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“Tries too hard on decor and fails on service”

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Art Series - The Blackman
Ranked #16 of 161 Hotels in Melbourne
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed October 27, 2012

I stayed here on business as it was close to the venue for my meetings. The word trendy springs to mind as an intitial reaction but as I stood in the reception in front of the desk for over 5 minutes while the sole receptionist talked on the phone to another guest without even acknowledging me I was wishing I had booked into the Crown as I would usually have done. When I finally managed to get the young man's attention he advised I had been upgraded to a suite. Nice touch but.....On arriving in my suite - it was made up of a very large deck with a view of the building next door and some of the district, a largish combined living dining kitchionette area and a very claustrophobic bed alcove. The bathroom is a glass enclosed alcove off the living area - once again very small. The room had good space but just badly laid out. Very odd bits and pices like the wardrobe is next to the kitchen at the other end of the suite from the bedroom and there is no room for a bag in the bedroom alcove. In the bathroom the power points are inside the cupboard.
The room was clean but I found the so called art decor complete with purple velvet covered Stark inspied plastic chairs, was just all trying too hard without much real comfort.
The TV on the wall in the bedroom alcove also has some sort of back projection lighting that I could not turn off even when the set was off and because of the mirrored walls in the alcove you cannot escape from this annoying light when all other lights are out.
On the night of arriving at around 6.30pm, I called down for a cab only to find when I arrived downstairs no cab and an airy wave of the hand from the same young man who kept me waiting on checkin, that I might like to take my luck at a rank with no cabs and no indication that one would be secured. Finally another young man from the desk observing my annoyance as it looked more and more likely I would be late for a meeting took control and ran up to the main cross street and tried manfully to secure a cab for me. Finally about 10 minutes later he captured one and sent it back along the street to me. He deserves a gold star for service - it was good work in a difficult situtaion where none of his peers seemed to understand the concept of service or urgency.
My verdict at the risk of sounding like an old grump - yes 'goovey' but falls down on service, accessability and the needs of the business traveller - if you have plenty of time, a car and like being ignored by the bulk of staff go for it.

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled on business
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1  Thank maggs07
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Haylee J, Front Office Manager at Art Series - The Blackman, responded to this reviewResponded November 3, 2012

Dear Guest,
Thank you for writing this review about your experience whilst staying at the Blackman hotel.
Our hotel general manager, Mr Lee Davey, would like you to contact him direct, to discuss all your comments in person.
He can be contacted on 03 90391444 or lee_davey@artserieshotels.com.au.
Warm regards,
Julie Dale
Hotel Duty Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,676 - 1,682 of 2,278 reviews

Reviewed October 26, 2012

This was one of the best hotel experiences my husband and I have ever had. We stayed there 4 nights in October 2012. The whole concept was fascinating, beginning with the check-in at the front desk that had a wall behind it filled with paintings of Charles Blackman. Everything to do with the artwork and design in the hotel is a modernistic Alice in Wonderland kind of theme, from the teapot/tea cup artpiece in the lobby, to a metal rabbit on the wall as you approach the elevator, to the Alice in Wonderland design etched on the glass doors of the bathroom.

The room was spacious and the hotel is a central St. Kilda location,with tram stops convenient to everything. The room has a sleek, modern area with a built-in microwave, a two-burner stove, refrigerator/freezer, and deep sink.

Another interesting touch is the mini-bar. There's a sign saying you won't believe the cheap prices and they are right. Instead of the same old potato chips and candy bars, the snacks are good-sized spiced nuts, fabulous chocolate disks, and then art canvases with paints on the back to encourage you to try your hand at painting. Nothing was more than $6.

The two restaurants off the lobby were both excellent. One is more dessert oriented with excellent pastries, and I was even able to order a great chicken salad sandwich for breakfast. The other one had a breakfast skillet dish that was exceptional.

When you walk into your room and turn on the lights, the TV comes on and Charles Blackman's wife is talking about her life with her artist husband.

The hotel staff was friendly, full of good information about the city and very helpful.

By staying so many nights, I think we got a very good rate, especially considering that we found the prices for everything on our three week trip very expensive.

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank tapestries
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Haylee J, Front Office Manager at Art Series - The Blackman, responded to this reviewResponded November 2, 2012

Dear Guest,
Wow, what a fantastic review - Thank you.
It truely sounds like you had a very enjoyable stay here at the Blackman, of which, I am very pleased to hear. I will pass on all your wonderful comments to the staff and management.
We do look forward to welcoming you back to the hotel in the near future.
Warm regards,
Julie Dale
Duty Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 18, 2012

I stayed for a weekend while in Melbourne for work. The staff were friendly, the interior gorgeous, the grooming kit delightful. The bed was incredibly comfortable. The mini bar was reasonably priced and included a small canvas and paints for $5! The cafe downstairs opened at 6.30am, which was great for grabbing a decent coffee to stave of the jetlag. I'd love to try the other Art Series hotels. Only downsides - I have a Rydges Priority Guest Reward card and didn't receive the free welcome drink that's advertised and also the toiletries were disappointing.

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled on business
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2  Thank cerebral_e
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Haylee J, Guest Relations Manager at Art Series - The Blackman, responded to this reviewResponded October 24, 2012

Dear Guest,
Thank you for taking the time to write about your recent stay with us at the Blackman.
The staff are what makes this hotel, so I will certainly pass on to them, your wonderful comments. Not long ago, we conducted a review on the minibar and its products and pricing, from this, we made alot of changes, so again, great to hear this positive feedback.
I am disappointed to hear that you did not like our Art Series Amenities. I will pass this on to our management team.
We do hope that you will stay with us again soon.
Warm regards,
Julie Dale
Hotel Duty Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 17, 2012

I stayed here in January this year during the tennis as my husbands company had paid for the accomodation. The rooms were excellent, modern and we had a great view from our balcony and could watch the roulette aeroplanes fly past on Australia Day.

It isnt around anything in particular but catching a tram was easy enough as it is just a straight line, and being from the country with no trams what so ever for me to find it easy is saying something!

The bathroom was qutie small and pokey, and there wasnt much bench space, however there was shelves in the mirrored cabinent so i had to resort to putting all my things in there.

The coffee and tea they provide was great (not normally something I would comment on) but they had T2 tea and these espresso coffee tea bag things which were great.

I didnt eat breaky in the paris cafe thing, however i did have breaky in the pizza cafe one a few of the mornings. I didnt have to pay for it as it was covered by my husbands company, however im not sure I would have gone there every day if I had to pay for it.

I am not sure on the price of the hotel but I think it's over $200 and for something that doesnt have a pool and isnt right in the CDB I think it is a little overpriced.

I would stay here again if I didnt have to pay or had a great deal online.

  • Stayed: January 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank Hun'ee1203
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 16, 2012

Stayed one night. Greeted very nicely by front desk, upgraded to junior suite and able to check in before 10.00am and check out at 12.30pm. Perfect location just down St Kilda Rd.

Great feel to hotel, artwork and decor very nice. Bed and facilities perfect. Little tricky getting in and out of bathroom past the sofa.

Restaurant and cafe downstairs are very nice.

Would definitely consider another stay there.

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled solo
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Thank David C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Haylee J, Guest Relations Manager at Art Series - The Blackman, responded to this reviewResponded October 24, 2012

Dear Guest,
What a wonderful review. We are very pleased that you enjoyed our hotel.
We look forward to welcoming you back again when you are next in Melbourne.
Warm regards,
Julie Dale
Hotel Duty Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 15, 2012

Got this as a mystery room on Hotwire. The Blackman was classed as a hotel in Melbourne CBD so was a bit taken aback when I found out it was 3 km out of the centre. I normally stay in the CBD to avoid taking public transport , took 40 minutes to walk to town and 25 minutes to Prahran Market. Certainly got some exercise! The hotel itself was great, lovely room with a very comfy bed, the bathroom was a bit cosy though. Having a kitchenette was fantastic- the microwave was also a convection oven so could reheat the sausage roll from Fleur Depot the Pain downstairs and it was not soggy! Room service was great- basically food from the 2 onsite restaurants.

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled with family
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Thank doz y
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 11, 2012

We stayed here for five nights in late September. Great room (Deluxe Suite Balcony) but no mirror except the shave cabinet and the kitchen splashback! Hunted high and low for a long mirror and eventually found one outside the room in the dimly lit passage way. Spent my whole time thinking about where they could put a full length mirror so you could get some idea of what you actually look like. Otherwise all was great except bad odour coming from stagnant water in base of dishwasher which was there the whole five days. Although the hotel is lovely with considerate staff, nice restaurant etc I personally would not stay here again unless a mirror was installed as it is too inconvenient to manage for this length of time without one.

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled on business
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Thank Sasharasp
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Haylee J, Guest Relations Manager at Art Series - The Blackman, responded to this reviewResponded October 24, 2012

Dear Guest,
Thank you for writing this review from your recent stay with us at the Blackman. It does sound like you enjoyed the hotel and its facilities. You mention that you would love to have a full length mirror in your room, of which we are currently in the process of reviewing. In the meantime, when you stay with us again, we would be more than happy to pop a full-length mirror in your room, please advise us of this at the time of booking, and we will source one for you.
We look forward to seeing you again soon.
Warm regards,
Julie Dale
Hotel Duty Manager

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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 Blackman

Address: 452 St Kilda Rd | (entry via Arthur Street), Melbourne, Victoria 3004, Australia (Formerly The Blackman Hotel)
Phone Number:
Location: Australia > Victoria > Melbourne
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#6 Romantic Hotel in Melbourne
#10 Business Hotel in Melbourne
#15 Luxury Hotel in Melbourne
Price Range: $126 - $285 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Art Series - The Blackman 5*
Number of rooms: 207
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
With a contemporary, boutique interior and an enviable St Kilda Road location, just a stones throw from Melbourne’s CBD, The Blackman Hotel will inspire Melbourne’s imagination. A destination perfect for business or leisure travellers, this unique Melbourne hotel boasts 209 guest accommodations and suites, a selection of which host private terraces.Built within and above the historic Airlie Mansion, The Blackman Hotel will charm and inspire guests with the works of one of Australia’s most celebrated artists, Charles Blackman, showcased throughout this unique hotel space.The Blackman Hotel is also dedicated to ensuring your visit to Melbourne is complete with dining options to tempt your tastebuds. Experience two of Melbourne’s hottest new restaurants right at your own doorstop. Couple this with our state-of-art gymnasium and your luxurious five-star experience is complete. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Art Series - The Blackman Hotel Melbourne

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