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“Convienient for my needs”

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Art Series - The Olsen
Ranked #25 of 158 Hotels in Melbourne
La Jolla, California
1 review
“Convienient for my needs”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 22, 2013

I stayed in the Olsen for about a week in December 2013.


The pros:

Good central location, just off the Melbourne equivalent of "the King's Road."

The hotel is stylish and is trying hard to be hip/trendy... My local colleagues described it as a place where trendy people go to shop and spend money.

I thought the hotel was relatively modern, clean, and stylish... Clearly trying hard to be hip/trendy. It has a small lobby with helpful staff whose uniforms include matching jewelry that coordinates with the hotel's interior ... We'll the owner is an artist so they clearly put thought into these little but noticeable details.... Speaking of which, there was interesting artwork throughout the building, as well as in the room, and plenty of art books, which I appreciated.

The room itself was fine and the bed was very comfortable. It's not the 4 Seasons, but it's not the Courtyard Marriott either.

I was in a "1 bed studio," which is basically a hotel room with a kitchenette (induction cooktop, microwave, kettle, and sink). The room was a good size and it was great to have a kettle, mini-fridge, sink and microwave.... Made morning coffee and warming snacks very easy.... So both a time and money saver.

I was there for work so I did not see any sights, other than several of the local cafés, which are in abundance in the surrounding neighborhood. There are some very good breakfast places close by, with great salads and sandwiches for lunch, and baristas with impressive skills -- cappuccinos were works of art. There is also a shopping center almost directly across the street that includes a large grocery store, home made pasta store (if I could have figured out how to make the induction cooktop work I would have tried this option, but there were no instructions and it took until last day to figure it out). The shopping center also includes a fresh fruit and veg store, pizza place, and a large Woolworth's on the second floor. Having this across the street made it very convenient grab something quick for dinner and/ breakfast the next morning.


The cons:

Paying A$10 per day for Internet seemed very last century for a hotel that is trying so hard to be trendy. Still, once paid for, the internet connection was pretty good - I measured it a synchronous 5Mbit/sec (up and down), which is pretty unusual.

The RFID room keys are a nice touch, but the check-in staff does not explain how they work in the elevator.... During my stay, on at least 5 occasions, I met a confused person in the elevator who could not figure out how to make the elevator work properly and consequently ended up going down when they wanted to go up, or vice-versa.

Housekeeping was a bit cheap with the towels (2 total per room) and did not return /refresh the hand towels or washcloths after the first day. When I used a robe it was taken away and not refreshed, so that by the time I checked out, there were no robes in the room (started with 2x), no hand towel, and no washcloth.

One day I worked in the room until about noon and when housekeeping knocked I told them I was still in the room and needed a bit more time. I left between noon and 1pm and returned after 8pm but the room was not serviced. Disappointing.

The drain in my sink backed up if the water was on for more than 30-45 seconds (e.g. When brushing teeth or shaving), but was fixed when I notified the front desk (although I was a bit put off by the note left maintenance staff that said the drain was fine all along and did not back up... All I know is that it did not work before they were there and it worked great after they were there. So I was happy that it was fixed for the second half of my stay.

The lighting in the room was very poor if you wanted to get any work done at the tiny desk. Although there are halogen bulbs in the ceiling, there are not any over the desk area (perhaps to avoid glare on TV). The desk has a stylish looking (but useless from a functionality POV) lamp that featuring a low light output compact-fluorescent bulb lamp... It's a good example of "form over function" that tend to trip up designer hotels... Looked great but was Inadequate for reading or doing much computer work. An additional / more powerful working / reading lamp would have been welcomed. Strangely, I also had three light bulbs burn out on me during the week I was there. That's never happened before in a hotel.

All the above was pretty minor, and in general the hotel was very good. But the one thing that really bothered me was the persistent strange smell in the bathroom that seemed to be coming from the HVAC system, as though it had not been cleaned in a while... Things grow in a moist environment life ducting over a shower.... I can't really describe other than it smelled like the insides of an electric toothbrush (e.g. Sonicare) that has not been scrubbed out in a while. This was a bit off-putting in the morning, especially if bathroom door has been closed during the night.

All-in-all (apart from the strange smell) it was pretty good for my purposes. As I said, I was there for work and spent most of my time in an office, or working at the too-small desk in the room. For my purposes it was fine. However I am not sure I would stay at the Olsen if I were on holiday.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank 92037_Jonathan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Amy_Moylan, Front Office Manager at Art Series - The Olsen, responded to this review, January 6, 2014
Greetings Jonathan,

Thank you for choosing to recently stay at the Olsen Hotel and I hope this response finds you well.

Thankyou for taking the time to review your hotel stay, I have found your feedback and recommendations to be most helpful. The details that were overlooked throughout your stay shouldn’t have occurred and I do apologise with particular regard to the smell and drainage issue you describe along with the housekeeping points you have raised.
Again your feedback was most helpful, Please feel free to contact me at any stage if you are to book again to stay in the future.

Kind Regards,
Amy Moylan
Front Office Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,625 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (349)
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English first
Melbourne, Australia
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 19, 2013

Stayed with the family in this amazing hotel, room and the service received by the friendly staff was absolutely outstanding. We took the advantage of the pool with 40' weather kids had a ball, we finally got to swim in the glass pool we looked at so many times from the street. Thank you for this pleasant experience Team Olsen 10/10 miss you already xx

  • Stayed December 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Polites
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Amy_Moylan, Front Office Manager at Art Series - The Olsen, responded to this review, January 6, 2014
Hi Polites

Thank you for your review!
I am thrilled to hear you and your kids enjoyed our glass bottom pool and the Melbourne weather was kind to you.

Look forward to seeing you again soon,
Regards
Amy Moylan
Front Office Manager
The Olsen Hotel
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Seattle, Washington
Level Contributor
46 reviews
40 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 19, 2013

My second stay at The Olsen. This is a great property in a great location. The rooms are not particularly large but very functional and comfortable. Everything is in great condition. Seems like no corners are cut with regards to maintenance or periodic refreshing of the rooms.

Don't skip the restaurant downstairs. I tend to avoid hotel restaurants as they are usually overpriced but this one has delicious food at typical market prices. The menu is great, as is the service and staff. Enjoy!

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Leif D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Amy_Moylan, Front Office Manager at Art Series - The Olsen, responded to this review, January 6, 2014
Hi LeifD

I wish to thank you for your kind words on your comments card from your stay. Your lovely words and comments about your stay really made the teams day and we thank you for your feedback.
I am so pleased you had a terrific time with us in our restaurant Spoonbill.


Amy Moylan
Front Office Manager
The Olsen Hotel
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ballarat, Australia
Level Contributor
8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 16, 2013

We arrived at nine, hungry and tired. We had booked a deal which included a three course meal and a glass of wine. When we sat down to have the meal we were told there was no such deal and we would have to have paella. After seeing the management we found we were correct, and were treated well. The restaurant was so dark I couldn't read the menu, and the music was noisy and unpleasant. Hotel itself was fantastic, and that is why we use the Art Series Hotels.

Room Tip: Nice food beautifully presented, at a price to match.
See more room tips
  • Stayed December 2013, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Gerald M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Paul R, Manager at Art Series - The Olsen, responded to this review, December 18, 2013
Hello Gerald M,

I wish to thank you for your kind words on your comments card from your stay. Your lovely words and comments have been passed onto the Spoonbill Restaurant.
I am pleased you had a terrific time in the restauarnt once the issue confusion was rectified.
Your comments regarding the lighting and music will be looked into movign forward.

Kindest Regards

Amy Moylan
Front Office Manager
The Olsen Hotel
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 16, 2013

What a fantastic hotel to stay to celebrate my wife's birthday made welcome by Joanna who would be an asset to any hotel in the world. Great room on the 4th floor, comfi bed, marshmallow pillows and my wife's favorite in the mini bar, the box of large chocolate freckles.
The Spoonbill Restaurant had great staff, great food, a fantastic range of beers and wine, Lucy with her great knowledge of the area recommended the Sweetwater inn a great bar near the Jam factory for drinks and Caffe e Cucina for dinner. She was spot on with both.
The management at this hotel should be proud of such a sensational offering and even more proud of their greatest asset, the customer service from brilliant staff.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Jim S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Paul R, Front Office Manager at Art Series - The Olsen, responded to this review, December 18, 2013
Dear JimS

I wish to thank you for your kind words on your comments your stay. Your lovely words and comments about your stay really made the teams day especially Joanna and Lucy and we thank you for your feedback.
I am so pleased you had a terrific time with us here at the Olsen, should you need anything in the future do not hesitate to contact me directly and I will certainly take care of your needs.

Kindest Regards and thank you for your time,

Amy Moylan
Front Office Manager
The Olsen Hotel
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 16, 2013

I'll get straight to the point!
I explained over and over to multiple staff that it was an important weekend for me and my husband as we were traveling from interstate and it was for his surprise bday so I wanted everything perfect. Paid for the 'better' room cos it had a balcony.. A balcony that looked onto a construction site/swamp. When I complained I got told to look towards the left and I would apparently see the city. All I saw was a massive parking sign. I was also told they would throw in a bottle of house wine. We received a ginger bread man instead and when I called to advise them of this apparent mix up the lovely young girl sounded like she was going to help - considering she said 'leave it with me and ill organise something' but we got way too tired waiting so we left the room. Nevertheless the wine never arrived. The best part was the departure as you could easily drop in the room key in the express check out box. We spent the next night at the Crown towers which for a Sunday cost only a little extra and oh my gosh we were treated like stars. You simply can't fault it.
Only stay at the Olsen if you are planning on shopping in chapel st.

  • Stayed December 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Penny H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Paul R, Front Office Manager at Art Series - The Olsen, responded to this review, December 16, 2013
Dear Pennyh,

Thank you for choosing to recently stay at the Olsen Hotel.
I have found your feedback and recommendations to be most helpful, and the details that were overlooked throughout your stay shouldn’t have occurred and I am sincerely sorry that a special weekend away was problematic and did not live up to expectations.
I do sincerely apologise we didn’t achieve the level of service we do strive for when it comes to meting your needs, with regard to you not receiving the wine intended for you and the allocation and view of the balcony room booked.
I’m particular I am disappointed we let ourselves down on not finding a suitable outcome for you whilst you were in-house and you left disappointed and underwhelmed, this is certainly not how i wish my guests to feel.
Again your feedback was most helpful, please feel free to contact me directly on 9040 1231 or amy_moylan@artserieshotels.com.au at any stage if you would like to discuss the stay in more detail.

Kind Regards,
Amy Moylan
Front Office Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
94 reviews
40 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 66 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 15, 2013

When you arrive at the Olsen they have a card in your room with the heading 'First Impressions Count' - it is a feedback card you can send the Manager. We had a mixed start with our stay at The Olsen - the team on arrival were very friendly and helpful but our room just wasn't what we expected for a Deluxe Studio Suite (based on the website description of a 'more spacious stay'). Put it this way the room had bad feng shui, wasnt spacious and it was like kleptomaniac had visited because the TV remote had disappeared, things were missing in the minibar, other a few things like ironing board were broken.

I travel 10 months out of 12 every year all over the world and I am kind of an expert on hotel rooms. My husband and I had also just finished an exhausting week with 14 hour days and sadly visiting Melbourne for a funeral - so not in the best headspace and looking for a calm oasis.

We raised our issues about the room with the staff and the front desk manager Amy called my husband while were out to advise they were moving us to another room. The other room was definitely more spacious and light and more relaxing. The front desk staff were very considerate when we returned and offered to help us move rooms and settle us in. There was even a lovely note and bottle of wine waiting for us on arrival.

For me - it's the interaction and service you receive in a hotel - it can be the most luxurious 5 star hotel but if the staff dont treat you well (and vice-versa) it really affects your stay and leaves negative lasting impressions. The staff at The Olsen are exemplary and my lasting impressions of The Olsen will be about a team who made us feel very welcome, were considerate and listened to our issues and resolved them in a timely manner. A BIG thank you to all of them.

Here's a list of great things about the hotel if you are visiting Melbourne for any occasion (happy or sad):

- The front desk team are brilliant - meeting us at our car and ready to welcome us into the hotel. Quickly checking if we want to valet the car or park ourselves and then an intro to the front desk.
- Front desk service was great too - good rundown on what's on offer.
- The hotel vibe is great - nice buzz as you come in and of course lots of lovely John Olsen artwork everywhere.
- I really appreciated the magazines and art books in the room - great to have something interesting to read other than tourist magazines and lovely to look at whilst enjoying a cup of T2 tea.
- Beds are amazing - most comfortable I have slept on anywhere.
- Location is great - in the middle of all the wonderful shopping that South Yarra has to offer and in close proximity to lots of other Melbourne attractions.
- I think you need a car at The Olsen - to see more than South Yarra. If you dont arrive with one they have Smart Cars, scooters and bikes on offer for hire.
- Great cafe and coffee - we enjoyed breakfast here each morning and a also had a yummy room service meal.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank JenY_Travels
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Paul R, Front Office Manager at Art Series - The Olsen, responded to this review, December 16, 2013
Good Morning,

I wish to thank you for your kind words regarding your stay. Your lovely words and comments about your stay really made the teams day and we thank you for your feedback. I personally do appreciate the lovely feedback you have provided.
I am so pleased you had a terrific time with us here at the Olsen once we room moved you and I dearly thank you for allowing me to facilitate that and find a more suitable room.
I do appreciate the chance to improve the standard of stay and should you need anything in the future do not hesitate to contact me directly and I will certainly take care of your needs.

Kindest Regards and I do look forward to seeing you again in the future,

Amy Moylan
Duty 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 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
#24 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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