Melbourne is one of those cities that if you come to Australia it is NOT to be missed. The weather might be cooler, but it has a city-vibe all of its own, and we headed there on our mini Aussie road trip to explore all Melbourne has to offer for kids, and we want to be sure we are central in Melbourne.
We made a choice to stay right in the heart of Melbourne city.
After we weighed up the cost of trains and trams, and out of city accommodation, it really worked out to be just as viable to be central – at the heartbeat of this cool Aussie capital city.
And having a ‘tween’ it was also important to have a hotel where we could use it as a base – to go off and do a few things and to come back and rest weary legs or to give him half an hour of ‘alone’ time – without Mum.
But I was in for a surprise – it really was just the perfect location for us – in both the rain and the sunshine that seems to switch on and off like a lightbulb here in Melbourne.
The Swanston Hotel Melbourne Grand Mercure
Remember those moments when you stop dead in your tracks and you can’t help but take those random pauses just to admire a building for its elegance and beauty? That is the moment we had when we laid eyes on The Swanston Hotel Melbourne Grand Mercure building. While we have learnt never to judge a book by its cover, we believed that this was a book worth judging by its cover – and we were never disappointed. The fan-shaped entrance verandah is a feature that might get you looking up, and not in too!
But there is more – here are some of the other reasons:
Neat and Spacious Rooms
We appreciated the fact that there were numerous room options for us.
They ranged from Executive Suites to Standard and Family rooms. What’s more is that they were neat and well-spaced.
Room With A View
Since the Grand Mercure The Swanston Hotel lies centrally along Swanston Street, you will discover that there are rooms that face the street and give you all the view of this street, while there are those that face the opposite side of the street, or out towards the Yarra River. Each option has its merit and demerit. You just need to choose a room that is to your standard, and that will assure you of a pleasant stay at the hotel.
We loved our room because it gave us a perfect view of the city looking towards the Yarra, Bourke Street Mall, and along Swanston Street.
Central For Meetings And Reconnecting With Friends
We loved the fact that the hotel was smack-bang in the middle of the city – yes – completely central in Melbourne! Right next door is a car park. Out the front is the tram. Up the street is the river, and down the mall is the train. Yes – this is the perfect place to meet or hold a meeting.
For me, it was a time to reconnect with fellow Travel Influences – Erin from Explore With Erin whom we met a couple of years ago in Athens, Greece and sharing Christmas Day in Romania; back when she ran the family website – Travel with Bender.
Also in Melbourne on this day was the fabulous Bethany Davies from Flashpacker Family who are based in New Zealand. We originally met at TBEX in Spain in 2015, so it was great to reconnect in a relaxed setting.
And as our hotel room was so central, we were able to head to Chinatown for a drink and a great time connecting together as world travel bloggers.
Perfect Location – Central in Melbourne
The hotel is strategically located Central in Melbourne within the CBD. We are glad we were able to access nearby Hardware Lane restaurants, where the jazz and outdoor dining will make you think you are in Europe, not Australia.
From the colourful decorations to the aroma of various Chinatown, the Chinese food, and local buzz in these city streets is a place NOT to be missed in Melbourne.
Being in proximity to many other entertainment spots assured us of a stay that was conveniently awesome. It meant that we could visit so many places within town and experience extreme fun without worrying so much about time.
Being central in Melbourne, we discovered that we could easily access other parts of the city from our accommodation: On one day we could go south, next day north, another time east and yet another time west. And of course, we were close to Melbourne Central too!
Great Breakfast and Dining Experience at Soul Cafe
We found the food, drinks, and services at the Soul Café quite incredible and thoroughly enjoyed our hearty breakfast before we headed off to the Queen Victoria Markets which is also central in Melbourne. The place was buzzing, and you might expect the staff to delay meals due to the large number they handle, but we were pleasantly surprised to have our meals right on time and with prompt and friendly service. It was nice to know that there are more options of where and when to eat out. With many restaurants just blocks away, we were able to once skip meals at the hotel and try something different in other eateries within the CBD.
A tip from me is to try their smashed avocado with fetta cheese and salsa style chutney – just divine!! And the freshly squeezed juices and coffee were also great too.
Everyone here seems to be friendly and willing to move out of their way to lend a helping hand to visitors. Hopefully, you will experience this on all levels like we did, including the staff at the valet parking, receptionists at the front desk, cleaner in the elevator, those in the gymnasium, and room service guys.
All of them were polite and made our stay more comfortable.
At the end of our staff, we left feeling like we were part of the Hotel’s larger family. The staff must have been well trained and very much motivated. We would recommend this place to everyone looking for an accommodation in a hotel where they can be assured of having a peace of mind and who want to be central in Melbourne.
(And if you do visit the gym, grab a health green apple on your way out.)
Health and Fitness
My son is a crazy swimmer. He always loves it when we check into a place with a swimming pool. He was even more grateful to learn that it was actually an indoor heated pool – seems they care about the health concerns of their guests with the services they offer. You will love the nice view of the city and sky through the transparent walls and roof of this indoor pool.
If you are into fitness activities, you will also appreciate the well-equipped gym at this hotel. There seems to be something for everyone, and when the Australian Open Tennis was on whilst we were there, a table tennis table was set up in the reception area to add a bit of fun!
As we finish our time here, we wanted to make the most of the city, especially as we are Central in Melbourne, so we popped our luggage in the storage room and headed out for one last day.
Our time in Melbourne has come to an end, but we will hop in our 4WD and continue our Australia road trip.
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