My husband and I spent 7 nights here over Easter 2012, and we enjoyed our stay. We arrived around dinnertime, and despite pre-paying our entire stay, the King Guest Room we booked was sold out. Fortunately we were upgraded to the next best room, the Deluxe. Not having stayed in a standard room at this hotel, we were unable to compare the two. However, the Deluxe room had an amazing view up the Yarra River to Crown Casino and South Bank Promenade and the Gas Giants put on an amazing show every night.
The Deluxe room was spacious, with a lovely walk-in shower and separate bath, and a toilet behind a privacy door. However, with no door on the shower itself, it was a tad on the cold side in the morning, and had very limited shelving to place toiletries. The adjustable shower head was great, and the mixer tap made it easy to keep it the same temperature every time. Despite having lights on the side, the mirror fogged badly, and it was actually difficult to see well in the mirror with the only real lighting coming from the two on either side of the mirror.
The bed was average, and not what I expected for the price we paid. It was a king mattress on a split-king base, which caused a very large hump in the middle of the bed. I slept on the left side, and found it had a deep hollow, which together with the hump prevented me from getting closer to my husband during the night, and I also had a hard time not rolling right to the edge of the bed (and consequently, off the bed). We had to request a top sheet and a thin blanket as we were supplied only with a heavy and very hot feather quilt and feather pillows (despite requesting a feather-free room when booking), I was grateful I brought my own pillow from home. Housekeeping short-sheeted the bed every time it was changed (four times in our 7 day stay), lowering the blanket and sheet to chest-height so we had to re-make the bed after every change so the bedding came up to our necks! Turn down service is the bomb, though - over the Easter weekend we received baby Lindt gold bunny eggs, and for the remaining nights we received Lindt squares in mint, caramel and dark chocolate. Really nice touch.
The air conditioning was adequate, but the bed would have been better placed in front of the window where the comfy chair was, as it is the coolest location in the room (or warmest, if you need the heat on), and even when the fan was on high, it was not obnoxiously loud, unlike other places we have stayed. The automatic, channelled blockout blind was awesome - the best I have ever encountered. It blocked the light so well, we had difficulty believing it was morning when the alarm went off each day. I loved it so much, we are sourcing one for our bedroom at home when we renovate!
Unlike other Hilton hotels we have stayed at, the lifts were prompt, fast and highly responsive - sometimes they were even waiting for us as we walked up and pressed the button. Rarely did we have more than a 15 second wait! Brilliant.
The ironing board must have been created for little people, because at 5ft 10, it barely came up to my hips and was half the length of a standard board - making it difficult to iron anything. The iron (a Phillips, I believe), however, was one of the best I have ever encountered in a hotel, anywhere we have stayed, even if the steam function was a bit dodgy. Coffee facilities were adequate with instant coffee sachets (both regular and decaffeinated), assorted teas, sweeteners and sugar, and long life milk in the fridge. Real milk was available on request from the Concierge, which was a nice touch. Unlike other places we have stayed, use of the fridge was free, allowing us to store our own cheaply-procured supermarket water (and my insulin) without charge, and we did not have to use the very expensive mini-bar water bottles.
Breakfast was average, especially compared to other Hilton's we have stayed and dined at. The scrambled eggs were tasteless and lukewarm, the poached eggs were cold, the bacon was like wet leather (and the bain-marie it sat in had a broken lid for our entire stay, meaning it was very difficult to serve without putting down one's plate or dropping things), the baked beans were lukewarm, the gluten-free bread was stale and one morning was displayed with mould on it. There was a chunk of gluten-free fruit loaf, but no knife supplied to cut it with (when asked, it took thirty minutes for one to appear, by which time I had finished my breakfast!), and on two of our 7 mornings (over Easter), there was no gluten-free bread at all. The coffee was lukewarm every morning - even the ordered separately long blacks I resorted to were downed in one guzzle. And forget trying to get more than one coffee - we managed it once in 7 days! And there were no gluten free options for waffles or pancakes, and no gluten-free cereals at all. All in all, one of the most disappointing breakfast buffets I have ever encountered at any hotel I have stayed in. We were prepared to give the Kitchen the benefit of the doubt over the Easter long weekend, but nothing changed once the public holidays were over, which was disappointing.
We found the location very good, especially since the function we attended was right next door at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC). There's a DFO (Direct Factory Outlets) complex right next door, with some very good shops and an adequate food hall for cheap daytime meals, and there are a number of interesting restaurants in the local vicinity. The on-site restaurant, Nuevo37, was very overpriced with few real choices (especially for those with food allergies like celiac/gluten intolerance) - more cuisine than food. Crown Casino is about a ten minute walk, past the MCEC, and they had a reasonable food hall, expensive restaurants and some mid-range restaurants on the Casino floor. Along the South Bank Promenade were even more restaurants, and visitors are spoiled for choice.
Trams were just a short walk north over the footbridge to Flinders Street (free City Circle and #70 East/West, which both ran to Docklands), or a slightly longer walk down to Clarendon Street (a plethora of trams that run North/South, especially the St Kilda trams, into the CBD), near Crown Casino. The South Wharf Promenade and the South Bank Promenade are both a lovely walk, especially in the cool, Autumn evenings.
All the staff we encountered at The Hilton were cheerful, helpful and caring.Despite its shortcomings, we would have no hesitation in staying here again in the future.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Hilton Melbourne South Wharf is located in the riverside South Wharf leisure precinct, on the banks of the Yarra River. Overlooking heritage sheds filled with dining and bar options and the Polly Woodside tall ship, the 396 bedroom hotel is a 10 minute walk to Etihad Stadium, the Melbourne Aquarium, Crown Entertainment Complex and Southbank. The free City Circle tram stops just across the river from the hotel, taking guests to the historic city centre, renowned Melbourne laneways and major tourist attractions. At the hotel, it is easy to indulge and relax, no matter what the occasion. With floor-to-ceiling windows offering spectacular views from every room, the Relaxation and Yarra Suites offer dramatic ambiance for a romantic getaway. The unique Two-Bedroom Suites are ideal for families or for longer stays. The expansive executive lounge features a riverside outdoor terrace on which to enjoy an aperitif at the end of a day's sightseeing, and complimentary breakfast. The hotel also offers in-room spa and massage services, a spacious complimentary Fitness Centre, upmarket Dock 37 Bar and Kitchen and casual Caffe Cino. The hotel offers guests the expertise of the Hilton brand, and the bold styling, intimate service and stylish boutique touches of an innovative, modern hotel - a perfect city getaway. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Hilton Melbourne South Wharf Hotel Melbourne