Serviced apartments are absolutely my kind of hotel room. They not as crazy fancy as some higher-priced hotel rooms, they provide more storage and in-room amenities than a traditional hotel room, they’re designed for longer stays so things are usually a great deal more comfortable, but there’s still room service and they make you breakfast in the morning. All of this is true of the rooms at Fraser Place Melbourne.
I arrived late on a Sunday night and found the desk still manned by two extremely helpful staff members. The check-in process was extremely smooth, I was given the keys to my room and showed where breakfast would be served in the morning. Getting to my elevator presented a momentary puzzle, hidden in a corridor that passes the kitchen, but challenging floor plans are par for the course in these repurposed inner-city buildings I suppose.
My room was located on the ninth floor of the hotel, directly opposite the elevator. Those of you who are frequent travelers are already groaning at the thought and, to tell you the truth, I did too. Being near the elevator typically means having to listen to the ding of the door opening and closing constantly and the sound of heavy suitcases being lugged to-and-fro. To my surprise and relief, I barely heard a peep from the hallway during my two-night stay.
The room itself was reasonably sized and contained what may have been the most comfortable bed I’ve ever slept on in a hotel. Hotel beds and I have a complicated relationship. The mattresses are frequently too soft, and their pillows too thin to support the head. That was not the case at Fraser Place. It might be the fact that I’d just spent three days running around the PAX Aus 2016 video game expo at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre talking but the moment I hit that bed I was out like a light.
Also within the room was a small TV on which movies could be ordered from reception, or free-to-air TV could be watched. Also available was a small kitchenette with a large sink, dishwasher and two-element cooktop for meal preparation. Bench space was significant which would make doing a bit of home cooking in the room a breeze.
On the left of the bed was a desk with reasonably comfortable chair. I bring this up because, as a writer, I spent quite a bit of time during my stay at this desk getting my work done. It’s at this point I want to praise Fraser Place for one thing in particular — every room in the building has complimentary wifi. So used to being charged crazy amounts for internet access, I had to confirm with staff twice before I’d believe it. It’s such a rarity for a writer to be able to get any work done in their hotel room without having to pay through the nose for wifi, and it’s nice to see Fraser Place doing away with the hassle.
The bathroom lies to the right of the bed and is separated by a frosted glass partition. The shower is large and features the kind of needlepoint water jets that make you want to stand under the stream for an hour and enjoy the massage. The bathroom is small, but there’s nothing cramped about it. You’ve got room to move about without feeling cooped in.
At the far end of the room is a large, floor-to-ceiling glass door that leads to a balcony. While only a small balcony, it does provide a pretty amazing inner-city view and, when the door is closed, shields you quite well from the dull roar of a capital city on a workday morning.
The hotel itself is, like many of the best things in Melbourne, found in an alleyway. Exploration Lane lies between La Trobe St and Little Lonsdale St, but you’ll see the Fraser Place sign well before you arrive. This puts the hotel in an envious CBD location, close to restaurants, public transport, Chinatown and entertainment precincts.
This was one of the more pleasant stays I’ve had while travelling for work. These are well-appointed, comfortable, uncomplicated rooms that won’t break your budget. And, once more for the people in the back, complimentary wi-fi in every room. Highly recommended.
The author was provided with a complimentary private room for one night at Fraser Place Melbourne. You can find out more about the venue, including prices and amenities, at their official website.