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“Know the quirks before you stay” 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 #1 of 3 hotels in Preston
Mount Gambier, Australia
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Know the quirks before you stay”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 29, 2014

I decided to stay at Rydges Bell City due to a convenient location for a funeral and a good internet deal through expedia. I found reading the reviews were helpful to iron out the quirks. This hotel passes my 'would I stay here again' test.
I needed an early check in to freshen up prior to attending a funeral. I made this request on the internet and phoned the night before and this was arranged with no issues. Upon arrival I found it hard to find reception and where to park whilst booking in. Finally parking in a side street some distance from reception. I checked in with a polite lady who asked why I was in town, when I said I was there for a good friends funeral, she replied along the lines "that's good you will have an excellent time then" I think the look of shock on my face might have indicated that she got it a bit wrong and when she realised her error was apologetic. I also had free parking and breakfast on my deal which seemed to be a mystery to the lady, but sorted it with little fuss. Check in should be seemless. I carted all my bags/suits etc up to my room on the fifth floor and my card didn't work in the door. Time was ticking and I had a role in the funeral, I didn't have time to waste. I asked one of the house keeping guests to help me into the room as my card didn't work. She replied to me to ring reception, well hello if I could get into the room to ring, I didn't need reception. When this logistical impossibility was pointed out, she rang reception from the room she was cleaning next door. Reception told her to tell me to go back downstairs to sort it out. Management if you are reading this feel my frustration that I had to cart all my stuff back to reception and then back to my room. Finally I got into my room. My first impressions were good, it had a really nice feel, I like the window seats a lot. I was hoping for a quick freshen up shower, I had been on the road since 5am and it was 39oC, but with all the time wasting there wasn't time. After the days events I arrived back at the hotel and went to Chill for a quick burger and a glass of wine. The burger consisted of cheap bun, meat, lettuce, tomato and caramalised onion, I reckon that a slice of cheese, beetroot something would have made it a lot more interesting. The cost of this could be alleviated by reducing the big serve of fries. It was late in the evening, a mix of patrons, from steroid abusers to business women. I had a good night sleep the bed was comfy etc. I wasn't sure where the buffet breakfast was held, not even in the hotel info. I found it at Chill. Upon arrival the lady said to me "room number" and that's all. Not even "have you been here before" or "there is the food/coffee". Talk about coffee, it was next to cold in the thermos dispensers. The food was lovely and as good as I have had elsewhere. I had a paper on my table and an empty bowl, two cups, plate. I lost count of the amount of times that the waitress walked past my table with empty hands whilst setting up the tables for the next service. There were only two people in at that time and I guess it doesn't matter if the empty plates are taken immediately or not, but other hotels do and it is a nice touch. Now if you are still with me. The room I was in lacked a long term clean. Nothing has been moved in recent times to dust/clean etc. I bent down to plug in my phone charger and found someone elses dirty tissue behind the bed side table. Upon leaving level 3 of the underground car park I heard voices and smelt cigarette smoke. It appears that the staff have a little nook set up for smoking. Not a good look for the hotel, not to mention a fire risk 3 levels underground. I got a good deal on the net, I got what I paid for, I would stay here again.

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled solo
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 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 Andrew_S,

Thank you for taking the time to review your stay with us, we appreciate the feedback. We apologise for the issues that you experienced, our guest services and CHILL staff will be addressed by their managers to alleviate the communication breakdown in the future. We also apologise for the level three car park issue, our staff have been addressed directly about this. We are glad that overall you had a pleasant stay, and hope that next time you are here you have an enjoyable stay.

Kind Regards,

Hotel Management
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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 (62)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
Melbourne, Australia
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
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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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
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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 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
Senior Contributor
48 reviews 48 reviews
21 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
18 helpful votes 18 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
16 reviews 16 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
6 helpful votes 6 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
83 reviews 83 reviews
37 hotel reviews
Reviews in 47 cities Reviews in 47 cities
39 helpful votes 39 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
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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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 #1 of 3 hotels in Preston
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Rydges Bell City Hotel & Residences 4.5*
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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