A small room that fortunately offers a big breakfast
◎ 270 Collins Street, Melbourne VIC 3000
(03) 9667 5800
# Hotel Website
$ Rooms start from $175 AUD per night.
PRO ✓ Nice room, decent bed, great breakfast
CON Loud room, smallish bed, a bit tired feeling
I’m a regular visitor to Melbourne, mainly for work but often for pleasure, and after getting stuck in a pattern for a few years of always booking the same favourite hotel (for those playing at home, that would be the Crown Metropol) I have since made a pact to change my hotel up every time I stay.
So suffice to say you’ll be seeing quite a few different Melbourne hotel reviews on here – Tourism Victoria…. call me.
The Novotel Melbourne On Collins was my choice this time around – with beautiful press shots of the rooms on their website and a great price to match (I paid $175 for a night including breakfast which is a bargain for a centrally-located hotel)
I wish I had been pre-warned that the hotel was going through construction at the time of booking, because it was pretty easy to miss the hotel from the street, hiding behind a massive temporary wooden facade, in fact had it not been for a single A4-sized sign that said Novotel with an arrow, I probably would have walked straight past.
After making my way up the lift and to the reception (sidebar: I always find it odd when the hotel reception isn’t the first thing that greets you) the check-in process was great, friendly staff and pretty speedy – I hate being that person who rocks up at a hotel at 9am when the hotel check-in time is 2pm, but an early morning flight is an early morning flight, and you never know if your room is ready so why not risk it?
Turns out the room was ready and so up I went to settle in for a bit of a nap. The bed itself is comfortable, if not a bit small, I think it was a double – or a queen that had its edges worn away, either way. But the linen was clean and brightly coloured which provided a relief from the standard Melbourne hotel palette of brown and red and beige.
The room is oddly decorated though – very sparse feeling, which sort of makes it feel a bit more budget, but maybe that’s the vibe they’re going for? There’s lots of empty space – from an ultra clean knick-knack free side table through to a mini bar that really got the brief when it comes to mini. The one thing that wasn’t mini though was the price of water – $10 for a small bottle, eep!
The other weird bit of the room was the floor lamp which must have also gotten the mini brief from the mini bar, because at 1.75cm I was taller than it, and it was so wide and low that it was near impossible to look out the window without smashing into it.
Speaking of windows, the room had a lovely view over a tree-shaded Collins St, which is one of my favourite streets in Melbourne because it truly feels like you’re in another European city every time I walk down it. Not so pretty was the sound that then continued for most of the day – construction noises, loud construction noises. It was in my no-sleep daze that I then realised the letter from hotel management on the desk about the noise so points to them for telling you and apologising, but points taken away for not telling me at the desk or ahead of my arrival.
The bathroom was clean although seemed a bit dated compared to the rest of the room, although that seems to be a common thread to renovated rooms, I guess it just costs too much to overhaul each bathroom too. A good shower though! The toiletries were Novotel standard – which is to say they were Novotel brand – nothing special compared to other hotels which offer brands like Aesop, Mailin + Goetz, Appelle’s or Le Labo – and compared to Crown hotels that do their own branded toiletries the quality just wasn’t as good.
The next morning I was stoked to be able to try the hotel breakfast based on good reviews I’d read. The room, located just off the hotel reception was modern, chic and reminiscent of a good basic European cafe with its tiled floors and wooden bar chairs. The buffet offered things unlike many standard hotel buffets including a big Asian food selection with things like congee, nasi goreng and dumplings on offer. There was also a substantial sliced meats section which offered cheeses, salmon and italian meats.
Not so fresh was the fruit selection, it seemed a bit tired looking, but the positives far outweigh the negatives, with excellent quality barista-made coffee which they bring to your table, a juice bar, a eggs cooked to your liking station, waffle machine and an array of pastries beyond the usual croissant and apple muffin brigade.
I wish I’d been more adventurous in the above picture but I can’t resist testing the old favourites – the roasted pepper tomato, croissant, rice and bacon were delicious. Not so great was the scrambled egg which was sad and sloppy and the hash browns which were soggy and not seasoned. But like I said, that was really the only criticism I could find in what was otherwise a brilliant, complimentary breakfast.
Overall would I stay at the Novotel on Collins again? Maybe after construction is completed and the hotel is back in full swing… even it’s just for the breakfast.