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“Disappointing”

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Art Series - The Cullen
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Prahran
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed June 14, 2010

We were very disappointed with the Cullen Hotel during our 2 night stay this weekend. Our check-in experience was pleasant enough and the receptionist did his best to make us feel welcome but it went downhill from there.

Our room was a ‘suite’ in name only and was smaller then most rooms I’ve stayed in. There was no bath and the toilet was approximately 75cm from the top of the bed, separated only by a piece of frosted glass - not conducive to any sort of privacy or romance!!

If you tried to discreetly use the toilet in the middle of the night the motion sensor in the toilet would automatically started the extractor fan!! It was also not possible to turn off the air conditioning in the room.

You can only use the in-room WiFi if you can connect the cable to a laptop first and create an account –it’s not possible to connect an iPhone or iPad to the Wifi.

The next day, 3 very enthusiastic room service guys were keen to get in our room and service it so we were a little surprised that their idea of servicing the room involved leaving the rubbish everywhere, not emptying the bins or washing the glasses we’d used. Between the 3 of them they did manage to make the bed and replace the towels.

I complained to the receptionist about the poor quality of servicing of our room - he couldn’t have been less interested if I had started talking about macroeconomic trends in Outer Mongolia!!! He said someone would be along later to collect the rubbish and tidy the room.

We decided to have an afternoon nap so put the ‘Do Not Disturb’ (or not so witty ‘Artist in Residence’) sign on the door, on seeing the sign on our door Housekeeping spoke to reception and asked them to call us and wake us up to see if it was ok to clean the room now as they’d noticed we had the ‘Do Not Disturb’ sign on the door!!!!

The final insult was when we asked to check out 1 hour later then usual but the girl on reception refused our request and insisted we leave at 11am on the dot.

This would be amateur service for a 4 star hotel so it’s laughable they think they’re a 5 star hotel.

  • Stayed: June 2010, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank ryanpa_UK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
JoshoMelbourne, General Manager at Art Series - The Cullen, responded to this reviewResponded July 1, 2010

Thanks to the author for their review.

We really appreciate constructive feedback, so I thank you for letting us know about the I-pads. I am pleased to say we have solved this problem, and the I-pad is now compatible with the Hotel.
My apologies for the hap-hazard servicing of your room, these details have been raised with the department. I can assure you that this is not the standard the hotel is known for.
Once again, thank you very much for your comments and review.

Kind Regards,

Josh O’Brien
General Manager

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1,119 - 1,125 of 1,198 reviews

Reviewed June 13, 2010

General information:

Room: We were in room 508, a corner room on the 5th floor. Room was clean and very spacious, with a full kitchenette.

Parking: Secure undercover parking available, we paid $20/day.

Reception: Service was friendly & helpful

Toiletries: Shampoo, conditioner, body lotion, soap, ionic hairdryer, sanitary bag, shower cap.

Kitchenette:
- Fridge AND freezer with ice cube trays
- Sink, 2 electric burners, dishwasher
- Washing 'pack': teatowel, Chux wipes, dishwasher powder, dishwashing detergent
TV: flat screen, with TV, radio & choice of movies at $16.95 per movie (when we were there, at least), which is available to watch as many times as you like in a 24-hour period. You can also view your room bill & even check out and settle your bill - all through the TV!

Pros:
- You can open the window and get some fresh air in room.
- An ipod dock which doubled as a bedside clock/alarm.

Cons:
- Only had a pencil in the room, I prefer pen.
- Channel 7 & Channel 7 Two had poor reception in our room the entire time.
- Lacked a bit of privacy for the bathroom. I didn't think the walls were quite 'opaque' enough, and the door didn't quite close flush.
- Bathroom in general felt quite cramped.

Overall though, it was an excellent stay, and I would definitely stay here again

  • Stayed: January 2010, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank TulipSprinkles
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
JoshoMelbourne, General Manager at Art Series - The Cullen, responded to this reviewResponded June 29, 2010

Thank you to the author for their review.

Great to hear you enjoyed the Hotel! All our rooms feature a kitchenette facility which is very handy considering the famous Prahran Markets is just across the street.

We are lucky to have great views from the rooms, and thanks for posting up your own photos!

Hope to see you soon!

Kind Regards,

Josh O’Brien
General Manager

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Reviewed June 5, 2010

We stayed at the The Cullen last weekend for two nights. Initially we thought the hotel looked really nice but after using the facilities we felt they concentrated more on the appearance of the hotel, than customer comfort. They need to get the details right, as it should all be about the customer’s comfort. As mentioned in other reviews, the bathrooms are small and as they have glass walls, the rooms are not suitable for sharing with anyone other than your partner. They could do with more bench space and hooks in the bathroom. Also the towels hang right next to the toilet. They supplied us with three towels initially which is great for when you want to wash your hair but on the second night, of course when I decided to wash my hair, they had replaced them with two towels only.

When we left the room on the first morning, we noticed there was no card to hang on the door handle to say “please make up my room”. We hunted around but couldn’t find one. Then my husband came back to the room mid afternoon to do some work, and found that the room had not been made up. He called reception twice, before someone eventually came up and cleaned it. The cleaner told him that he should have put the card on the door handle (which of course we couldn’t do) and then gave him one and explained in GREAT detail on what it was for and which way around to put it on the handle. She must have thought we’d never stayed in a hotel before!!

When I got there later I found that they hadn’t replaced the milk or used tea bags. There was also no dishwashing powder for the dishwasher. I went down to reception to ask for these things.

We cooked our own dinner in the room and it was very handy to have those facilities. There was a plastic bag with dishtowel, dishwashing detergent and sponge. We were both revolted and intrigued as the sponge was covered in hair clippings. It was stuck right in the weave of the cloth, so I can only imagine they don’t replace the sponges with new ones but wash them?? and it got mixed in the wash with something else covered in hair clippings. Your guess is as good as mine! My husband took it straight downstairs and the nice person (nb all reception staff were very nice) was also shocked. She gave us a voucher for breakfast in their restaurant which was nice but did not change what we’d already experienced. She also offered us compensation but my husband felt uncomfortable enough having to complain without taking compensation, so said ‘no thanks’. She phoned up later that evening and also gave us free tickets to a show.

The next afternoon my husband got back to do some work and found that yet again, despite having the card on the door this time that the room had not been made up again. It was well past check-in time and we would have expected all rooms to be made up by this time for the convenience of customers who wish to come back to their rooms for a rest. He, yet again, had to phone up twice to get the room cleaned. By the time I got back after 5pm, the cleaner arrived and cleaned the room. I had to ask for the milk and coffee to be replaced… again.

We booked a wake up call and taxi with reception for the following morning as we had an early flight to catch. Luckily my husband said he didn’t trust them so we’d better set our own alarm. Next morning, my alarm goes off but no wake up call. Now we’re angrier still and thinking we should have taken her up on her offer of compensation . We’re not surprised though, so we call reception to make sure the taxi has been booked. The fellow there had no record that a wake up call or taxi had been booked. Just in case, he booked a taxi. Low and behold, two taxis turn up and then he had two angry taxi drivers to deal with.

The hotel is in a great location but I’m not sure we would stay there again. The rooms are generally comfortable but I didn't find the pillows comfortable at all. They seem to be getting ahead of themselves as well as they’re opening up a new hotel – I hope they learn from these lessons beforehand.

  • Stayed: May 2010, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank AussieAng
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
JoshoMelbourne, General Manager at Art Series - The Cullen, responded to this reviewResponded June 29, 2010

Thank you to the author for their review.

Firstly, I would like offer my sincere apologies for the experience that you received at The Cullen. Whilst I appreciate the service you received from the staff was attentive, the standard upon which the room was presented is by no means the expectation that the Hotel has set. Your review has been shared with the housekeeping and front office teams and I would ask that you indulge us on this occasion.

Kindest regards,

Josh O’Brien
General Manager

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Reviewed June 3, 2010

Having had an extremely average experience at The Olsen a week earlier (see review), we were hesitant to stay at another of this company's establishments.
But we are glad we tried The Cullen. When we arrived at reception at 2.20pm we were told rooms were not ready along with 10 other guests checking in. But the manager bought us all coffee in restuarant while we waited till 3pm, only negative point.
The rooms were fantastic, nicer design than The Olsen, Art work more modern in style. The Cullen restaurant unlike The Olsen had great staff that were attentive, and the food was delicious, fast and all items were available.
I highly recommend The Cullen it leaves The Olsen staff and restaurant's food in the dust. Well done Cullen.

  • Stayed: May 2010, traveled as a couple
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Thank rothsberg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
JoshoMelbourne, General Manager at Art Series - The Cullen, responded to this reviewResponded June 29, 2010

Thanks to the author for their review!

I am thrilled that we could reinstate your confidence back in the Art Series Hotel Group.
Whilst your room was not quite ready on arrival, it’s great to hear the staff took great care of you. We have some great restaurants in the Hotel, and I am thrilled that you will recommend us- this is the highest flattery any Hotel can have.

We all look forward to having you back soon.

Regards,

Josh O’Brien
General Manager

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Reviewed June 3, 2010

I recently stayed in the Art Series Cullen, and i was impressed by the experience. I was slightly concerned when I walked into the foyer and found it rather cold. Sure, there is artwork on the walls and a jug of water if you are thirsty (maybe not all that functional in a Melbourne winter), but the foyer just seemed cold. When I checked in, they wanted a credit card authorisation for $100 and also a copy of my ID. I have no idea why they needed the latter. I forgot to ask.

The hotel is appears modern and clean. It is the first hotel I have been in with RFID room keys which work well in the rooms, but leave something to be desired in the lifts. A simple beep when the card was read in the lift would make their use just that little bit better.

Finding my room was a slight challenge due to the font used on the room numbers. 201 and 207 look too similar. Once I got into the room, things were charming. The room looked really new, and it is obvious that a designer had spent some time on the layout. There is a 42" plasma TV on the wall opposite the double bed, a two seat sofa, a small table with two chairs and a kitchenette.

The kitchenette contained a small mini-bar, but it was much larger than the normal mini-bar so there was room to put other things into it. The microwave oven was built in, and the sink looked clean. This is a feature I was not expecting.

The bed was really comfortable, and very plush, similar to the Rydges Dream Bed. The pillows were long and really comfortable. It would seem that the people who installed the beds have actually slept in one!

The bathroom was a bit of a let down to be honest. It was rather pokey, but this was somewhat countered by the use of frosted glass between the bathroom and the main living area. I am not sure that I would use a hotel room for a business meeting for this reason. The shower takes up a third of the bathroom. It is so bad that the lid on the bin cannot open fully as it hits the toilet roll. The exhaust fan in the bathroom had a motion sensor which turned the fan on whenever you went into the room, which was sort of cool.

The air conditioner worked well. A major feature of a hotel if you ask me. So often this gets stuffed up.

The hotel provided a bath robe behind the door. I am not sure if there was a second bath robe somewhere, but I also only noticed one pair of slippers. Bit strange in a room with a king size bed if you ask me.

The room was really quiet, and once you dimmed the iPod docking station alarm clock was fairly dark too.

Overall, I will probably stay there again.

  • Stayed: June 2010, traveled on business
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1  Thank DarrylFromSydney
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
JoshoMelbourne, General Manager at Art Series - The Cullen, responded to this reviewResponded June 29, 2010

Thanks to the author for their review!

I am very happy that you enjoyed your stay with us. You will be pleased to know we have replaced our water on the desk for a while with some tasty and cosy red wine. Hopefully this welcome at reception will get a few of our guests through a cold winter….thanks for letting us know.
Apologies that the numbers on the door looked a little different; the quirky font is actually a replica of the artist’s own handwriting.
It’s great to hear you love the room layout and the beds, we get some great comments about their design and functionality.

Look forward to seeing you soon.

Thanks again,

Josh O’Brien
General Manager

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Reviewed June 2, 2010

I was fortunate to stay at The Cullen for a couple of weeks when I relocated to Melbourne.

The location is great - everything you could want is within walking distance and public transport is just outside the door. (which is just as well as on-street parking in the area can be difficult).

The front of house staff are warm, welcoming and efficient.

The decor is very cool. If beige is your favourite colour then perhaps the art won't be to your taste, but otherwise it is the essential feature that creates the vibrancy and uniqueness without which this would be "just another hotel".

I agree with some of the other reviews that housekeeping, while generally pretty good, could be better. (No - I don't want my room made up at 6.30pm at night, and Yes - I would like the sheet to cover the mattress at the end of the bed).

The coffee in the Terrace restaurant is among the best I tried in the local area.

I would definitely recommend the Cullen and would happily stay there again.

  • Stayed: May 2010, traveled on business
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1  Thank AH72
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
JoshoMelbourne, General Manager at Art Series - The Cullen, responded to this reviewResponded June 22, 2010

Thank you to the author for your review.

Wow, it is great to know that you spent a couple of weeks with us and I am pleased that you enjoyed your stay at the Hotel.

We have some great barista’s in the restaurant and The Terrace is becoming well known as one of the best spots to have coffee in Prahran!
My apologies in regards to house-keeping; please be assured your comments are taking seriously and has been addressed with the department.

Thank you so much for recommending us, and we look forward to having you back!

Regards,

Josh O’Brien
General Manager

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Reviewed June 1, 2010

Best hotel we've stayed in for years, unique experience. Beautifully designed and presented. We felt like we've been to an exhibition, since we did not know Adam Cullen's work, the wonderful art books on his and others art in the room gave us lots of background. Front of house staff so helpful, sent us to a wonderful coffee place for breakfast (Amici's on Chapel St) Housekeeping a little slow to make up our room (not til 2) but cheerful and obliging when we asked. Great position for shops and restaurants, right across from Prahan Markets. Quiet room (apart from some fan noise, but that is always an issue in hotels) Quick lifts, well fitted out gym. If you appreciate architecture, interior design and art, you'll enjoy this hotel.

  • Stayed: May 2010, traveled as a couple
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Thank albertst
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
JoshoMelbourne, General Manager at Art Series - The Cullen, responded to this reviewResponded June 22, 2010

Thank you to the author for your review.

We have a great commitment to provide a unique and inspiring experience for all our guests and I am so pleased that you felt this way.
All the staff are locals in the area and knows the quirky, fun and funky places to eat, drink & shop. The Prahran market is a great place to stroll around, and with kitchenettes in all our rooms it’s easy to bring things back to the Hotel and enjoy! Our actual mini-bar in the room is also sourced from the markets as well.

We all look forward to seeing you again soon.

Regards,

Josh O’Brien
General Manager

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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 Cullen

Address: 164 Commercial Rd, Prahran, Stonnington, Victoria 3181, Australia
Phone Number:
Location: Australia > Victoria > Greater Melbourne > Stonnington > Prahran
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Prahran
Price Range: $132 - $309 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Art Series - The Cullen 5*
Number of rooms: 118
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located in Prahran, Melbourne, The Cullen is inspired by Adam Cullen. Daring and unique, The Cullen features lashings of original artwork and prints by Australia’s most exciting contemporary artist, Adam Cullen.Sleep soundly in your Art Series Signature bed, then block out the morning or wake up to natural light and vibrant energy of Cullen works. Prepare breakfast using in room kitchenette facilities, spectacular views of Melbourne CBD, underground parking, state of the art gymnasium and two exciting restaurants ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Art Series - The Cullen Hotel Melbourne
Art Series - The Cullen Greater Melbourne/Prahran

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