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Birches Serviced Apartments
Ranked #38 of 134 Specialty Lodging in Melbourne
Certificate of Excellence
Sydney
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
“Excellent value”
Reviewed October 21, 2008

I've just read a couple of negative reviews and wonder if people are writing about the same Birches where we just spent a week. Somebody said there was no public transport - it's less than a block off a tram route and little further to a railway station. I have a bad knee and it didn’t take me five minute to walk to the nearest supermarket but what do you want, a room by the dairy cabinet in Coles? As for the person who complained that their dishes weren't washed for them they have clearly missed the point. Little wonder the staff weren’t too sympathetic.

Yes, it is a renovated block of flats but it’s been done well for the price you pay and that is something to keep in mind – the price you pay! If you want to read about a badly renovated and shabbily furnished old building that’s promoted as serviced apartments just click on my other reviews.

Our stay was great. The apartment was comfortable, clean and well furnished. The bed has excellent! The bathroom wasn't marble with gold fittings (thank goodness) but it was clean and everything worked fine. That said I would have preferred not to have become quite so intimate with the shower curtain but our relationship developed quite nicely over the week.

My only concern was the parking which is extremely tight but more often than not the problems were caused by the way other guests parked their cars.

We will certainly be back and we’ll be more than happy to wash any of the crockery, cutlery and cooking equipment we use. And thank goodness there is no mini-bar. It left room for the things we wanted to put in the fridge ourselves.

  • Liked — Location and price
  • Disliked — Tight parking
  • Stayed October 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
3 Thank KittyKatKev
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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152 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (36)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
40 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
Reviewed September 16, 2008

Very comfortable and in superb location of Melbourne, friendly and welcoming staff – and so pleased our dog could stay too!

Have stayed with at Birches Serviced Apartments 5 times now and plan to again each time for my annual visit. Thank you!

  • Liked — The friendly staff and location
  • Disliked — Nothing really, it was an all round good place
  • Stayed June 2007, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank blukav
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
9 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed October 12, 2007

We stayed at Birches for 7 days while our house was being renovated. The hotel was very basic and did not feel clean. It is an old apartment building converted cheaply into a hotel. It was very noisy, the rooms were serviced badly and the bathroom was old and basic. It was not a comfortable and relaxing place to stay at all. The service staff did not clean dishes and the whole room was often barely cleaned. Though advertised as pet friendly there was rat bait under the kitchen sink that I was not informed about until I found my cat sniffing it.
The worst thing about Birches is the staff. They are incredibly rude and were even abusive when informed I would be leaving halfway through my planned stay because I was unhappy with the service. I cannot believe they are in the service industry and I have never had such an aggressive response to making a complaint.
I was very disappointed in their service and would strongly recommend that you do not book a stay at this hotel unless you are looking for very basic (2-3 star feel) accommodation.

  • Liked — The locationwas convenient for us
  • Disliked — The staff
  • Stayed October 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank slynch5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
birches1, Manager at Birches Serviced Apartments, responded to this review, September 4, 2012
Dear Sir/Madam,

Further to your stay in 2007, we would like to inform you that the new management of Birches Serviced Apartments have conducted some renovations in 2011 and again in 2012. The apartments have been refurbished and are in no means as you portray it. Some of the works which we have carried out are: new awnings, new carpets and new sofa beds. The property is definitely well maintained. Please feel free to pay us a visit to experience the difference.
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
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed September 15, 2007

When planning a Melbourne trip for a friend & myself I did a LOT of research, looking for a place that was affordable for the both of us, yet was comfortable. I found it!

The price is pretty much average for a 1 bedroom apartment, the plus was the free, secure parking.

We stayed in a twin, one bedroom apartment for 5 nights. The apartment had a fully equipped kitchenette/dining area combined with the lounge room.

It was very clean & comfortable. The apartment looks exactly like the pictures on the website. We felt at home & not like we were staying at a motel.

I would definitely stay here again should I find myself in Melbourne in the future.

Hope this review helps. :)

Read on if you are after more detail......

--------------------------------

LIVING ROOM

A recent reviewer said the LCD TV was small, this was one thing I thought as soon as I walked in too, but it was perfect for our needs. We watched TV & DVDs & felt completely at home.

One thing that was a disappointment was that there was only 1 general interest Foxtel channel (Arena) but in the scheme of things, I guess we didn't go there to sit and watch cable TV.

The couches were comfortable & the living area was well lit & was flooded with sunlight in the morning - I love this.

The windows were huge. There were sturdy curtains to cover the windows for darkness or privacy if desired, we closed them at night.

BEDROOM

The bedroom was seperated from the living room with a wall divider with a door length gap at the end. There were 2 blankets on the bed, and a couple in the cupboard. We used the air-con heater sleep function at night & were completely warm. The beds
were very comfortable.

BATHROOM

The bathroom did show some age but was quite clean & usable. I didn't notice any smells (mentioned by a previous reviewer). It surprised me that they do not have an exhaust fan as this would probably lead to lots of frequent cleaning for them, but it didn't bother me - the window had enough ventilation, we just left the venitian blind up. The bath/shower was comfortable.

NOISE

There was noise occasionally, as you would expect, but it was nothing that really bothered us. Mostly guests coming & going. Once or twice one evening we heard footsteps from the room above us but it wouldn't have been enough to wake us up if we were sleeping.

There was a bit of traffic outside during the weekday mornings (ppl going to work I presume) but again, not enough to wake us up. The windows were double glassed so once you close them any noises outside are muted if not eliminated.

LOCATION

Birches was about 3 moderate blocks away from the City, so it's about a 15 to 20 minute walk if you choose to walk. The walk back is a bit easier as it's downhill. We would alternate walking through Fitzroy Gardens - beautiful -, walking straight up Albert St or up Victoria Parade.

There is a Tram stop about 1 and a half minutes away, right across the road which was fantastic on the days we didnt feel like walking to the City or back.

We purchased the tickets at a newsagent in the City but you can buy them right on the tram if you have change. It's a good idea just to buy a couple in the city to keep in your pocket & use when you feel like getting back quickly (eg when we got takeaway from the city - we got back to the apartment on the tram & it was still hot!).

PARKING

The parking was free! You need to put in a code to drive into the parking area. It was a relief to not park on the street, or pay a daily fee for parking. The parking spots were quite close together (angle parking) and I did worry once or twice about careless people parking too closely but all was OK.

STAFF

We didn't really have many encounters with the staff other than checking in, checking out & getting a couple of extra towels. They were always very nice & helped with any questions we had.

GENERAL INFO

Another reviewer mentions that there were no elevators, in my experience they arent nessesary here - there are only 3 floors of apartments & it was quite easy for us to bring our luggage up to the 2nd floor.

  • Liked — Comfortable Place & Location to the CBD
  • Stayed September 2007, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank KeLStrr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Adelaide
Level Contributor
15 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed September 3, 2007

Just returned from a short stay in Melboune..... this is actually an old type block of units transferred into apartment accommodation. No lifts, and carrying two massive suitcases was a nightmare to get up and down... the bathroom was very old and there was this distinct BAD smell coming from the bathroom the whole stay, was not nice! The bed was so uncomfortable, no proper doona - just blankets. It was freezing, the heater was located in the lounge area and that had to be kept on all night with inside doors open to stay warm at night. The kitchen was 'just' a kitchen, no mini bar and there was an 'ant' problem... couldnt keep rubbish in the bin overnight - ants would invade! The lounge area, was okay - the lounges were uncomfortable and old... the tv sure it was a flat screen - but was tiny. The traffic was loud and heard from the bedroom... no trams or public transport close by.... about half an hour walk into the city hub. and the nearest supermarket was about a 5 mins walk away..... not the best place to stay if you do not have a vechile as Melb weather is not always reliable .... we were both so tired from working OS previous that we just wanted to relax - and felt we could not do that here..... it is advertised on the road signs it is 4* - it is most definatly not. I would only recommend for budget accommodation stayers - that want extra room and dont want to be in the hub of the city.

I wish i knew all this before we stayed there - but ah well now..... '

Im writing this as honest feedback to others that may consider this accommodation.... it is worth paying the extra $30-40 per night in Melb city to have a comfortable, secure stay...

  • Liked — the fast broadband
  • Disliked — everything
  • Stayed September 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank Minky_Adel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
sydney
1 review
Reviewed April 18, 2007

Had really good time in Melbourne and at Birches apartment during Grad prix. Apartments was clean, staff was very nice. Very reasonably priced.

  • Liked — clean apartment and location
  • Stayed April 2007, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank sydney_t
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
canberra
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed December 12, 2006

Stayed for 3 days, will never stay there again, rude staff, room was not clean when we checked in, even though we had been told it was ready, then took 3 hours for the room to be cleaned, upon check out, counter staff attempted to over charge us, and then made out like it was our fault that we had not stayed in the 2 bed room appartments that they were attempting to charge us for, we had stayed in the 1 bedroom appartments.

My recomendation is find somewhere else, this is not worth the bother.

  • Liked — nil
  • Disliked — the staff, realy bad attitudes
  • Tips/Secrets — dont got there!!
  • Stayed November 2006, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank knackle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Birches Serviced Apartments

Property: Birches Serviced Apartments
Address: 160 Simpson Street | Corner Albert Street, Melbourne, Victoria 3002, Australia
Location: Australia > Victoria > Melbourne
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Room Service Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #38 of 134 Specialty Lodging in Melbourne
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Birches Serviced Apartments 3.5*
Number of rooms: 24
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Birches Serviced Apartments offer fully equipped and spacious apartments with all the comforts of home, featuring full kitchen with microwaves and hotplates, Free Wifi and much more. A beautiful common court-yard with BBQ facilities with a veggie and herb garden are at the disposal of guests. What's more our guests can also use the bicyles provided free of charge throughout their stay to ride around the city centre. Rooms recently refurbished and freshened up under New Management since August 2013. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Birches Serviced Apartments Hotel Melbourne

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