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“Excellent boutique hotel” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Art Series - The Cullen

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Art Series - The Cullen
5.0 of 5 Hotel   |   164 Commercial Road | Melbourne, Prahran, Stonnington, Victoria 3181, Australia   |  
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Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Prahran
Certificate of Excellence
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
12 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Excellent boutique hotel”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 3, 2010

I recently stayed in the Art Series Cullen, and i was impressed by the experience. I was slightly concerned when I walked into the foyer and found it rather cold. Sure, there is artwork on the walls and a jug of water if you are thirsty (maybe not all that functional in a Melbourne winter), but the foyer just seemed cold. When I checked in, they wanted a credit card authorisation for $100 and also a copy of my ID. I have no idea why they needed the latter. I forgot to ask.

The hotel is appears modern and clean. It is the first hotel I have been in with RFID room keys which work well in the rooms, but leave something to be desired in the lifts. A simple beep when the card was read in the lift would make their use just that little bit better.

Finding my room was a slight challenge due to the font used on the room numbers. 201 and 207 look too similar. Once I got into the room, things were charming. The room looked really new, and it is obvious that a designer had spent some time on the layout. There is a 42" plasma TV on the wall opposite the double bed, a two seat sofa, a small table with two chairs and a kitchenette.

The kitchenette contained a small mini-bar, but it was much larger than the normal mini-bar so there was room to put other things into it. The microwave oven was built in, and the sink looked clean. This is a feature I was not expecting.

The bed was really comfortable, and very plush, similar to the Rydges Dream Bed. The pillows were long and really comfortable. It would seem that the people who installed the beds have actually slept in one!

The bathroom was a bit of a let down to be honest. It was rather pokey, but this was somewhat countered by the use of frosted glass between the bathroom and the main living area. I am not sure that I would use a hotel room for a business meeting for this reason. The shower takes up a third of the bathroom. It is so bad that the lid on the bin cannot open fully as it hits the toilet roll. The exhaust fan in the bathroom had a motion sensor which turned the fan on whenever you went into the room, which was sort of cool.

The air conditioner worked well. A major feature of a hotel if you ask me. So often this gets stuffed up.

The hotel provided a bath robe behind the door. I am not sure if there was a second bath robe somewhere, but I also only noticed one pair of slippers. Bit strange in a room with a king size bed if you ask me.

The room was really quiet, and once you dimmed the iPod docking station alarm clock was fairly dark too.

Overall, I will probably stay there again.

  • Stayed June 2010, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
JoshoMelbourne, General Manager at Art Series - The Cullen, responded to this review, June 30, 2010
Thanks to the author for their review!

I am very happy that you enjoyed your stay with us. You will be pleased to know we have replaced our water on the desk for a while with some tasty and cosy red wine. Hopefully this welcome at reception will get a few of our guests through a cold winter….thanks for letting us know.
Apologies that the numbers on the door looked a little different; the quirky font is actually a replica of the artist’s own handwriting.
It’s great to hear you love the room layout and the beds, we get some great comments about their design and functionality.

Look forward to seeing you soon.

Thanks again,

Josh O’Brien
General Manager
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771 reviews from our community

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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 (158)
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English first
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 2, 2010

I was fortunate to stay at The Cullen for a couple of weeks when I relocated to Melbourne.

The location is great - everything you could want is within walking distance and public transport is just outside the door. (which is just as well as on-street parking in the area can be difficult).

The front of house staff are warm, welcoming and efficient.

The decor is very cool. If beige is your favourite colour then perhaps the art won't be to your taste, but otherwise it is the essential feature that creates the vibrancy and uniqueness without which this would be "just another hotel".

I agree with some of the other reviews that housekeeping, while generally pretty good, could be better. (No - I don't want my room made up at 6.30pm at night, and Yes - I would like the sheet to cover the mattress at the end of the bed).

The coffee in the Terrace restaurant is among the best I tried in the local area.

I would definitely recommend the Cullen and would happily stay there again.

  • Stayed May 2010, traveled on business
    • 4 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
JoshoMelbourne, General Manager at Art Series - The Cullen, responded to this review, June 22, 2010
Thank you to the author for your review.

Wow, it is great to know that you spent a couple of weeks with us and I am pleased that you enjoyed your stay at the Hotel.

We have some great barista’s in the restaurant and The Terrace is becoming well known as one of the best spots to have coffee in Prahran!
My apologies in regards to house-keeping; please be assured your comments are taking seriously and has been addressed with the department.

Thank you so much for recommending us, and we look forward to having you back!

Regards,

Josh O’Brien
General Manager
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Canberra, Australia
Level Contributor
104 reviews
49 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 77 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 1, 2010

Best hotel we've stayed in for years, unique experience. Beautifully designed and presented. We felt like we've been to an exhibition, since we did not know Adam Cullen's work, the wonderful art books on his and others art in the room gave us lots of background. Front of house staff so helpful, sent us to a wonderful coffee place for breakfast (Amici's on Chapel St) Housekeeping a little slow to make up our room (not til 2) but cheerful and obliging when we asked. Great position for shops and restaurants, right across from Prahan Markets. Quiet room (apart from some fan noise, but that is always an issue in hotels) Quick lifts, well fitted out gym. If you appreciate architecture, interior design and art, you'll enjoy this hotel.

  • Stayed May 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 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.
JoshoMelbourne, General Manager at Art Series - The Cullen, responded to this review, June 22, 2010
Thank you to the author for your review.

We have a great commitment to provide a unique and inspiring experience for all our guests and I am so pleased that you felt this way.
All the staff are locals in the area and knows the quirky, fun and funky places to eat, drink & shop. The Prahran market is a great place to stroll around, and with kitchenettes in all our rooms it’s easy to bring things back to the Hotel and enjoy! Our actual mini-bar in the room is also sourced from the markets as well.

We all look forward to seeing you again soon.

Regards,

Josh O’Brien
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Perth, Australia
Level Contributor
10 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 31, 2010

My husband and I really enjoyed our stay at the Cullen. It was a great pity that we could only spend 2 nights there. The staff were very friendly and very professional, especially the wait staff in the Terrace Restaurant. Special mention to Alex, who was fantastic. I hope this comment is relayed back to the staff there, because they deserve it. The food was exceptional and well priced, and the room was funky, fun and very comfortable. A sign of a quality Hotel is the quality of their pillows. The pillows in our room were superb, they were large, soft and very comfortable. There was only two negative incidents, the first was that we were ignored in the restaurant behind the front desk (can't think of the name of it, it was very small and had an 'asian' feel to it). And our room wasn't ready for us when we arrived, so there was a lengthy wait. Over all the stay was fantastic and we will recommend this hotel to all. Again, please relay our comments regarding the staff of the Terrance restaurant as it is common to express negatives, but possitive comments are rarely conveyed.
NOTE .....when is someone going to design a SOFT CLOSING HOTEL ROOM DOOR?? There is NOTHING more annoying that being woken up constantly by the sound of the neighbour's door closing with a great big THUD! Come on all you clever people, get your heads together and come up with something!

  • Stayed May 2010, traveled on business
    • 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.
JoshoMelbourne, General Manager at Art Series - The Cullen, responded to this review, June 22, 2010
Thank you to the author for your review.

It is fantastic to hear that our staff have made a great impact to your stay. All feedback received is personally relayed and is sincerely appreciated!
We understand one of the most important things to a guests stay is their sleep; therefore a lot of thought went around the type of pillows & beds that we use in the Hotel – whilst these are exclusive to Art Series Group, we do offer to sell them to any of our guests on request.
My apologies in regards to your experience in Hu Tong dumpling bar and the wait you received at check-in. I am so though that you would recommend us to your family and friends, as this is the greatest comment any hotel can receive!

We look forward to seeing you again soon.

Regards,

Josh O’Brien
General Manager
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Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
40 reviews
34 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 69 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 29, 2010

I was reluctant to stay here given the number of people with only 1 review who had rated it so highly, but we managed to get it at $150 / night and thought we would give it a go. Emails to the hotel went unanswered and the website was frequently inaccessible.

About the design of the hotel - each room has at least 3 paintings and they are definately not to most people's taste. Anyone with an aversion to donkeys, dogs or ned kelly should stay away. The hotel is brand new so fresh carpets, fluffy towels, etc. Location is fantastic - just off the main part chapel street, an easy drive from the airport, but you could stay here without a car. A market across the road sold everything from smallgoods to fresh flowers. we didn't have time to try any of the restaurants under the hotel.

The rooms are a good size for anyone not spending too much time in their room. There are also microwaves and a small cooktop if you want to self-cater with products from the market across the road. I'd suggest you don't stay with anyone that you're not overly intimate with - the shaded glass between the bathroom and the rest of the room is not enough.

Room maintenance on the whole was terrible. There was an attempt to wipe lipstick stains off a glass (rather than run it through a dishwasher), so when I went to use it later that day, I could still see it. The room was not really cleaned during room service - only the bed was made and bins emptied.

Overall, Id reccomend staying here if you're in Melbourne for a shopping trip, especially if you can get a great rate, but maybe don't use the crockery in the room!

  • Stayed May 2010, 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
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
JoshoMelbourne, General Manager at Art Series - The Cullen, responded to this review, June 22, 2010
Thank you to the author for your review.

I am so pleased that you enjoyed your stay with us. We are very lucky to be a stones throw from many of the fantastic boutique shops on Chapel Street & Prahran’s famous market across the street!
I was concerned to read about the housekeeping service during your visit. This is by no means the standard and expectation set by the hotel and I can assure you this has been brought up with our team.

We look forward to having you back soon for another shopping trip!

Regards,

Josh O’Brien
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
13 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed May 25, 2010

I read all of the reviews on this site and was really excited about staying at The Cullen. The room was really nice, excellent bed/furnishing and drapery. The front of house staff were also excellent.

However, the housekeeping were woeful. When I arrived late at night items were missing from the mini-bar, the milk had been opened and the coffee was used. It took two trips from housekeeping in the morning to replace and despite me telling them about the minibar they tried to charge me.

Newspaper wasn't delivered on second morning - had to call down for it.

No room service breakfast menu - had to call down for it and again it took two trips for them to bring the right one.

Housekeeper slammed the door of the room next door 10 times before 8am. When I asked nicely if she could shut it quietly the reply was 'that is how the door shuts'.

Although they say they have Foxtel it is really only maybe 5 Foxtel channels - not nearly enough.

Very disappointing.

  • Stayed May 2010, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 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.
JoshoMelbourne, General Manager at Art Series - The Cullen, responded to this review, May 27, 2010
Thank you to the author for their review.

Firstly let me apologise for the housekeeping service that you received. This is by no means the expectation or standard set by the Hotel. Please be assured that this has been raised and addressed with the team.

I am very pleased that you enjoyed your room and your positive remarks about the Guest Experience Team in front office.

I would please ask that you indulge us on this occasion as we would love to see you come back to us in the future.

Kind Regards,

Josh O’Brien
Hotel Manager
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Hong Kong
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed May 20, 2010

Cullen is apparently an Australian artist. I had never heard of him and I wish I had as I would never chosen the new Cullen hotel to stay. His art pervades every part of the hotel. It is raw, crude and obnoxious. Vicious teeth bearing, saliva-dripping dogs and barely human portraits hang from the lobby to the bedrooms,. Never again. And the trendy rooms are obviously designed by a decorator rather than an experienced hotel person. So many things, the lighting for instance, were not functional.
And the final insult, in my four nights there at around five in the morning I was woken on two different nights to the sounds of sirens and screaming voices telling me to evacuate. I wish I had.
Both were false alarms.

  • Stayed May 2010, traveled solo
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 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.
JoshoMelbourne, General Manager at Art Series - The Cullen, responded to this review, May 26, 2010
Thank you to the author for their review.

I really appreciate your comments in regards to your recent stay with us.
Regarding the artwork; Adam Cullen is known as one of Australia’s most exciting contemporary artists. Whilst not for everyone, his bold & brash application on canvas is a way of expressing himself through his art.
In contrast and as an alternative, we also have The Olsen hotel in South Yarra, named after the revered Australian landscape artist, Dr John Olsen – as with The Cullen, the hotel is designed and influenced by the artists work.

In regards to the fire alarms, I offer my sincere apologies, whilst thankfully they were false alarms we do take every precaution in relation to our guest security and safety.

Thank you once again for your comments and review.

Kind Regards,

Josh O’Brien
Hotel Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Art Series - The Cullen

Address: 164 Commercial Road | Melbourne, Prahran, Stonnington, Victoria 3181, Australia
Phone Number:
Location: Australia > Victoria > Greater Melbourne > Stonnington > Prahran
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Prahran
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:5 star — Art Series - The Cullen 5*
Number of rooms: 119
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located in Prahran, Melbourne, The Cullen is inspired by Adam Cullen. Daring and unique, The Cullen features lashings of original artwork and prints by Australia’s most exciting contemporary artist, Adam Cullen.Sleep soundly in your Art Series Signature bed, then block out the morning or wake up to natural light and vibrant energy of Cullen works. Prepare breakfast using in room kitchenette facilities, spectacular views of Melbourne CBD, underground parking, state of the art gymnasium and two exciting restaurants ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Art Series - The Cullen Hotel Melbourne
Art Series - The Cullen Greater Melbourne/Prahran

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