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“Excellent value in Parap (a Darwin suburb)”
Review of Paravista Motel

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Paravista Motel
Ranked #22 of 36 Hotels in Darwin
Reviewed 24 August 2013

A bit of background: I rode my bicycle 8,000km from Adelaide to Darwin and I stayed in some pretty grungy places - and a few nice ones - including camping in a tent, bush/guerrilla camping, pub rooms, pub cabins, motels, and so on). My wife booked this hotel when she rendezvous-ed with me before we flew back to home to Canada.

The Paravista is a motel that is >30 years old and doesn't seem to have had any major infrastructure upgrades since then. Having said that, it is well-kept and clean. We stayed on the 3rd floor in rooms 17 and 18, at two different times. We did encounter ants but that is definitely a pretty common for Australia, so no big deal for me (don't leave food out). The Paravista is just off Stuart Highway in a quiet neighbourhood about 3km from Darwin center (Mitchell St. area). On my last 2 days in Darwin, when I had time to kill waiting for a flight home, I actually walked from downtown to the Paravista. You can also take the bus. It's reasonably close to Mindl Beach and Museum of the NT (definitely both are very walk-able). Most people would probably be well-advised to have a car, though, when taking into consideration how much they have paid just to get to Darwin, i.e., time is money.

Our rooms included: TV (flat screen), a/c, ceiling fan, free wi-fi, fridge, tea/coffee, kettle, glasses, bowls/plates/utensils and a balcony. There is a pool, full kitchen, laundry ($2 washer/dryer) and apparently a BBQ (we didn't use). We did not see a phone nor hairdryer. In fact, wireline phones are very rare these days and I did not see one in in ANY paid room of my 4 months of travelling Australia.

There is basic local shopping available in less than a 10 minute walk, including a newsagent, a high-end grocery store ("Fine Foods"), a great coffee house, and various restaurants (we didn't do the restaurants there, though). Be sure not to miss the great local market on Saturdays from 7:30am to 1pm. I recognized some of the Thuirsday night Mindl Beach vendors at the Saturday Market, too.

We spent 5 nights in the Paravista before doing a week-long tour of Kakadu National Park and then another night after the Kakadu tour, just before flying back home to Canada.

I've saved the best for last: the customer service is second to none at the Paravista. Nelson and Tenielle are the two employees I dealt with and both were helpful and friendly. However, Nelson is the person I dealt with mostly and he went out of his way to accommodate me in the following ways:
- called airport shuttle bus for info and booking on my behalf
- asked and called around to find flowers for me to buy for my wife who I hadn't seen for > 3 months (he found a place nearby)
- made all the usual touristy suggestions
- made suggestions on where to buy supplies to box my bicycle for the flight
- gave a great room rate on our return visit for our last night before flying home
- graciously stored our luggage and boxed bike for a week while we toured Kakadu by rental car
- graciously extended check-out time to accommodate our late flight
- printed out my eTicket for my flight (need paper one for international flights)
- and various other 'little' but important things

So, I gave 3 points out of 5 for the facilities and 1 point for the awesome customer service. I'd give it a 1/2 point for good value but can't do that on trip advisor. I can't ethically give it 5/5. Bottom line: unless you're fabulously wealthy and can afford a $400/night room, I think you would find exceptional value in this motel. Darwin is now the most expensive place to buy a house in Australia, so this is not a cheap city to visit. I would definitely return the Paravista.

  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled as a couple
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8  Thank UNIVAC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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56 - 62 of 132 reviews

Reviewed 17 August 2013

Hotel situated half way between Airport and Darwin cbd, and plaque in entrance says opened mid 70's and it looks like it ! Decor hasnt changed a bit from those days so dont expect anything flash. In saying that the room was a good size with onsuite tv airconditioning etc. Located near shopping small shopping centre. Bed was queen size though a bit soft and the units very quiet...it's just the neighbour isnt inviting i.e. mainly residential/light industry and some of the shops drab. Biggest drawback is distance from Darwin proper requiring a car or use of public transport....but if yr budget is stretched or looking for an overnight stay prior to doing the national parks it's ideal.

Room Tip: Our room was situated near reception so had some passing traffic outside out windows, though not muc...
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  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank John C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 July 2013

It is a motel located in the vicinity of Darwin, on the way rom the airport to the center. You have everything you need in the room, and the air conditionning was usefull for the warm days. Darwin is a lovely little city, with a enormous swimming pool near the beach. It is a great place to start from to do your trip to kakadu.

Room Tip: all the rooms are the same so no worries.
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  • Stayed: August 2012, travelled with family
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5  Thank SMaxime
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 July 2013

Very friendly, helpful staff, we arrived early and were able to check in straight away. Family room had a balcony, toaster, kettle and shower over bath. Very clean, somewhat dated. Host very helpful, lots of good Darwin tips and we enjoyed the stay. Expensive, but not for Darwin which is in general more than the rest of Australia. Great for an early airport departure. Would stay again.

  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled with family
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4  Thank wendy h
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 July 2013

This is a basic motel which is overpriced. We stayed there for one night and did not see any staff. Admittedly we arrived late so the key was left out for us but even at 10 am there was no one around, just a notice on the reception desk with a mobile number on it. I would not recommend this to anyone. We stayed at the similarly priced Casa on Gregory nearby in Parap for the next four nights and would recommend that as it is recently renovated and staffed.

  • Stayed: June 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank galtripper
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 July 2013

The Paravista Motel is an older style motel a few kilometres out of the town centre. Nonetheless Parap is a reasonable suburb with some quite nice houses looking to be recently rebuilt or refurbished amongst some older, more basic homes, indicating there is money going into the area. The neighbourhood overall seemed to be generally quiet and safe. Being in Parap this motel is one of the closest accommodation options to some of the main attractions in Darwin, including the Museum and Art Gallery, Mindil Beach and the Night Markets, the Gardens, and the Darwin World War II Experience. It would be possible to rely on walking or public transport from the motel, but in reality you need your own transport. For what it’s worth there is an excellent cycling path network nearby which is fairly flat, so a bike would a viable option even if you weren’t too keen on riding on the main roads.

The motel itself was opened in 1974, meaning it survived that year’s disastrous Cyclone Tracy, which is somewhat reassuring; a photo in the foyer from the time shows the motel standing amongst the wreckage of the surrounding area. It is a four storey building, and most rooms seem to have their own balcony, however don’t expect any views even from the top deck (making the name somewhat misleading, as there is in fact no ‘vista’ whatsoever). There’s no elevator, so you need to climb a staircase to get to your floor. No worries if you’re fit enough, but could be an issue if you have health problems. The helpful lady at check-in did at least offer to assist me with my bags, which would be handy if it was required.

Besides not having an elevator, the building is frankly showing its age. As advertised, rooms have been renovated, but I was probably expecting a more thorough renovation than is evident. A lick of paint, new beds, bedside furniture, TV, artwork, and a few other bits and pieces are in place. But surely when talking about renovations you would expect new carpet, refitting the bathroom, new window dressings, etc? Well, not so here. The mix leaves a bit of a slapdash feeling, for example the original bedhead which was evidently built into the wall was still partially in place, even though the new bed no longer sits on that wall. Outside the rooms in the common areas it’s a bit the same, somewhat of a mix of old and new, but tending towards an old feeling. Despite the age, at least it is generally kept quite clean.

Fixtures tend towards older style or cheaper options. Air-conditioning units in the common areas were the newer style, while those in the rooms were of the ‘box’ design. The aircon did however do its job just fine, which is probably the primary concern, and was operated via remote control. The ceiling fan which is so useful in a tropical climate was unfortunately quite noisy, so couldn’t be run while sleeping. With the low ceilings the fan itself was also disturbingly low (I almost took direct hit when I started to pull my top off while standing under the fan, but realised just in time). Some of the electrical outlets in the room looked to be well past their use by date; in fact I suspect some perhaps wouldn’t pass a safety inspection. The TVs were the newer style units, but were an indeterminate brand without very good picture quality, which isn’t in itself that much of an issue. They now feature all the Australian digital channels, and reception was good. The advertised Austar (actually Foxtel) was hard to find, requiring me to change modes on the TV to get to it; this was not advised anywhere in the room or at check-in, and even when I asked the staff they could not in fact tell me that this was necessary.

The bed was alright if nothing flash, while the pillows tended to be pretty flat. All up not the best bed I’ve come across, but not too bad. The shower was serviceable, with satisfactory pressure, quick heat, and slow drainage. The taps in the sink needed to be turned off quite firmly. Towels were from the lower end of the market. Some basic cutlery and crockery were provided, along with a bar fridge, kettle and basic tea and coffee supplies. There was also a shared kitchen if you wanted to cook for yourself. Breakfast is neither included in the price nor available, however the Parap shops are not far away if you wish to eat out or pick up supplies. A few bugs were around, mainly little things that could get through flyscreens, but I also found a couple of cockroaches in my room over the few days I stayed. This is the tropics and an older building so that’s hardly surprising, but some people are a little squeamish about those things. Regardless, I’d advise you to keep your bags off the floor. The pool looked to be clean, although I didn’t use it. Free wifi was provided, usually at a reasonable speed, and while it did seem to slow to a crawl occasionally that could have just been my underpowered computer.

Overall the Paravista provides a reasonable stay. They say you get what you pay for; that may be less true in Darwin than in most other places, as for $150 a night I’d tend to expect a lot better. However in comparison to prices elsewhere, this pricing was positively competitive. In reality, if staying down south in Australia you’d probably expect to pay close to half as much for a place of this standard. Nonetheless I have rated it against Darwin prices and on those measures it probably sneaks in as a three for the dollars you’re paying. Personally I would probably look elsewhere if returning to Darwin, starting with options located nearer to the city centre, but would stay here again if I couldn’t come up with anything better.

Room Tip: Lower floors may be more suitable due to no elevator
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  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled solo
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3  Thank Boxing_Kangaroo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 June 2013

We have stayed here twice and found it to be a really good deal. Well organized, super clean and comfortable. All in all a really super little motel. One caution: don' t use the laundry as you'll get spots on your clothes. You'll need transport to get into the center.

  • Stayed: June 2013, travelled with friends
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3  Thank Miss_Molly_by_Golly
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Paravista Motel

Address: Holiday Units 5 Mackillop St, Darwin, Northern Territory 0820, Australia
Region: Australia > Northern Territory > Top End > Darwin
Amenities:
Free Parking Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #22 of 36 Hotels in Darwin
Price Range: £42 - £54 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Paravista Motel 3*
Number of rooms: 18
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