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“Funky hotel, but ...”
Review of Tolarno Hotel

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Tolarno Hotel
Ranked #8 of 19 Hotels in St Kilda
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
Reviewed March 2, 2013

First the positives: the hotel is damn funky. Lots of artwork and cool furniture abound. The service at reception was friendly and helpful (although we didn't have any unusual demands!). Our balcony room was light and airy and spotlessly clean and I loved the pair of mid-century chairs and the gorgeous lamp (it's definitely my sort of aesthetic). The bar downstairs was a great place for a night cap and the service was extremely friendly. The hotel is very well located, with heaps of places to eat and drink on the same street and Acland Street is within walking distance too. The balcony is small, but sitting out there in the morning sun with a cup of coffee was a great way to start the day.

The negatives: the room was small, and the bathroom was tiny. The shower door couldn't be opened completely because it hit the basin, and the floor space could be almost completely covered with the bath may. There was also a lack of shelf space, with only one small glass shelf above the basin, which was unfortunately on a slant which meant that anything heavier than a toothbrush would slide off.

There is nowhere to put suitcases which meant we had to leave them on the floor and step over them repeatedly to move around the room (there is nowhere that is out of the way, unfortunately).

Also, while we were prepared for there to be some street noise (we had chosen a balcony room because we wanted to enjoy the action from the street), it turns out that most of the street noise consisted of screaming and yelling at all hours of the night. I'm not sure if this is normal on a Friday and Saturday night, or we were just unlucky.

All in all, we had a pleasant stay, but we did yearn for a bit more space and a night's sleep without being interrupted by random screaming!

Room Tip: Pick a balcony room if you like to start the day with a coffee in the morning sun. Pick another r...
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  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Natski_937
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
tolarno, Guest Relations Manager at Tolarno Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded March 29, 2013

Dear Natski_937

Thank you for your review earlier this month.

Glad to hear you appreciated the decor, and enjoyed the atmosphere of the hotel. Tolarno’s location is perfect for those wanting easy access to great restaurants, cafes and bars, not to mention the beach.

Tolarno Hotel was built in 1800’s as a private home, and the balcony rooms were added in the mid 1900’s. When the hotel was transformed to provide bathrooms to all rooms there was only a small amount of space available in the balcony rooms. As you say, the bathrooms are small but we are not able to alter their size, even though we would love to do so.

We are always looking for ways to improve the hotel and you make good points about storage. We have just renovated the main hallway and its surrounds. Our next project is to address the noise to the balcony area. Although the windows are double glazed, the noise travels from Fitzroy Street, and some weekends can be more rowdy than others. We are working with sound engineers now and due to install another frontage for a balcony room, whereby they can be completely enclosed, but also opened by guests. If this proves successful we aim to do this for all balcony rooms.

We would love to welcome you back to Tolarno’s. As you enjoyed many aspects of the balcony it would be worthwhile to contact us. We can provide you with an update of what we have done regarding the new windows, or you may like the deluxe balcony which does have a bigger bathroom, or perhaps a larger room of a different style.

Thank you again for writing such a comprehensive review and we hope to see you again.

Best wishes,
Jane Lewis
Assistant Manager

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200 - 206 of 275 reviews

Reviewed March 1, 2013

This hotel has a great location and is located on a busy street. There are lots of eating places in walking distance. It is just a short walk to St Kilda beach. The only downside is that it doesn't have its own car park so recommend you drop off luggage first before parking. Our room was small but very clean and had everything we needed. The staff in this hotel are particularly friendly and helpful which is a big plus.

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank avonsong
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
tolarno, Guest Relations Manager at Tolarno Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded March 29, 2013

Dear Avonsong,

Thank you very much for your review. Lovely to hear you enjoyed your time with us and it sounds like you made the most of the local surrounds.

Our reception team have a lot of local knowledge and are happy to assist guests with information to enhance their time in St Kilda – I’m glad you found this to be the case.

Parking is at a premium in St Kilda and unfortunately we don’t have parking at the hotel. As you say it is advisable to drop luggage at the front of the hotel and then park the car. The car park closest to the hotel that we have an arrangement with is about 150 metres away ($7 per day) and the free street parking about 200 metres away.

We hope to welcome you at Tolarno's if you visit Melbourne again.

Best regards,
Jane Lewis

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Reviewed January 26, 2013

stayed here with my daughter recently and we both really enjoyed our stay, The reception staff were very friendly, the location was great and I had the best night sleep I have had at a hotel in a long time. Only a short walk to the beach and luna park. Overall very happy and will defintely go back.

  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled with family
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Thank Peter N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 22, 2013

Stayed here over new year 2012-2013 and was reasonably priced for the time of year.
Our room had an ample sized bathroom with shower. A double bed with a kitchenette part running down the side with fridge, sink etc. Bed was made and towels changed daily. Very clean, comfortable.

Lots of great art work in the rooms and corridors and a lovely stain glass window

Really helpful on reception looked after our bags when we checked out showed us where we could find some free parking on the streets around.

Super close to a tram stop which took us into the city within no time at all.
From the hotel you can walk down to St Kilda beach in about 5 mins filled with the bars, pier, restaurants. We were on a tight schedule but would have liked to stay longer

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank LL1286
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 2, 2012

Attended a concert at the Palais Theatre in St Kilda so i booked a room on wotif.com for 1 night. Upon checking in I was pleasantly surprised to be upgraded to a room with kitchenette (room 302, top floor, rear of the building).

Room was clean, tidy, comfortable & quiet. No complaints at all

Location is great with tram stops just outside the hotel, proximity to bars, cafes & yummy cake shops on Acland St.

Would recommend it and would be happy to return to the Tolarno

Room Tip: Rooms 301 & 302 are the only rooms on the top floor and at the rear of the building
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  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled solo
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Thank markad6971
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
tolarno, Manager at Tolarno Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded December 12, 2012

Hello markad6971,

Thank you very much for your recent review.

We were pleased you enjoyed your superior mansion suite (most do have a small kitchenette with a microwave, toaster, wet area with sink, and they all have a bar fridge and kettle).

Tolarno’s is in a good spot; whether you are catching a tram into the CBD or going to the many restaurants and bars in the area, or as you say, the European cake shops in Acland St.

Many guests who attend concerts at the Palais Theatre choose to stay here, as it is only a 10 minute walk from the hotel, which makes it a very easy commute.

We will look forward to welcoming you when you next visit St Kilda, and thanks again for the review and recommendation.

Best wishes,
Orlando

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Reviewed November 22, 2012

The hotel is in a great location, the rooms are clean and adequate and it has great character. HOWEVER, don't choose a balcony room. Online they sell them as a "better" room but they look directly onto the main road which is very noisy and the doors/windows offer very little respite from the street noise. After the first sleepless night and early morning (with road cleaners and trams waking us) we asked to be moved rooms... unfortunately none were available but they did move us for our last two nights. We appreciated that they were happy to move us to another room but the two sleepless nights did make for a pretty miserable holiday.
As I say, the location is great (trams to the city are easily accessible, St Kilda shops and beach are in short walking distance), the hotel was clean and tidy, the staff personable and the art work very cool. So its not all bad. Just make sure you choose your room wisely! Don't take the balcony room!!

  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank olivia_sparkes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
tolarno, Manager at Tolarno Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded December 10, 2012

Dear Olivia,

Thank you for taking the time to submit your review.

Very glad you enjoyed the location and the character of Tolarno’s.

Our balcony rooms do take in the ambience of the street and with that comes the rumble of the trams and usual street noise. Fitzroy Street is a very lively street and for many people this creates too much noise; as was the case for you. Although the floor to ceiling windows and door are double glazed it is very difficult for us to block most of the noise.

We were very pleased to move you at the first opportunity and hoped that you enjoyed the upgrade.

We would love to see you back at Tolarno’s.

Best regards,
Orlando

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Reviewed November 16, 2012

I mainly went to Melbourne to visit a family friend. I was looking for a reasonably priced hotel near to the city. The hotel itself was good, except the first room I was offered was at the front of the hotel and very noisy. The receptionist did find me a quieter room at the back of the hotel, all be it smaller. I was given vouchers to have breakfast in a nearby restaurant to cover the difference in room tariffs. Personally the area was a complete let down to me, as I did not feel safe going out alone at night. Thankfully I was only there two days, any longer and I would have moved hotels.

Room Tip: Do not take a balcony room situated at the front of the hotel.
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  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled solo
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1  Thank Lynny51
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
tolarno, Manager at Tolarno Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded November 20, 2012

Dear Lynny 51,

Thank you for your recent review.

I’m glad we were able to move you from the balcony to a quieter room for your 2 day stay with us; and that you liked the hotel.

Sometimes it is difficult when guests’ choose rooms on-line, as we are not in a position to assist them with their choice and explain that the balcony rooms can be noisy. As you will see from previous reviews some people really enjoy the balcony experience and others prefer different room styles. We do try to move guests whenever possible if they are not happy, and I was pleased we could move you to a more suitable room.

I’m sorry that you found the area disappointing and felt unsafe at night. It is very diverse in St Kilda, as there are people from all walks of life in the area, and at times, some can be confronting but overall they are quite harmless to the public. It's unfortunate it wasn't for you, but I hope you took a few things from the experience that you can look back on, and feel pleased you tested the water in St Kilda.

Kind regards,
Orlando Bernardi

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Additional Information about Tolarno Hotel

Address: 42 Fitzroy St, St Kilda, Port Phillip, Victoria 3182, Australia
Phone Number:
Location: Australia > Victoria > Greater Melbourne > Port Phillip > St Kilda
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Suites Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#1 Green Hotel in St Kilda
#4 Business Hotel in St Kilda
#5 Family Hotel in St Kilda
#8 Luxury Hotel in St Kilda
Price Range: $75 - $218 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Tolarno Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 37
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Once an art gallery, cafe and private residence of flamboyant Melbourne artist Mirka Mora and her husband Georges, the Tolarno Hotel has always been a creative space in St Kilda. The tradition continues at Tolarno Hotel. In a salute to the charismatic Mirka, the hotel’s walls and halls are hung with striking artworks by emerging and accomplished artists, 150+ works in total including a number of Mirka’s – guest’s often comment that it’s like staying in an art gallery. Today our 4 star hotel awards 3 major student art prizes via the Victorian College of the Arts (VCA), Monash University and Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) and the yearly winners are exhibited in the hotel foyer for 12 months. Many of the artworks in guest rooms are prize-winning student paintings; the remainder are works by prominant local artists. Combine these striking surrounds with our friendly service, well-appointed rooms and suites and location in the heart of St Kilda’s dining and entertainment precinct and you have a stay like no other. With trams just a 30-second walk from our front door offering easy access to Melbourne’s CBD attractions, shopping, restaurants, events and business precinct, you’re connected to everything the city has to offer. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Boutique Hotel Melbourne
Tolarno Hotel St Kilda, Greater Melbourne

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