The staff were well-trained, going out of their way to make sure that we had a good time in Melbourne. I noticed that everyone was greeted upon returning in the evening with "Did you have a good day today?" or the equivalent. Staff were ready and knowledgeable about things to do in Melbourne - there didn't seem to be a Concierge, but each front desk staff member was quite competent in recommending activities or arranging services. The breakfast had wonderful variety. I'm not a breakfast eater, but the fresh fruit looked so good that I had some. My travel companion had something different each day - there were numerous hot options (eggs, bacon, hash browns, pancakes), cold cereals, yoghurt, and excellent expresso coffees (lattes, cappucinos, etc.) We had dinner in the restaurant twice and found the food to be good and the service a bit spotty (our server left the restaurant mid-meal and we had to go chasing after another server to obtain one of the items on our order). The location was especially good for our purposes, which included walking visits to the Melbourne Busienss School, the Melbourne Museum, and the Queen Victoria Market, but we were also able to hop on a tram with ease to go downtown.
There were some downsides, and one was large enough to make me choose a different hotel. The IN-ROOM INTERNET CONNECTION IS 55 CENTS A MINUTE! Yes, per minute. (We did discover on logging on that there is a cap of about thirty dollars per day on this, but even that is far more than it should be - we paid five dollars a day on the remote Kangaroo Island.) There are pay computers in the lobby for two dollars for 15 minutes, but they have an annoying habit of knocking you off your websites a minute before the end of the time online to demand more money - making you rewrite the e-mail you were proofreading before sending... They also have only basic readers, so if you receive a Word document and want to edit it and send it back, you can't. I didn't try uploading pictures and don't know whether they're capable of this. The upshot is that if I had known the Internet charge ahead of time, I might have selected a different hotel. A similar unexpected charge was for lockers for luggage. We went away for several days and wanted to leave our luggage in the hotel. There is no staffed luggage room, but instead a set of luggage lockers. I don't know comparative prices for the area, but they seemed a bit high, even for the 4-5 hour range. (We had a friend who kept them for us instead.) The front desk told us we could just leave our bags there w/o putting them in a locker, but that, of course, they could not guarantee their safety because the door to the room was not locked. Finally, the bathroom was a bit small and, like many hotel bathrooms, obviously designed by someone who doesn't use any toiletries or towels. There is a postage-stamp sized counter, a tiny cubby, and one small hanging rod for towels. (This may be a function of our particular room, we didn't see any other rooms, but ours was supposed to sleep 3 people (one double bed and a twin), so should have had more bathroom shelf/rod space...
In short, we were quite impressed with the staff, but disappointed with the high-priced charges for things we're accustomed to having as included in the room rate. The website should disclose the cost of the Internet connection rather than simply advertise "Internet available in every room," which is clearly designed to make people think this is free or at least reasonably priced.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- ibis Melbourne is well located within easy walking distance of the famous Queen Victoria Markets, the legendary Lygon Street restaurant precinct and the Melbourne Central Shopping district. Fully refurbished and boasting a fresh new look, ibis Melbourne features 250 rooms, including one and two bedroom apartments, a vibrant restaurant and bar, plus internet access and conferencing facilities. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Hotel Accor Melbourne
- Ibis Melbourne