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“Decent rooms, service lacking.” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Rydges Bell City Hotel & Residences

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Rydges Bell City Hotel & Residences
4.5 of 5 Hotel   |   215 Bell Street, Preston, Darebin, Victoria 3072, Australia   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #2 of 3 Hotels in Preston
Melbourne, Australia
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
“Decent rooms, service lacking.”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 25, 2014 via mobile

Stayed in a Manhattan apartment, which has a small kitchen, dining table and sofa and large bed. Bathroom was very compact and lacked anywhere to place toiletry bags etc. Room was good overall though, very comfy bed and decent furniture in rest of room. The one downside we found on the service side was almost complete inability to get through to reception when we needed to, the calls kept bouncing round the switchboard and ending up at the cheaper hotel next door. Room service trays were also left outside our room for two days, despite calls to reception staff to request collection, which was unsatisfactory.

  • Stayed January 2014
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MgrBellCity, Marketing Coordinator at Rydges Bell City Hotel & Residences, responded to this review, February 16, 2014
Hi Archie24,

Thank you for taking the time to review your stay with us, we appreciate the feedback. We apologise for the issues that you experienced, we will be following up the communication breakdowns with our reception staff and housekeeping staff to ensure that it doesn’t happen again. We’re pleased to hear that you enjoyed staying on one of the famous Rydges Dream Beds, and hope to have you back again soon.
Kind Regards,

Hotel Management
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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317 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Location
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (86)
Date | Rating
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English first
Perth, Australia
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 24, 2014

With three tiers of accommodation available found Rydges Aluxstay to be conveniently located for easy access to the city and family members living close by. For a serviced apartment it was comfortable, clean & good value.

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MgrBellCity, Marketing Coordinator at Rydges Bell City Hotel & Residences, responded to this review, February 16, 2014
Hi OBT46,

Thank you for taking the time to review your stay with us, we appreciate the feedback and hope to have you back again soon.
Kind Regards,

Hotel Management
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Adelaide, Australia
Top Contributor
55 reviews 55 reviews
25 hotel reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 22, 2014

Together with my wife and two teenage daughters we stayed in a 2 Queen Bed manhattan room. It was a very different experience - I thought we had booked a two bedroom apartment but to my surprise it was a very large and oddly designed studio room.

The room had two queen beds on either side, split (to a degree) by a bathroom that took up roughly one fifth of the room and had two sliding doors for access (which was potentially embarrassing if each party wanted to use the bathroom). You could walk around the bathroom to the other side of the room, however there was a distinct lack of privacy - most of the two main walls had mirrors so you didn't get much privacy at all. You did get a great view of Melbourne CBD out the generous windows, however the fact that you couldn't hide the noise from either TV (again, all in the one room) made it difficult to watch two separate programs.

Beds were very comfortable and staff friendly, and the room service food was delicious, although the hotel is a little out of the way, being a good 30 minutes drive from the city

Room Tip: If looking for a two bedroom apartment, or wanting any provacy, then the 2 Queen Bed Manhattan room...
See more room tips
  • Stayed January 2014, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MgrBellCity, Marketing Coordinator at Rydges Bell City Hotel & Residences, responded to this review, January 23, 2014
Hi belairtravellers,

Thank you for taking the time to review your stay, we appreciate the feedback. We understand your experience in the two bed manhattan room was not as you were expecting, and appologise for this, our marketing team is looking at how we can better represent the layout of these rooms online. We are pleased that you enjoyed the other elements of your stay, and hope to see you back again soon.

Kind Regards,

Hotel Management
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Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 6, 2014 via mobile

Rydges are always one of the first hotels i will check out for accommodation as they are so reliable...room was very modern looking, overlooking the city, full kitchen in such a small space + so much storage if staying longer, got free $30dinner voucher for restaurant which i wish we had time to use as the menu looked great+also a free drink, reception very helpful + friendly

Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
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MgrBellCity, Marketing Coordinator at Rydges Bell City Hotel & Residences, responded to this review, January 9, 2014
Hi mzjack50n,

Thank you for the lovely review, we appreciate the feedback and have passed it on to our front office department. Such a shame you didn't get to try CHILL restaurant, hopefully this can happen on your next stay.

Kind Regards,

Hotel Management
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Cork, Ireland
Top Contributor
86 reviews 86 reviews
38 hotel reviews
Reviews in 48 cities Reviews in 48 cities
52 helpful votes 52 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 5, 2014

Myself and my husband spent two months in a manhattan superior double room. Overall the stay was comfortable and good value relative to other melbourne accommodation. However this accommodation is not for everybody.
Attention to detail was very poor overall. Although the room was clean upon arrival we had to complain almost every week we were there about the room cleaning. It simply was not done. They state on arrival that its a light clean, however when (only on our final week) a cleaning supervisor inspected our room did he agree that it was not cleaned. Management either did not notice that we complained weekly about the same problem or else did not care. There was a dead bird on the flat roof outside our room for a month ... Again although very obvious from several of the rooms that the cleaners would have been regularly in, the grotesque dead bird was never removed.
The cooking equipment was barely adequate. We had to buy our own wok etc and no cleaning equipment at all was provided.
The whole complex always had an air of being completely understaffed. There was always a queue at reception, i once waited 20 minutes to be seen at reception. Completely unacceptable yet there were no apologies when I was seen ... And all the while a manager was breezing in and out of reception but ignored the queues. Understaffing would also explain the lack of room cleaning. As a complement to the reception staff, Emma was always helpful, friendly and a breath of fresh air in the place. Often she had to rescue another member of staff who couldn't use the hotel computer system.
My final negative was the gym and pool. There was no air con in the gym. It's in the basement and although I stuck it out for the first two weeks I couldn't any longer....it was so sweaty and hot down there it was unbearable. Amusingly when some gym goers left the doors open to facilitate a breeze through, management always came downstairs and closed the doors back over....they never took the hint that air con was so badly needed. In contrast the pool was freezing and so was unusable for the entire two months of our stay.
As a positive, our room was very quiet and we always had a good sleep in it.
It should be noted that residents at rydges are entitled to a 20% discount in the bar cafe and in JDs... We were only informed after one month of our stay. I was really annoyed by this as we regularly used chill and the cafe. So as advise ask for this up front!!!
The shuttle service to the city and universities was excellent. The tram service from around the corner was also excellent, and there is a large woolworths just a 10 minute walk away.
After reading tripadvisor posts I requested a room on a higher floor but was told that the long term residents cannot avail of the nicer rooms.
Overall I would stay here again, mostly for the convenience and would recommend it, however it will not suit everybody!!,

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 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.
MgrBellCity, Marketing Coordinator at Rydges Bell City Hotel & Residences, responded to this review, January 5, 2014
Hi IrishGirl-late20s,

Thank you for taking the time to review your long term stay with us, we appreciate you taking the time. The resident discount card was actually only introduced recently, so it sounds like you received it when it started – we apologise that this fact wasn't’ shared, and we are glad that you had the opportunity to get some use out of it! Your feedback on the gym is helpful, and we will be looking into ways to make this more comfortable for guests. We are really concerned with the cleaning issues that you identified, as this doesn't reflect our standards at all, and are reviewing how this happened with our housekeeping department. The lovely words of praise have been passed on to Emma. Look forward to having you stay with us again soon!

Kind Regards,

Hotel Management
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Melbourne
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed December 20, 2013

Checking in with staff member 'Emma' took far too long. Firstly waiting for her to get off the phone with presumably her boyfriend. She was friendly but clearly hasn't yet grasped the steps needed to check a guest into the hotel. A good 10 minutes later, I finally had my key to the a 'Manhattan Studio Apartment' on level 5. Stuffed around with the whole East, West, North south layout from its origins as a hospital (built 1951 - closed 1999) I eventually found the room and it was really quite unpleasant. The 'city view' was actually a view of the opposite wing of the building. The carpet was lumpy and needed replacement and the room was the size of a shoebox.

By this stage my mind was boggled at the fact that people pay $150 per night to stay in a room of this quality. Secondly boggled at how good their photographers are at making a room look the way it did on the website.

Went downstairs to change rooms. Emma was nowhere to be seen, so I had to converse with a female receptionist about changing rooms. She had difficulty grasping the idea that I was not happy with the room and would like something done about it. After suggesting paying an extra $100 + dollars to move into 'the suite' ( wasn't my room called the Manhattan Suite?) I settled for a room change to level 6 on the Bell Street facing side. She even asked if they needed to clean the previous room even though I'd been in it for less than a minute!

The Bell street side room had a decent view and was in better condition but was still tiny and had a minuscule sized bathroom with a glass opaque door had sizeable gaps in them that somebody could easily look through and see you on the loo or in the shower (if you left the plastic shower curtain open). Other noteworthy items included two bedside lamps which didn't work, range hood exhaust fan didn't work, TCL branded tv has dead pixels on the screen and 1 switch turned of all 6 down lights in the room. So you need to switch on the lights in the middle of the night you instantly ensure in your partners mind that an alien ship is hoovering above about to abduct them - not to mention blind yourself in the process. Oh and 'interesting' artwork near the bed which had numerous penis shaped drawings on them...ensuring that's the last thing you look at before drifting off to sleep on the comfortable bed.

Upon checkout there was an argument with what appeared to be a lady of the night and a hotel receptionist and when I finally got back into my car to get out of there, my card used to open the boom gate didn't work forcing me to repark and enter the hospital - errr I mean hotel once more and rectify.

Good points include - a friendly cleaner who said good morning as I was walking down the hall.
24 hour gym and sauna.
Most hotel staff trying their best

The reason for my pickyness is this hotel is rated at 4.5 star!!! I've stayed all over the world and this wouldn't even qualify as a 3.5 star hotel. Oh and Manhattan looks nothing like the 'Manhattan Suite'.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled on business
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 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.
MgrBellCity, Marketing Coordinator at Rydges Bell City Hotel & Residences, responded to this review, January 5, 2014
Hi 716Chris,

Thank you for taking the time to leave a thorough review of your stay with us, we are concerned about the issues that you mentioned experiencing and will be looking into each closely to rectify. Thank you for recognizing that one of our staff members is quite new, and in the process learning the systems was doing her best. We are pleased that you were able to be moved to a room that more closely fitted your requirements, and apologize for the delays in doing this. The photography on our website tries to give a general view of what a room will look like, but unfortunately due to the buildings history (as you noted, a hospital) almost each of the 800 + rooms across the whole complex is a different size and shape, making it very difficult to display all online. We hope to have the opportunity to give you an unbeatable stay next time you chose to stay with us.

Kind Regards,

Hotel Management
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Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 16, 2013 via mobile

Stayed on business. Room was well appointed and the room service very good. Not much in the general vicinity of the hotel to walk to so what is in the hotel is what you get. Cafe at reception was good for a quick breakfast and coffee

Stayed November 2013, traveled on business
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MgrBellCity, Marketing Coordinator at Rydges Bell City Hotel & Residences, responded to this review, December 17, 2013
Hi BrianE1969,

Thanks for your review, we are glad you enjoyed your stay. Our local area actually has a lot more than people first think, next time you stay with us ask our guest services team about the best local cafes and shopping precincts. We personally recommend a trip to the Preston Market, and the eateries near it along High Street. There is also a free weekday shuttle to and from Melbourne CBD, for days you have business or events on in the city.

Kind Regards,

Hotel Management
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 Rydges Bell City Hotel & Residences

Address: 215 Bell Street, Preston, Darebin, Victoria 3072, Australia
Location: Australia > Victoria > Greater Melbourne > Darebin > Preston
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 3 Hotels in Preston
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Rydges Bell City Hotel & Residences 4.5*
Number of rooms: 383
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Bell City is a hotel complex like no other. Our accommodation options range from the luxurious and sleek open-plan studios to extremely affordable and comfortable budget rooms with access to extensive resort-style facilities. No matter what your budget, Bell City has you covered. With multiple bars and restaurants on site, Bell City has dining and entertainment options for every occasion. Rydges Hotel & Residences Bell City offers luxurious 4.5 star stylish and spacious Manhattan-style open plan 1 & 2 bed studios. All Rydges Hotel rooms feature the Rydges 'Dream Bed', self-contained kitchenettes, lounge and dining area, LCD TV, Foxtel, high speed internet, and stunning views of Melbourne and surrounds. Location: Bell City is perfectly located for any traveller wanting to explore Melbourne’s fashionable inner north just 20 minutes from the CBD and 15 minutes from Tullamarine airport. Access to the city, major hospitals, universities, and inner suburbs is simple, with tram, train and bus stops all within minutes of the hotel. Jump on the 86 tram for quick access to the fantastic eateries and chic stores of the Smith Street, Gertrude Street and Brunswick Street precincts in Fitzroy, head another couple of stops to the Carlton Gardens and Melbourne Museum, or stay on for the full trip to Etihad Stadium and Docklands. Take the train through the scenic Merri Creek reserve straight to the MCG, or continue on to the city for great shopping and even better coffee in its myriad hidden laneways. High Street’s bars, cafes and boutique stores are within easy reach. Local icons include the hip Northcote Social club and the beautiful art deco Westgarth Cinema. Dine in nearby Lygon Street, boasting the finest coffee and Italian restaurants. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Rydges Bell City Hotel And Residences
Bell City Hotel Residences
Bell City Preston
Rydges Bell City Hotel & Residences Preston, Greater Melbourne

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