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“Great location”

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BreakFree on Collins
Ranked #113 of 162 Hotels in Melbourne
Reviewed January 13, 2010

We stayed here for 4 nights - were given a free upgrade to the Executive floor upon check-in which was a pleasant surprise. Would recommend Darling Towers to anyone wanting to stay right in the middle of the city as it was smack bang in the middle, but with no traffic noise whatsoever when the ranch-slider was closed. All the appliances and gadgets you would need for self-catering in the apartment, and close to everything from tram stops (right outside the door of the lobby) to supermarkets (coles just around the corner) to shops (again - right outside the door of the lobby).

All in all - a pleasant stay and certainly the highlight of our trip accommodation wise (we visited several other cities).

  • Stayed: January 2010, traveled with friends
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Thank Kellagram
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,753 - 1,759 of 1,818 reviews

Reviewed January 10, 2010

Our 2 b/room apartment was clean,comfortable and well appointed. It was in a great location allowing us to walk to various places of interest , or catch the tram outside the door. Friendly staff made us feel welcome. We felt the room was good value for the 3 of us and will definately stay again. Lynne, Wayne, Eva.

  • Stayed: January 2010, traveled with family
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Thank minniepig
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 6, 2010

Firstly, I have to note that I am not one of those whingey travellers who want to pay three star prices yet receive five star quality. Neither am I picky - as long as the place is clean and well maintained, I don't care about how fahionable decor is or anything like that. You can check out my other reviews if you don't believe me.

Now I chose Darling Towers on Collins primarily on the basis of the great reviews it has received on here which is the way I pick all the hotels I choose to stay in. Prior to this stay, I have found that the reviews have been extremely accurate and in most cases even exceeded the reviews. I am so disappointed to report that that was definitely not the case with Darling Towers.

I was travelling in the Eastern States and booked Darling Towers to stay with my family (mum, dad and two teenage brothers) when they arrived in Melbourne.

LOCATION
Price wise, you cannot do better for the location in Melbourne. In fact, even if you had a higher range budget, I don't think you could do better. It is almost right on the corner of Swantson and Collins Streets and close to plenty of food, restaurants, shopping, trams and busses etc. Location wise, Darling Towers is tops.

STAFF @ CHECK-IN
When my parents arrived early in the morning (about 7:00am) the reception staff were very helpful and allowed them to store their luggage until check in. There is also a bathroom available at reception if guests would like to freshen up while they are waiting for check in. I think that is a nice service to offer guests, so thumbs up to Darling Towers in that regard.

BROKEN LIFT
However, getting the luggage to the reception of level 8 of the building proved difficult given that the lifts were out of order. My dad and a staff member had to lugg three suitcases up 8 flights of stairs just to store their luggage. I might add that the staircase was not particularly safe looking - the handrails were loose and wobbly - guests could not lean on them for support. This would have been a problem for older travellers.

I can understand that these things happen and are ultimately unavoidable, but the lift was broken down for almost two entire days, forcing guests to climb at least 5 or 6 flights of stairs every time they returned to the apartments. On mid 30 degree days, this was not ideal. The problem was not promptly fixed and when the lift was working, it was unreliable (stopping at the wrong floors) and it just didn't seem very safe. Every one I spoke to said they were just happy to get out at the ground floor without the thing plummetting to the ground!

If that was the only problem, I would not have minded. But unfortunately it didn't stop there.

THE HALLWAYS/CLEANLINESS
We booked a two bed-room apartment. We were placed on level 6, meaning that the luggage had to be taken down two flights of stairs to our floor. The hallways on level 6 were a little dark and dreary, but that wasn't really an issue for me. There was a room the door to which is right next to the lifts, that is, the door is located on the wall perpendicular from the lift doors. You could make the trip from your door of your apartment to the inside of the lift within three steps - no joke. I noticed that there were black rubbish bags outside the doors of each room as I walked down the hallway - which isn't a problem in itself - until they are left there by housekeeping for most of the day. Further, there were items of rubbish on the floor left after housekeeping removed the bags - this included a used rubber glove, a used cotton bud and an unused (thankfully) tampon. This was all on one floor! And they were not removed for the ENTIRE length of our stay (3 nights). It was disgusting. I took photos of these and will upload them for you all soon.

THE APARTMENT
The apartment was extremely small even for a family with small children. The main bedroom was the biggest, but it barely allowed space for a suitcase to be laid open. The second bedroom was tiny. It would be considered tiny even with one bed in there, let alone the two single beds that are crammed in there. We had to lay out the other suitcases in the hallway because of this. The bathroom was poorly designed and very small. The fan in the bathroom was ineffective and sounded like a very unhealthy jet engine. That was before it packed in and decided not to work anymore.

The 'living area' was rediculously tiny. You could sit on the couch, make a cup of tea and sit that cup of tea on the table without leaving the comfort of your seat. The kitchen was small and due to the size of the room, the table (which was not big enough for a two bedroom apartment) was situated approximately 50cm from the kitchen bench. Then the couch was located about 1m from the table. It was all very very crammed to the point that you simply couldn't just sit in your apartment to have a bit of a rest because it was just so rediculously small. The 'balcony' which was more of a door with a barrier preventing you from falling off the side of the building, opened to a dingy alley way. No nice views of Collins Street in this apartment, although I have heard that apartments on the otherside of the building do get nice views. Further, there was a creepy man in the building opposite who kept starring into our apartment with a creepy smile on his face and waving. We had to end up closing the blinds. Obviously though that isn't Darling Towers' fault.

The walls of the apartment are very thin and so you can hear every conversation in the rooms next to you as well as out in the hallways.

I have never been so disappointed with an apartment as I was with Darling Towers - as I said above, I usually find the reviews here on trip advisor to be extremely accurate and so I felt really bad that I had picked this hotel for my family to stay in. This makes me think that perhaps we just got a really dodgey room or floor. On the basis of what I experienced of Darling Towers, I would not recommend it.

Even though we didn't spend a lot of time in the apartment and style/decor wasn't important to us, it just put a sour taste in your mouth having to come back to a cramped, dirty, dingey place every night.

I hope you guys have found this review helpful, if you would like to ask me any questions, please don't hesitate to send me a message - I'd be more than willing to help!

  • Stayed: December 2009, traveled with family
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1  Thank carmen88
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 4, 2010

We just spent a great Christmas in Melbourne at Darling Towers on Collins. The tram stopped outside the door so we were able to get everywhere we wanted. The apartment was modern and the kitchen full of every appliance you could wish for, even a dishwasher, and the washing machine/dryer was a real bonus. The staff were all helpful and cheerful, and made our stay a very happy one. We booked the apartment on wotif.com and thought it was great value. We look forward to staying at Darling Towers again.

  • Stayed: December 2009, traveled as a couple
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Thank celtics_10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 28, 2009

Searching for accommodation in Melbourne CBD we found this place advertising 2 bedroom apartments on a stand-by rooms website within our budget (under $150 per night). We rang and booked direct. Having stayed in serviced apartments before, we didn't expect the level of service you get at the top hotels, eg. porter to carry bags, but we found Darling Towers on Collins staff to be helpful, if a little busy. On arrival we were 'upgraded' to a room on their 'executive' level. We arrived early and were given an early check in, without hassle. We also got a late checkout free of charge. Any questions we had were cheerfully answered, so no complaints about the service.

The room had been reburbished recently and had a full kitchen with dishwasher. Also a full laundry (washer/dryer) and a flat screen TV and DVD player, none of which we were expecting for the money. The apartment was roomy and gave our family group privacy. The airconditioning worked fine and was appreciated, as there was a heatwave the day we checked in.

Downsides: the fact only one lift was working, and a second lift (which is very slow) is needed to access the 'executive' room levels (floors 11 and 12). Also the hot water for the shower took ages to run.

We used the in-room internet for about an hour which cost $11, so Darling Towers on Collins is probably not a great choice for travellers wanting a lot of internet time. There are plenty of internet cafes nearby, however. The location was very central and we could easily hop on a tram or catch the free tourist shuttle bus and city circle tram to sightsee. I was glad we had no need of car parking as it seemed a bit pricey.

All in all, a great value base and explore Melbourne by foot and public transport.

  • Stayed: December 2009, traveled with family
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Thank pixie68
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 27, 2009

my partner and i were very interested in staying in the city for two nights so we jumped on the internet and searched for a room . we were on (wotif?.com) and noticed the darling towers on collins. We then went to their website and being pleased with their photos we called up to book our stay so far fine......when entering the collins st building (which we found hard to find) we then stood at the elevators pressing buttons and trying to find some sort of reception!! when we finally gained access to the elevators we had to travel to the 8th floor to reception which looked like a rundown staff kitchen..the lady with short hair behind the counter was more than happy to "upgrade" us to a 2 bedroom apartment which seemed fine.. we reached our floor walked into the hall which is when i started to notice something wasnt right, there was a flickering light leading up to our room, rubbish, magazines, and mess was all down the hall. when we entered the room there was a very strange smell we then noticed stains on walls, rubbished and broken things on floor broken lights, unclean beds rusty shower heads and no space at all to move around. we also had to park 2 blocks away and carry our luggage from there!! when we decided to bring it up with reception we were told we were liars and when we asked about a refund she got abusive and angry and refused straight away. after arguing for 5 minutes she then offered us $130 (we had paid $260) which we took and also managments number which we were told to call in 3 days time?!!? there was no understanding no help and me and my partner were left upset and ripped off.. NOT WORTH OF 4 STAR RATING

  • Stayed: December 2009, traveled as a couple
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Thank savvymay
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 24, 2009

Hotel is well located, but not advisable if you have a car. 17 AUD parking fee per day (not clear if you can take the car out or not and if you have to pay each time the 17 AUD) and the parking is a 5 to 10 min. walk from the hotel. Also not easy to offload the luggage when you arrive in front of the hotel (staff gave no assistance)

During our stay one of the two lifts was permanently broken down, which meant long waiting times each time one has to take the lift (rooms are on 8th floor and above).

People at reception were also not super friendly and the rooms were not cleaned during our stay.

Wifi internet was very expensive (rate per Mb).

  • Stayed: December 2009, traveled with family
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Thank kaiviti2007
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about BreakFree on Collins

Address: 233 Collins St | Level 6, Melbourne, Victoria 3000, Australia
Location: Australia > Victoria > Melbourne > Central Business District
Amenities:
Kitchenette
Hotel Style:
Ranked #113 of 162 Hotels in Melbourne
Price Range: $93 - $271 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — BreakFree on Collins 3.5*
Number of rooms: 80
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
When you're staying in the heart of Collins Street you'd expect to pay more, but these self-contained apartments are a steal, fully equipped with everything you need from a dishwasher, stove and oven, broadband internet access and reverse cycle air-conditioning keeping you comfortable no matter what the Melbourne weather is dishing out. BreakFree on Collins features One or Two Bedroom Apartments that are modern and stylish. You'll love the location with free CBD City Circle tram on your doorstep, designer outlets, heritage buildings and department stores nearby. Go all hip in the intriguing little lanes that Melbourne is famous for or catch a bit of culture at the many art centres and museums. Of course there's sport, the Rod Laver Arena hosts the Australian Open, the AFL Grand Final is held at the MCG or you can catch a game at Docklands Stadium, then head on over to Fitzroy and Acland Streets St Kilda to get amongst the funky and colourful mix of restaurants, people and places. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Darling Towers On Collins Hotel Melbourne
Darling Hotel Melbourne
Darling Hotel On Collins

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