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“Possibly our best hotel experience so far!”

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Art Series - The Olsen
Ranked #27 of 159 Hotels in Melbourne
Certificate of Excellence
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
78 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
“Possibly our best hotel experience so far!”
Reviewed June 22, 2012

My husband and I stayed at The Olsen for our first wedding anniversary recently. After a minor mix up in rates quoted via email the manager gave us a free upgrade so instead of being in the spa studio room we were in the sap deluxe room the main difference being extra space. On arrival the guy on reception was very friendly and welcoming and when we arrived in our room we found an anniversary card from the staff along with a complimentary cheese board and champagne on ice! This was such a nice personal touch and really gave us a great impression of the hotel. The room was amazing roaring fire, comfiest beds, kitchen with microwave and coffee making machine. There is also a large fridge with freezer box and is fully stocked the best range I've seen in a not so mini bar. A dining table and chairs and magazines to read along with lots of art books. The best part by far was the large outdoor balcony with massive hot tub. It was absolutely amazing relaxing in the tub at night with bubbly. The mini bar I also thought was reasonably priced compared with bars in Melbourne. Room service was also good. We had such a great time we actually rang reception and asked was the room free the following day and booked another night! Would definitely recommend this place to anyone. We had looked at all the top hotels in Melbourne and chose this as it has way more character than the boring dated bigger chain hotels. Thank you all at the The Olsen we had an amazing first anniversary.

Room Tip: Deluxe spa studio was amazing.
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  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Mzteeree
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
, Front Office Manager at Art Series - The Olsen, responded to this review, July 4, 2012
Thank you for your kind review. Weddings, birthdays, anniversaries; they should all be celebrated. Our job is to do all we can to make sure you have a great time while you are in the hotel. Especially when you are in the spa suite, it's important that you have a few bubbles to drink. That is the least we can do to make your experience a special one.

Thank you for telling others about your time at The Olsen. We look forward to welcoming you back for your second anniversary.
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (358)
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English first
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed June 21, 2012

We loved everything about this hotel. The rooms are beautifully appointed, with awesome views of South Yarra and Richmond. Its super trendy and close to the shops on Chapel Street. We had both dinner and breakfast in Spoonbill restaurant and simply couldnt fault the food or service. For business or leisure this is definately one of Melbourne's prize hotels and we'll be back for sure!!!

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank Lovemelza
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
39 reviews
38 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
Reviewed June 20, 2012

We chose to stay at The Olsen during our wedding.

The staff were very helpful - we asked them for some local knowledge on bars to meet up with friends afterwards and they were keen to help us. They accommodated an early check-in on the wedding day, and were pleasant to all the friends we had staying there also.

The vibe of the hotel is very typical of Melbourne - minimalist, luxurious and arty. The standard rooms aren't huge, but what's lacking in the size of the rooms you get back in comfort, style and location. We had the Deluxe Spa Studio Suite - the perfect size for everything we needed that weekend (including my dress etc). That particular room is large, the spa holds 8 people apparently, and the balcony is actually spacious too, as it's only on the first floor. The wall is really high, so you don't hear the noise of Chapel St. The only noise we did hear was from people wanting to use the pool which was opposite our door - not an ideal wake up call at 7am! Luckily it was easy to get back to sleep in the king size bed...!

We found the minibar in the room to be reasonably priced, but that was the only extra added on to our room. I couldn't tell you about the cost of parking etc, or room service.

Overall - loved it. It deserves to rated as highly as it is and I would love to stay again some day!

Room Tip: If you can afford to upgrade - do it. I saw three different types of rooms in this hotel, and it def...
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  • Stayed April 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank love_weekenders
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
, Front Office Manager at Art Series - The Olsen, responded to this review, July 4, 2012
We are so glad that you chose to spend your wedding time with us at The Olsen. We are all really pleased that it was a special time for you and that you enjoyed the spa suite. Not that we get a chance, but I'd imagine it would have been really relaxing in the spa after a hectic period for you.

We have only recently changed our mini bar items and pricing. We think it is fairer to charge a reasonable price for a packet of chips than go over the top like some other places. I hope you tried the colourful giant lolly pop!

Thank you for taking the time to give us and others your feedback. I hope to welcome you back again soon.
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Adelaide
Level Contributor
10 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed June 19, 2012 via mobile

I have stayed here 3 times and I will not stay anywhere else. We come from Adelaide and have stayed in most of the popular places the Olsen is the best followed by the Cullen. In particular we got the penthouse at Olsen during grand final week and it blew us away!

Personally I think most of the bad reviews I read we're a joke. I'm sure some had some problems but I read one about the tv menu not working properly! Get a life lol this hotel looks amazing, beds are sooo comfortable, the service is spot on, a good selection of entertaient, very very nice gym, great pool and it's on chapel st. the end!

  • Stayed September 2011
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Helpful?
1 Thank Alice W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
104 reviews
40 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 80 helpful votes
Reviewed June 17, 2012

It was such a pity that we arrived at the Olsen after a late flight and had to leave for family commitments early the next morning, as we would loved to have more time to relax and enjoy the hotel and the surrounding neighbourhood!

Check-in was fast and easy - they knew our name before we introduced ourselves. The property was modern but beautiful, with John Olsen artwork tastefully spread throughout. Our room was very good - good TV, comfortable bed, modern and clean bathroom, and even an unexpected kitchenette. Would have loved to have more time to have a swim in the pool, which has a clear bottom overlooking the street. Wifi was extra though.

Happy to stay here again, but there are lots of great hotels in Melbourne - and would also love to experience the other hotels in the Art Series! :-)

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank TeamTam
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Upper Hutt, New Zealand
Level Contributor
12 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed June 15, 2012

Loved this hotel, room was large with good view and awesome decor. Staff were fantastic and not just one of them but all of them.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank KyleeNZ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NickGouin, Front Office Manager at Art Series - The Olsen, responded to this review, June 17, 2012
Thank you for your kind words regarding your recent stay with us at The Olsen. It is always pleasing to read that guests will return. Thank you for mentioning the work of our staff. We believe that there is so much benefit if we recruit staff that genuinely care about their job. It is a real motivator to all of us when guests appreciate the work that we do.

Thank you for your feedback, and we look forward to seeing you again soon.
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Taipei, Taiwan
Level Contributor
40 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed June 14, 2012

Just spent a few nights at The Olsen in Melbourne (business trip with the family) and I was seriously unimpressed. We were given a room without a tub despite the fact that we are traveling with our 17 mo old, and they were unable to accommodate us in another room. I thought the room was TINY and rather impractical. I find these artsy hotels to be more form over function - for example, we had about 15 art books in the room, but no waste basket! One of the biggest pet peeves I had was that it took several minutes for the water in the sink to heat up, which caused me to waste a lot of time (and water!) every time I washed my hands - which is frequently, with a toddler! - and then the drain didn't work properly, so the water would pool in the sink and threaten to overflow... So I had to run the tap, turn it off, wait for the sink to drain a bit, turn the tap back on to wait for the water to heat, repeat, repeat, repeat - just to wash my hands!! Talk about annoying. Right next to the sink was one of those "help us save the environment by reusing your towel" signs, and I just kept thinking how much more water was being wasted waiting for the tap to heat than I was saving by reusing my towel! Then the A/C unit made a very loud humming/buzzing sound which was bothersome enough to prevent me from being able to sleep, so we had to turn the unit off overnight (and woke up freezing). The shower door also leaked somehow and would get the bathroom floor all wet - another hazzard with a toddler running around.
We ended up changing rooms after the first night due to the noise from the A/C unit and I thought the other problems would be fixed as well, but in the new room the water still took forever to heat and the drain did not drain either!
Then there were a few other minor things - like the placement of the toilet paper holder which drove my husband crazy (you have to contort backwards to reach it) and the fact that there is no lobby area to speak of and the entrance was always freezing because it's minuscule and the sliding doors are constantly opening. Although it's supposed to be self catering, it is really just a basic hotel room - small, and no laundry facilities in the room - something that was very important to me! We went to check out the coin operated machines and the dryer was out of order, so we went to another floor, and although it costs $2, the machines don't accept $2 coins. So we had to go down to get change, then one of the coins we were given was bent slightly and the machine wouldn't accept it, so back down we went... Then we ended up getting locked out of the laundry floor because of some security feature - a simple load of laundry turned into a major fiasco!!
I also found the service to be sub-standard. We were offered a baby tub to bathe our child, but it was never brought to our room. Other requests took a long time to respond to.  My greatest shock was over the fact that we spent another 2 nights in the hotel after changing rooms and when we were packing on the last day, my husband was missing a pair of shoes. After searching every square inch of the room, I wondered if we had left it behind when we had moved after the first night. We thought surely, if we had left something in the room the hotel would have told us!  We almost left without the shoes, but decided to ask just in case.  Sure enough, a couple hours later, we were brought the shoes - but it made me wonder how no one questioned things left behind in a room, when we'd just moved down the hall, and what else we may have left behind that went unnoticed! (Also, when we first mentioned the shoes, no one seemed to have any idea what we were talking about... Then they suddenly magically appeared...?)
Another big annoyance for me was that not only is internet not included (which it absolutely should be at this price point!), but after you pay your fee, you can only link one device at a time, so I couldn't have my phone and iPad connected simultaneously. I had to keep signing off, signing on, and re-entering the code a million times. I find this to be outrageous and extremely frustrating - and something that is so easily avoided!!
My last complaint was about the restaurant. The service was shocking - we asked for some vegetables to be brought out as soon as possible for our toddler, and we ended up getting all our other food first, and has to ask 3 times to check on the veg status. My husband ordered a cocktail which came in a tiny, half-filled martini glass, and then got the shock of his life when he saw the price - $22! The rest of the meal was equally minuscule and overpriced. $7 for one taco which was less than 2 bites... We spent $100 and left hungry. 
I have one positive thing to say - the bed and pillows were extremely comfortable (and the minibar was quite different and interesting - not that we took advantage of it). For me, bed comfort is paramount and makes up for a lot, but it's not quite enough to cover all the grievances I had with this place. We will definitely be staying elsewhere next time.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank nessjoy4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
, Front Office Manager at Art Series - The Olsen, responded to this review, June 27, 2012
Thank you for taking the time to tell us about your stay. It's disappointing that we were unable to make your experience a positive one. All hotels from time to time will have issues; its how they get resolved which really makes the difference. We pride ourselves on being able to turn a negative into a positive, and I am sorry that we have fallen short on this occasion.

I would like to apologise for the maintenance issues that you experienced. This is well below our standard and has certainly been actioned since your departure. Our hotel has a very proactive preventative maintenance program, as we are always trying to stay in front so that these problems can be avoided.

We have an onsite reservations team that are here to answer any queries that our guests or potential guests may have. We know that not all of our rooms will suit everyone, especially families like yours. That is why we encourage people to ask us questions before they arrive, so we can match them with the best possible suite to suit their needs.

Although your feedback is disappointing, it does offer us a great insight and helps us to improve if we have made an error. We will use your comments to further train our team and fix the issues that you have raised.
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Additional Information about Art Series - The Olsen

Property: Art Series - The Olsen
Address: 637 - 641 Chapel St | South Yarra, Melbourne, Victoria 3141, Australia
Phone Number:
Location: Australia > Victoria > Melbourne > Chapel Street
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#8 Spa Hotel in Melbourne
#9 Business Hotel in Melbourne
#26 Luxury Hotel in Melbourne
#27 Romantic Hotel in Melbourne
#28 Family Hotel in Melbourne
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:5 star — Art Series - The Olsen 5*
Number of rooms: 229
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Set on Melbourne’s prestigious Chapel Street, The Olsen Hotel offers travelers premier South Yarra accommodation with 229 elegant five-star suites that are infused with the lyrical works of revered Australian Landscape artist Dr John Olsen. Breathtaking mural and sculpture greet you on arrival and large prints adorn all hallways and suites. This boutique Melbourne hotel is complimented by a day spa and two delicious restaurants; you will be reveling in the Art of [Creature Comforts]. At The Olsen Hotel, one can sleep soundly on Art Series Signature bedding, plunge into the spectacular glass bottom pool with Chapel Street shoppers below, work out in our state-of-the-art gymnasium or step out for some retail therapy. These South Yarra accommodations offer plentiful natural light and are thoughtfully appointed with 42” flatscreen televisions, wireless internet access and complete kitchenettes.For a longer stay settle into an exclusive art inspired residential suite.Olsen is regarded as one of Australia’s greatest living painters and won the Archibald Prize in 2005 for his portrait Self Portrait Janus Faced.Experience Olsen’s charm, wit and passion for life. ... more   less 
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