There is one thing that is undeniably excellent about the City Centre Budget Hotel, and that is its location. It's just opposite the parliament building on Spring St, and thus also right around the corner from Parliament Station and the Fitzroy Gardens. You can even walk up to the cafes and restaurants in Lygon St in about twenty minutes, if that's your fancy, or take a tram to the other side of the city, or stroll on over to Flinders St. Station to take a train out to the suburbs. The place is in a wonderful location, therefore, if you are on a budget and want to stay in a place that is genuinely in the heart of the city without having to share a room.
The rooms themselves are pretty utilitarian. They usually have a bed, two chairs and a table, a fan, a refrigerator, and an ancient TV. Still, whenever I've checked in, they have been freshly cleaned and I have no problem with them from that aspect. They have free wireless internet, which had improved greatly in speed and reliability between my first and second visits. There are also two communal computers upstairs if you don't have a laptop with you. The two British guys who run the place are honest and genuinely helpful. They seem to have a found a nice little niche. They are also tough on people who party or are noisy in the establishment (a necessary step, as the walls are pretty thin).
Here are the drawbacks. There is no air conditioning. For me, that wasn't a problem, as the weather in Melbourne was hot but not humid, and I was there to escape the northern winter anyway. The biggest issue for most people will be the communal bathrooms. They do clean them every day, but the bathrooms themselves are very, very old and, while they work just fine, they are in need of renovation. During this second visit the showers were getting a bit of a face-lift. Still, it's never great having to share bathrooms, but you know that's how it is going to be up front. I'm also kind of bemused by their cleaning policy. They allow you to change towels only every four days. They will clean your room and change the linen only every seven days. Especially when there's no air-conditioning, that could get rather ripe!
Whether or not you stay here is really a matter of what you're willing to trade off for a low price. Do the excellent location, low rates, and free internet make up for the run-down, communal bathrooms, utilitarian rooms, and self-service cleaning policy? That's really a matter of individual taste and resources. I have stayed here twice and found it tolerable both times, but I don't think I'd do it again. For about only thirty dollars a night more, I can find deals on other places in downtown Melbourne that are far more luxurious and comfortable. Still, that cost gap does add up quickly, and none of the alternatives have free wifi...
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- Also Known As:
- City Centre Budget Melbourne