Whether you are visiting for a few days or just for the weekend, Melbourne is a diverse city that offers something for everyone. Whilst we love Melbourne in the Summer, it is hard for us to look past the other seasons, particularly Autumn, which for many, offers more comfortable weather for exploring than the heat that can be experienced over the summer months.
No matter what time of year you come, or what you come to see, finding a well located hotel with great amenities, food and transport options is essential. For us, this was met and exceeded by the Holiday Inn on Flinders, and allowed us to have a fabulous Melbourne getaway.
Holiday Inn on Flinders
Located on the corner of Flinders Lane and Spencer Street, the Holiday Inn on Flinders is centrally located to a range of public transport and within walking distance to Etihad Stadium. We were impressed with the open and homely atrium and the friendly staff. After a quick check in, we headed up to our room on the 4th floor.
Many of the rooms at the Holiday Inn on Flinders are newly renovated and we were lucky enough to stay in one of the new rooms. After spending quite a few years in the UK and being greeted with teeny tiny double beds, a King sized bed was a welcome site. The vertical block out blinds and alcove to store our luggage added to the clean lines and size of the room.
During the warmer months, you can enjoy a swim or bask on the rooftop pool and they also have a spa and gym that can be enjoyed all year around.
The large screen TV was located perfectly to enjoy from bed and the large spacious bathroom featured a double sized shower with a removable shower head and a large mirror, perfect for getting ready for a night on the town.
After enjoying the lovely chocolate coated strawberries that were left for us, we headed out on foot and walked around 20 minutes to the Docklands to enjoy a ride on the Melbourne Star Observation wheel.
The Docklands and Melbourne Star Observation Wheel
Despite spending many hours at the ice skating rink at the foot of the Melbourne Star, we’d yet to ride on the wheel itself. We waited until around 45 minutes prior to sunset to embark the observation wheel in order enjoy the city as the sun was setting.
Moving at around 1km per hour, one revolution takes around 30 minutes and affords you spectacular views of the docks, Yarra River and CBD. We were lucky enough to have a whole pod to ourselves. When were disembarking, the crowds had increased in size, so we can recommend getting in around 45 minutes before the evening session starts in order to best enjoy your experience.
If you’re in the mood, for a few extra dollars, you can purchase an additional rotation when purchasing your ticket on the wheel, which is a great idea if you want to enjoy sunset and the city lights.
DInner at Sirocco
After exploring the city and the Melbourne Star Observation wheel we headed back through docklands and caught one of the historic circle circle tram back to Flinders street. Located conveniently on Flinders Lane, the hotel was only a short walk from the tram stop, which was great, because by this time we were ready for dinner.
Holiday Inn offers dining at its Sirocco restaurant on the ground floor. We started our meal by sharing bruschetta. A little different than the traditional, this bruschetta also featured goats cheese and balsamic, which was a yummy touch.
For main I enjoyed a tender slow cooked lamb shank with truffle mash and broccolini. My husband enjoyed a mouthwatering beef skewer with truffle mash and broccolini. For dessert we shared a delicious fig pudding adorned with rich caramel and white chocolate nib.
The seats and ambience in the hotel were very relaxed and comfortable, so we lingered after dinner to enjoy a drink before retiring to our room. For those that enjoy a later night out, Melbourne has a fantastic nightlife, and you could easily head off to a show or continue with a drink in the hotel bar, which had a great range of drinks, including a fruit mocktail, which was a favourite for me.
The round up
The light and airy foyer features comfy seats and the Sirocco bar is a great place to enjoy a drink and watch the city go by. This common area is well sectioned to ensure that noise doesn’t travel and has a lovely warm atmosphere, conducive to relaxing.
The staff were a pleasure and having our car valet parked was a great, and convenient, touch. Whilst we know our way around the city, this hotel is perfect for first time guests as it is closely located to both Southern Cross and Flinders street stations, as well as easy access to the tram, allowing you free access to the city centre.
We highlight recommend the Holiday Inn on Flinders and encourage you to consider it for your next Melbourne visit.