I am always looking out for new experiences, wherever I may find myself.
Published January 22nd 2016
Travelodge Docklands is great for budget travellers who want to the sights in central Melbourne but want something a bit more upmarket and private than a hostel. This place is cheap, accessible and run by a brand (TFE Hotels) that seems to put an emphasis on quality and visitor satisfaction.
From the start, things are positive, as even getting to the hotel is easy; it's located near Southern Cross Station (opposite it, actually, though the entrance is off another road). If you're flying into Melbourne, the SkyBus from Melbourne Airport takes you right to this station.
Traveoldge itself consists of over ten floors of identical halls and rooms. Your money won't get you anything spectacular, but the rooms are clean, modern and, I think, pretty new. It's clear you'll be looked after here (in fact, the friendly and professional staff are always available at the 24/7 reception).
I stayed in a King Room, which included a large bed (well, two beds pushed together in my case), a desk, a lounge and a TV.
My King Room (ignore the rumpled bed, it was smooth until I sat on it)
As mentioned, the location of Travelodge Docklands is easy to find, aided by the fact that the Travelodge sign is visible from the station and surrounding roads. However, not being surrounded by many tall buildings has its downside when you're inside you room; at night, there's nothing to muffle the sounds of cars, trucks and even trains. I only found these noises annoying in the morning though, when early trucks woke me up.
Many of the major attractions visitors might want to see while staying in Melbourne are over near Flinders Street Station, not Southern Cross Station ,such as Federation Square and many of the city's laneways, but an easy walk down the road to Collins Street will get you to a tram stop, and you can be in the heart of the action in minutes (and the trip is free too, as the hotel is within the city's free tram circle).
If you're in Melbourne to see an event at Etihad Stadium however, Travelodge Docklands has to be one of the best options. Melbourne Docklands is also in this area.
The view from my room's windows demonstrates that the hotel isn't quite in the heart of the city
All in all, this hotel offered one of the cheapest rates I found in my research, yet doesn't seem to skimp on anything. I was very happy with it and if I needed a place to stay in Melbourne again I probably wouldn't bother looking elsewhere. Although it is interesting to know that there is another Travelodge hotel in Southbank too.