Last weekend Craig and I joined 70,000 others at Etihad Stadium for the Foo Fighters concert here in Melbourne. We’d palmed the kids off for the night so we thought we’d make a night of it and book a hotel in town. The Holiday Inn Hotel Melbourne is in a great location on Spencer St and a short walk to the stadium for the concert.
With the concert on at Etihad Stadium we wanted to stay somewhere close at the west end of town near Spencer Street, we used reward points from our credit card to book the room. There was a lot going on in Melbourne on the weekend so there was very little available when Craig went to book.
We found a room at the Holiday Inn on the corner of Flinders Lane and Spencer St which was perfect location wise. I left the booking up to Craig and I was surprised when we arrived and was told we had a twin double bed room, perfect, a bed each, not sure if he’s trying to tell me something though!
The room was nice but the bathroom was in need of an upgrade. The shower was over the bath and had a curtain which I think is a sign of a place ‘showing its age’. Its a bit dated to still have shower curtains and tiles need to be grouted again and it would make it a lot more modern. I liked that it had floor to ceiling windows and there was a desk for those needing to work. The beds were very comfortable with both a firm and soft pillow provided on each bed. I think its fair to say I was a bit disappointed as I had expected a higher standard from this venue.
As I said there was a bit going on in and around Melbourne, as well as the Fooey’s concert, the Eagles were playing at Hanging Rock and the bi-annual International Air Show was on out at Avalon Airport. We dropped into the Savoy Tavern on Spencer St and it was packed to the rafters with people watching the World Cup cricket match between Australia and New Zealand, there was also an AFL game playing between the Doggies and Tigers. That’s on top of it being the last day of summer in Melbourne, yikes!
This blog went live 10 months ago and one of the first fellow bloggers I come across was Sarah from Fit_Travels, and yesterday I had the pleasure of finally meeting her in person. Sarah and her lovely mother Terry, met us at the Savoy for a few drinks before the concert. It was lovely to finally meet someone who I have been chatting to and who has similar interests as I do. We both have such a love of Asia. It was a highlight of the night and I look forward to seeing Sarah again soon. She’s off to Thailand this week and I’m just a little bit jealous, hope she has an awesome time.
The Foo Fighters concert was amazing. The crowd was enormous reported to be around 70,000 but from what I saw extremely well behaved. We were in general admission and there must have been at least 30,000 people on the ground of the stadium. The Fooeys played 25 new and old songs and played for just over 2 and a half hours. Really good value for money. It was extremely hot in the stadium with the roof closed but due to a freak flash storm the roof had to remain closed.
We went back to the hotel after a quick drink at the Woolshed with some friends, It was a quick walk back and there were plenty of people around. We had to swipe our cards to get back into the hotel foyer which I thought was a great security measure. There seemed to be plenty of people around and even though we were only on the 3rd floor facing Spencer St the room was very quiet, there was no residual noise from the street or trams which was great.
We both slept well in our separate double beds and woke up and went down for a buffet breakfast at Sirocco Restaurant. The buffet was nice, nothing overly special stock standard eggs, bacon, tomato’s, mushrooms, hash browns, fruit, toast, juices and the chef would make omelettes and poached eggs on request. I had an omelette and Craig had poached eggs which were cooked well. The restaurant is located on the corner of the hotel facing out to Spencer St so that you can watch the famous Melbourne trams go past.
There is a heated outdoor pool, sauna and gym, on this occasion we did not have time to visit the pool. The weather was not great this morning so I cant say I would have paid it a visit even if I did have the time. These amenities are located on the 1st floor. We chose to have valet parking on this occasion and that cost us $40 which I think is pretty reasonably priced for parking in the city overnight.
Overall I would give it a 7/10, would I return? Yes but would also like to try something else if I had the opportunity. It served its purpose for the evening as the location was perfect for what we needed. The service was great and the staff very friendly. Currently on Agoda.com rooms at the Holiday Inn Hotel Melbourne start at $256 per night for a standard double. I think I might have been less impressed if I had of paid that for the night!
There are many free things to do in Melbourne if you are staying for a weekend or longer, if you are looking for some great Melbourne walks there’s plenty around close to the city and suitable for kids that will get you some great city views. If you are lucky enough to be here in February you might just stumble across White Night which is a light display around the whole city that last 12 hours over one Saturday evening and its a wonderful night to see our city shine, it is extremely busy though so best you stay in town and head out about 3-4am when the crowds have gone home!