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“Great idea but...” 2 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 #2 of 18 Hotels in St Kilda
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Great idea but...”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 8, 2014

Hipsters would love this hotel! Great concept and quirky little boutique hotel with great reception service but after a twelve hour flight I didn't need the painting next to our door depicting suicide. The rooms are made on the cheap with that white MDF chipboard, cupboards are ageing badly & the hotel "money saving" bathroom soap and moisturiser dispensers were empty. We moved hotels for our second night in Melbourne

Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
tolarno, Guest Relations Manager at Tolarno Hotel, responded to this review, January 13, 2014
Hi Offroad_femme,

Thank you for your recent review. It's disappointing to hear you did not enjoy your experience at Tolarno's, as much as we would hope.

Our reception staff are very friendly and offer great service so I'm glad you experienced that.

The hotel has a vast array of artwork, some of which can be confronting. It was unfortunate the painting "Lone Stranger" was positioned near your room and you had to see it whenever you were coming and going from your room. I hope you enjoyed some of our other artwork in the hotel.

Tolarno's was built in the 1880's as a private home and has had many guises since. The current owners are constantly refurbishing and we are gradually replacing the cupboards and shelving.

We decided to change our guest amenities to more environmentally friendly products. The products are European and of high quality. There is no excuse that they were empty and I do apologise. I'm sorry our staff were not aware of this problem while you were here, in order to replace them for you.

We really appreciate your feedback as it helps us improve our service and facilities and thank you for taking the time to do this.

Kind regards,
Jane Lewis
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151 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 (37)
Date | Rating
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  • French first
  • Indonesian first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
Stamford, Connecticut
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 6, 2014

I stayed here for one night when I arrived in Melbourne and it was an excellent experience. The room and bathroom were nicely decorated and impeccably clean. The art in the hotel was very interesting to look at it and gave the hotel a very unique vibe. The location can't be beat; it was easy to walk all around St. Kilda and close to a tram stop as well. The staff let us store our bags there the next morning so we didn't have to carry them around which was so helpful. All in all, this hotel was a breath of fresh air!

  • Stayed November 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
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tolarno, Guest Relations Manager at Tolarno Hotel, responded to this review, January 13, 2014
Hi Kimberly O,

Thanks very much for your review. It was great to hear you enjoyed your experience at Tolarno's, if only for one night.

Glad you appreciated the uniqueness of the building and the atmosphere - the hotel is one of a kind.

We are always happy to store luggage for guests before they check-in, or upon check-out. It sounds like you made the most of the morning and had a bit more freedom to do so. We hope you can stay longer if you make it this way again!

Warm regards,
Jane Lewis
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Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 4, 2014

This hotel has charm and is in a good location if you need to visit st Kilda and wander around chapel st.
The room is clean although a little bit small, it's not very bright and the blue walls do not help. Great tv and bed. Love the artistic touches, feel like you are in a gallery.

Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
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tolarno, Guest Relations Manager at Tolarno Hotel, responded to this review, January 13, 2014
Dear Alberto S,

Thank you very much for your recent review. We're glad you enjoyed staying in St Kilda - it's a great location for travellers.

Our rooms vary greatly in size and decor. A couple of our rooms have royal blue walls, and although quite striking, they may not be to everyone's taste. Great you found the bed comfortable and enjoyed the large flat screen TV.

If you are ever in St Kilda in the future we would love to welcome you again, and we would select a room with a different colour scheme.

Thanks again for taking the time to submit your feedback.

Best wishes,
Jane Lewis.
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Austin, Texas
Top Contributor
86 reviews 86 reviews
35 hotel reviews
Reviews in 66 cities Reviews in 66 cities
59 helpful votes 59 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 17, 2013 via mobile

This is an interesting hotel in a former art gallery. Our room was clean and relatively quiet for this location. St. Kilda seems to be a happening place - lots of restaurants and bars, people out and about pretty late at night. The wi-fi was free and worked pretty well. There was a fridge in the room. There was original artwork in the room and scattered throughout the hotel. They gave us a great restaurant recommendation and provided a $15 coupon!

If you arrive in a taxi and don't have much luggage, this is a good place to stay. If you have a car and a lot of luggage though, you might want to choose a different place. There is a parking garage just a block away and the hotel offers a very reasonable rate of $7/day to park there. But there is no place at all in the front of the hotel to park & unload/load your luggage. We were on a 3-week trip through Australia's varied climates and had 2 large bags plus small carry-ons so our arrival was a little stressful. There's also no lift although the desk clerk did offer to help with our bags. Our room was tiny so we were pretty cramped with our luggage.

Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
tolarno, Guest Relations Manager at Tolarno Hotel, responded to this review, November 7, 2013
Hi Andis,
Thank you for your recent review. Glad to hear you found Tolarno’s an interesting hotel and enjoyed the artwork, and our restaurant recommendation. Our staff know the St Kilda area well and can offer great suggestions if guests are looking for cafes, restaurants, bars and the like.

Parking is at a premium in St Kilda and it is unfortunate that we do not have parking at the hotel. As you say, the undercover car park we use is good value at $7 for 24 hours and not far from the hotel. The difficulty, as you mention, is that it is not always possible to stop out the front of the hotel to load and unload if the parking bays are occupied. There is a back exit and we often suggest guests’ park there but sometimes that’s not possible or convenient. It is one of those things that we can’t control but try to assist as much as possible. I hope it did not impact on the enjoyment of your stay here too much. We will always offer to help carry luggage as we do not have a lift and store guests’ luggage for them at reception if they wish.

We appreciate your feedback and hope you can stay with us again, maybe without a vehicle, as the public transport is very good in this area. As you say though, for long trips in Australia with the right clothing for all seasons, that usually means heavy luggage! Best wishes, Jane Lewis.
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Coogee, Australia
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 10, 2013

Our favourite hotel in Melbourne!!!! Great location and friendly staff. I have been staying in this hotel for quite a while and nothing has changed except for the better. Still as good as it was years ago. And Jane Lewis, is the friendliest manager.

From Mercedes and Sandy, dive in Coogee beach

Room Tip: I've been to a few rooms. I find that all rooms are good.
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled with friends
    • 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
tolarno, Guest Relations Manager at Tolarno Hotel, responded to this review, November 7, 2013
Dear BabeGeorges,

Thank you for your great feedback. We really enjoy seeing regular guests, like yourselves, who have been staying with us for many years – it’s probably the reason why some of us have been here so long!
Our recent refurbishment to the public areas has enhanced the hotel and we're glad you liked it. We hope to see you many more times in the future & I hope go to Coogee and stay at Dive too! Warm wishes, Jane Lewis.
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Perth, Australia
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 1, 2013

Location of this quirky hotel, with its beautiful stained glass and cool artwork, was great. Short stroll to the beach, shops and restaurants, with city centre an easy tram ride. The staff, especially Jane, were very helpful and informative, right from the booking stage to check out.

We booked the deluxe balcony room, which was the perfect size and very clean and tidy. Bathroom probably could have done with a larger shelf, but otherwise very serviceable.

On the negative, we stayed over the AFL Grand final weekend, and the deluxe rooms with balcony, front onto a very busy Fitzroy Road, opposite a nightclub (which ran until 5am), trams, road cleaners etc. so it was "extremely" noisy. Hence two sleepless nights and two very tired people. We didn’t ask to be moved as we knew the hotel was fully booked. Don’t let that put you off though, just don’t choose the balcony room. In fairness, if I’d had time to read other reviews, I would have been aware of this.

Room Tip: Don't choose the balcony rooms
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 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.
tolarno, Guest Relations Manager at Tolarno Hotel, responded to this review, November 7, 2013
Hello Kathy C
Thanks very much for taking the time to write a review. It’s great that you took in the hotel’s ambience - the modern art and the historical stained glass windows. As you say, the location is great for wandering around; having the beach nearby adds to the holiday feel and yet we are very close to the city.
The deluxe balcony rooms are a nice size but they can be noisy. As it was such a busy weekend with the AFL Grand Final there was no escaping ‘the life of Fitzroy St’ – which is fine if you get a good sleep but I am sorry to hear you did not sleep. You have been very fair in your review and I am pleased you can see that the majority of our rooms don’t overlook Fitzroy Street, and are therefore nice and quiet. We would love to have you back and it was a pleasure having you here. Best wishes, Jane Lewis.
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Sydney, Australia
Top Contributor
2,802 reviews 2,802 reviews
234 hotel reviews
Reviews in 361 cities Reviews in 361 cities
1,337 helpful votes 1,337 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 30, 2013

Stayed over in Melbourne after the Grand Final and couldn't get back to Sydney. Amazingly I could get a room at the Tolarno at half the price of others on offer.If you are after a business hotel near CBD businesses, then this is not the place.
But if you want a small boutique hotel with lots of character, then this would satisfy.
With walls covered in art by one of Melbourne's legends, Mirka Mora, it gets you from the first few minutes.
The rooms themselves are not luxurious, it is an old building and the fittings are not extravagant,, but you move beyond this and enjoy it for what it is.
As another bonus, you get a Guy Grossi restaurant, Mirka, in the hotel and the food here is wonderful.
Easy to get to you, just minutes from the CBD and just a few metres from the local station.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled solo
    • 5 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
tolarno, Guest Relations Manager at Tolarno Hotel, responded to this review, November 7, 2013
Hello RonWamberal,

Very glad you discovered Tolarno’s during your recent trip to Melbourne, and pleased you were pleasantly surprised by our room rates. The hotel appeals to people who like something a bit different, and if you like art, there is sure to be something on our walls which will engage your senses. It sounds like you had a lovely meal at Mirka’s, Guy Grossi’s restaurant at Tolarno’s - it is a great restaurant and the murals by Mirka Mora add to the experience. Happy to hear you found it easy to get to the CBD on the trams, which run along Fitzroy Street past Tolarno’s.
We really appreciate your overview or your experience here and would be very pleased to host you again. Warm regards, Jane Lewis.
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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:
#1 Business Hotel in St Kilda
#2 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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