I am a marketing and communications consultant and freelance writer. Living on the Gold Coast in Australia. Check out my website www.sarahsays.com.au or follow on Twitter @WENGoldCoast
Published August 15th 2012
The coolest hotel i have ever stayed at
This is probably the coolest place I have ever stayed. I struck gold when I found this place. I was looking for somewhere to stay when I visited Melbourne and searched on booking.com for somewhere fairly reasonable and that looked nice, this came up and after looking at a few other places I decided to book, and I am so glad I did.
Located on the corner of Toorak Road West and Millswyn Street, in the picturesque South Yarra area. It is directly opposite Fawkner Park and just a few minutes walk from the Royal Botanic Gardens, so this really is an idyllic location. Close enough to the city to experience all that amazing Melbourne has to offer, but far enough away for a relaxing break. It's about a 10-15 minute walk to South Yarra station, which has numerous connections into the City and Toorak Road West and Millswyn is well served by local tram routes so you will easily be able to get to everywhere you need with little hassle.
When I arrived at the "Manhattanesque front entrance" I was delighted to see that my time researching where to stay had paid off, you never really know until you arrive somewhere and I couldn't have been more happy. The hotel describes itself as "shabby chic meets rock star glam and a bit of French boarding house" and I think that sums it up perfectly.
If you like things on the wonderfully quirky side of life, love music and anything with a funky flair, then this is the place to stay whether on business or pleasure. When I first walked in I noticed that the reception area is just wall-to-wall Rolling Stones imagery (this make me happy), and I knew instantly that I was going to love this place. As you look around you see that there isn't a section of the walls that isn't covered by cool band photos, music memorabilia and black and white murals.
As I went up to my room, the imagery continued, Bowie, Stones, Dylan, U2 in every stairwell and corridor - pretty much anyone iconic from the 60's, 70's and 80's music scene who has made a mark in music in whatever genre. The décor is as you would expect; lots of black and white with vibrant splashes of colour together with mismatched vintage looking furniture, every item and music image adding to the cool groovy vibe. You can spend ages just looking at all the photos on the walls and naming all the artists.
The décor and vibe aside this is a working hotel – so is it any good? Yes it is, very. As I was on a budget I booked the most basic room The Original Double, which is $85 per room per night (for two people). Considered the most basic room but still with en-suite, TV with Foxtel, desk, movies, fridge, room service, ironing, tea and coffee, towels, hairdryer and the bed is a queen size and really comfy. Most importantly though it is clean and safe. Not bad when you consider some backpacker places charge $50-$60 dollars for a private single room with just simply a bed and a bathroom and not much more. Plus for the lovers of furry friends they have special pet friendly rooms available.
They have various kinds or rooms available for whatever budget you are on from the basic doubles, up to superior and deluxe doubles (about $124 per room for two) and for the most thrifty of visitors the mansion and penthouse suites (these have private access to a rooftop pool and will set you back around $300 per night) – oh and apparently U2 stayed there and trashed the penthouse, but, shhh, you didn't hear it from me.
They have a cute café style space which doubles as a restaurant and bar at night with large booths and smaller tables and some breakout areas on each floor. The breakfast was lovely and pretty reasonably priced too. They have onsite parking and really comprehensive guides in all the rooms about where to go, what to do and how to make the most out of your stay including some great local deals.
The staff are exceptionally friendly – I forgot to bring my iPhone charger and as many of you will know the battery does not last long plus I wanted to use it as my camera – so upon hearing my plight the kind staff everyday whilst I had breakfast plugged my phone into their charger so I would have enough battery for the day. Very thoughtful and I got loads of photos thanks to them.
I really fell in love with Melbourne and The Albany Hotel – if I ever win the lottery then I will book out the whole hotel and invite all my mates. I love it that much.
Sarah your transport comments are a bit misleading. I think you meant well served by local tram routes not bus routes. You could get a tram into the city or even walk a good part of the way in the same time it would take to walk Sth Yarra Station. Otherwise an interesting review and The Albany is certainly in a great location and fantastic price.