36 cities Reviews in 36 cities
73 helpful votes 73 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 22, 2006

Just spent three nights in Melbourne staying at the Tolarno Boutique Hotel, 42 Fitzroy Street, St. Kildas. (left on 16 January 2006)

It is really well located at the quiet end of Acland Street near Prince of Wales Hotel, and Esplanade, and the beach.

Cafe 97 is great for a breakfast (and Friday/saturday night specials!) and the hotel is well run, reasonably priced and with very helpful, professional staff.

Loads to do and eat nearby, and handy for City by trams 96 or 16.

Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Tolarno Hotel

Address: 42 Fitzroy St., St Kilda, Port Phillip, Victoria 3182, Australia
Location: Australia > Victoria > Greater Melbourne > Port Phillip > St Kilda
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Restaurant Room Service
Hotel Style:
#2 Business Hotel in St Kilda
#4 Luxury Hotel in St Kilda
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Tolarno Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 37
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Boutique Hotel Melbourne
Tolarno Hotel St Kilda, Greater Melbourne

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