So you might remember that about a month ago our family went on a last minute, long weekend away. I am finally getting around to writing a review of our ‘family junior suite’ at the Novotel after a very busy few weeks.
I have mixed feelings about this hotel but I am going try to be objective. The entrance to this hotel is simply a doorway leading to an elevator that takes you up one floor to the actual reception area. This is not an issue at all if you are arriving by taxi, but if you aren’t familiar with where the hotel is and you are arriving by public transport, finding it might be a little challenging in the daytime when the neon signage is not as obvious.
We arrived at about 9pm at night and I was hoping to be able to get the kids straight to bed because they were super tired after being at preschool all day, and then rushing to get on a flight. This was not possible because the sofa bed had not been made up in advance, which was annoying as the room had specifically been booked for 4 people. In the 30 minutes we waited for the bed to be made up, my children had reanimated and it was difficult to settle them back down.
While I am on the topic of the sofa bed…… Touristo was adamant that he and his dad were sleeping in the very plush king sized bed, so the Princess and I were relegated to the sofa bed (pick your battles and all that). When the sofa bed was made up it had a wafer thin mattress covering a pole that stuck into my back all night. All up I totalled about 4 hours sleep, and the Princess was tossing and turning all night too. As a result we were both tired and grumpy in the morning whilst the boys were feeling very refreshed! Another very small issue, was that our room faced into an atrium and the amount of natural light that came in was very limited, which I guess could be seen as a plus if you are someone who finds it difficult to sleep in when there is any light entering the room.
The room itself was quite nice, clean, newly refurbished and had plenty of space. The room service menu was quite affordable compared to other hotels and had some decent options. I also quite liked the small, indoor pool and spa area which allowed me to get some of the energy out of my little people without having to leave the hotel.
Location is also something the Novotel has going in its favour, particularly for business travellers who value being right in the middle of the CBD. In saying that though, it is also located very conveniently for tourists with many eateries close by and excellent access to trams.
I think if my husband and I had of been travelling as a couple without needing a second bed, my review would have been a lot more positive as we would not have been waiting for a sofa bed to be made up, and the king sized bed in the room was actually really comfortable. Another thing that affected my opinion of this hotel is that the cost of this hotel does not match the level of quality. If we had of been paying for the room, Trip Advisor was quoting nearly $400 per night (AU) as the best price on the weekend we visited, when substantially nicer properties cost less (e.g. most accommodation in the Crown complex, and the InterContinental were cheaper and far nicer).
Overall, it’s a perfectly comfortable mid-range hotel if you are travelling as a couple and if you can get a good rate. If you aren’t getting an absolute bargain on rate, I would shop around as there are some much nicer hotels in Melbourne in that $300 – $400 (AU) per night price range.
In other news, I am in countdown mode to our big holiday to Korea and Japan in 9 days! Very, very exciting! If you want to follow along, please check out my Instagram and Facebook for far more of an insight into our travels!
See you soon.