Uniquely tucked away on the bland Aurora Lane and directly behind the very central Southern Cross Station is where you’ll find Melbourne hotel Travelodge Docklands, one of two properties for the low-cost chain in Melbourne, the other being Travelodge Southbank. The consistency among the Travelodge brand throughout Australia has positioned the name among the most reliable budget options in the country, rightfully focusing in on location and efficiency as convenient consolations for the lack of luxurious amenities and full-service one would find elsewhere for a much higher price. The result is pretty much what you’d expect from the price, putting the phrase “this will do just fine” to good use as the higher end hotel experience is trimmed to give you more of what you need, and less of what you don’t.
This is one of the finest choices for those who really want to explore Melbourne without having to fork out a week’s pay on a night’s stay, helped along by the fact that, as mentioned above, Southern Cross Station really is a stone’s throw away. Starting from the hotel one needs only to walk to their left and head up some stairs; the station will be a short one minute walk, and there’s also a free-zone tram station right there. From there you have easy access to just about everything one would want or need to do in Melbourne, whether that be zipping to Flinders Lane for a feed (Cumulus Inc, Chin Chin, Coda and Sake are my top recommendations) or catching a show at Ethiad Stadium, which is a short walk from the hotel.
The hotel’s lobby is unadorned but gets a colourful splash from ample furniture, albeit of average comfort. The staff are friendly and check-in is as fast as any other modern hotel. Interestingly enough, the mini-bar for all standard guestrooms isn’t located in the actual room, but behind the reception desk. Of course the biggest benefit of this is that it reduces any sort of temptation (the supermarket is a few minutes walk towards the station anyway). Furthermore the hotel also has it’s own popcorn machine, it too behind the reception desk, so if guests are settling down to watch a movie a warm packet of buttery and salty popcorn is but a phone call away.
A standard twin-share room comes with two comfortable-enough single beds and one pillow each. Plenty of natural light peeps in through the floor-to-ceiling window that offers a nice overview of docklands, and the thick curtains do a nice job keeping out all distractions come nightfall. A microwave and bar-fridge sit close to the entry, opposite the spacious en-suite bathroom that has a standing shower, toilet and vanity. The expected electronic safe, some basic utensils and cutlery, a desk, a sofa by the window and a modest wall-mounted LCD TV complete a picture far from pretty, but not exactly unappealing either.
Wi-Fi and connectivity are only slightly above average, but business travellers should take note that any HDMI functions on the television are disabled.
The continental breakfast is similarly unadorned, although it seems a great deal of care has gone into ensuring pastries aren’t stale, dishes are regularly refilled by staff and all the basics are on offer. No one has ever raved about a budget hotel’s scrambled eggs, and this one is unlikely to change that but the quick, non-fussed and uncluttered spread is more than I’d expect from similarly priced properties.
It really is all about the location and lower cost, and if you’re unconcerned with lofty extras apart from cleanliness, efficiency, and comfort than it’s well worth using Travelodge Docklands as your base for a few days in Melbourne.
Standard guestrooms are priced from $139 AUD per night.
Travelodge Docklands Melbourne
Address: 66 Aurora Ln, Docklands VIC 3008
Contact: (03) 8615 1000
Website: TFE Hotels
The writer stayed as a guest of TFE Hotels.
Feature image supplied. Other images taken by the writer unless indicated otherwise.