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“Great art and an excellent stay”
Review of Tolarno Hotel

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Tolarno Hotel
Ranked #8 of 19 Hotels in St Kilda
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
13 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“Great art and an excellent stay”
Reviewed 18 March 2014

I just stayed three nights at the Hotel Tolarno, over the Grand Prix weekend. I thought it was excellent. St Kilda is a noisy place, sometimes unruly and, over a GP weekend, crowded. In spite of this, the hotel itself was pretty quiet. There are two things that really stand out about the Tolarno. 1. The reception staff are super. Polite, helpful and considerate. You just can't fault them. 2. The art. There are some cracking paintings in the corridors.

The hotel is a bit tatty here and there, but that's part of its charm. It's a great place to stay. If you're looking for 5 star, this isn't it, but if you're looking for somewhere you can trust the people and feel cared for, go to the Tolarno.

  • Stayed March 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Richy61_11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
tolarno, Guest Relations Manager at Tolarno Hotel, responded to this review, 8 April 2014
Dear Richy61_11
Thank you very much for your review. We are really pleased you found Tolarno Hotel suited your needs.
We are in a great location for those attending the Grand Prix. We are also very pleased you found our friendly staff offered you great service. We do feel this is one of our best assets – staff who care about guests! We are here to make your stay as enjoyable and trouble free as possible.
You are right in saying the artwork is a stand-out. There’s a huge variety of works, we are a gallery in a hotel really.
It’s true that we are not a 5 star hotel and we don’t pretend to be. The very nature of the 1880’s building does not lend itself to lap pools and state of the art luxury. As a 4 star property we always hope we will meet and ideally exceed expectations.
We really appreciate your honest review and one can read from it that “you get our hotel!”
Thanks again and we hope we can welcome you here again. Best wishes, Jane Lewis.
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241 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (56)
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English first
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
8 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 March 2014 via mobile

We booked this hotel as we had a wedding in the area.
The price was good and the staff where very friendly.

Our room was perfect for what we needed but the only problem was when we got back and wanted to go to sleep at 1am, the noise from outside was so loud that we only got a few hours sleep.
It is in a party area but I think they need to get thicker windows.
Parking was close by and only cost 7 dollars.

Stayed March 2014, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank seandw
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
tolarno, Guest Relations Manager at Tolarno Hotel, responded to this review, 8 April 2014
Hi Seandw,

Thank you for writing a review about your Tolarno Hotel experience.
It’s nice to know you found your room comfortable, the tariff reasonable, our staff to be friendly and the parking convenient and affordable.
St Kilda is a popular area for weddings and we have a lot of guests who book with us to attend weddings like your selves.
It’s disappointing that the outside noise impacted on your sleep. As much as it is out of our control, we would very much like to lessen the decibels from Fitzroy Street, which are often very loud on weekends. We have mentioned before, on this site, that we have had sound engineers look into this, and the only option given is to enclose the balconies in thick glass. We haven’t gone down this path yet, as in many ways it will be sad to lose the outdoor balcony. We do take guest feedback seriously and it is being considered, as many of you have commented on this in your reviews.
We thank you for your honest and succinct feedback too. Kind regards, Jane Lewis.
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Melbourne, Australia
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 March 2014

We have always had an excellent experience when staying at the Tolarno. We have celebrated our anniversary here most years since 2002. Great staff, service, art work, rooms and location- and Tolarno did not disappoint this time. We stayed Friday and Saturday nights and the only concern we had was the noise Saturday night/Sunday morning. It could be our older age impacting our opinion, however we found the dance music from across the road very sleep disruptive. We enjoy hearing some of the vibrant street noise, yet at 5.00 Sunday morning I was woken to the techno beat still going across the street. Maybe they had it louder than they should have.... Not really a reflection of the hotel, but if your planning a sleep-in request a room toward the back. We were in the deluxe balcony suite which faces the street. Nonetheless the room and weekend was great. A very consistent hotel!!

  • Stayed March 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Kateandwoz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
tolarno, Guest Relations Manager at Tolarno Hotel, responded to this review, 7 April 2014
Dear Kateandwoz,

Thank you very much for your March review. It’s wonderful to hear you have spent many anniversaries here over the last 12 or so years.

The balcony rooms are great for many reasons but Fitzroy St can be rowdy and nobody at any age likes a disturbed sleep. The weekends are the times when the party goers really seem to be out and about and it’s unfortunate that our guests in balcony rooms hear them a little too often. It’s nice to know your weekend stay was still a happy one and you made the most of your time here.

We really hope we can be of service to you for at least the next 12 years. Perhaps your next room can be off the street, we would be happy to talk you through some rooms before you choose. We’ll look forward to seeing you and thank you again for taking the time to write your review. Best wishes, Jane Lewis.
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Brisbane, Australia
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 19 February 2014 via mobile

If you are looking for a retro/artistic place to stay, with a bit of history behind, a fantastic italian restaurant and surroundings where you feel genuinelly welcomed by very human and caring people, then TOLARNO is the place for you!
We talked to Jane and the other two guys at reception and they were so empathetic and kind, we were really touched by the humanity displayed effortlessly by all of them.
We had a great evening there and enjoy one of the most amazing italian food at their restaurant.
We would not hesitate to go back there next time we are in Melbourne :)

Stayed February 2014, travelled on business
Helpful?
Thank Peter V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
tolarno, Guest Relations Manager at Tolarno Hotel, responded to this review, 6 March 2014
Hello Peter V,

Thank you very much for your review. It’s great to hear you enjoyed your experience at the hotel and the restaurant; which does serve delicious food.

Being a fairly small, independent hotel, we do feel that we can truly be ourselves and don’t have to operate to the strict, often robotic, guidelines that some of the larger chain hotels do. Although our approach is very professional, we can go the extra mile to help guests a little more, in order to make their stay more special. We genuinely care about what we do and our guests’ - it’s nice to hear you felt that way during your stay here.

We will look forward to seeing you again when you are next in Melbourne. Best wishes, Jane Lewis.
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Brisbane, Australia
Level Contributor
101 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 February 2014

This hotel is located on Fitzroy Street with easy access to St Kilda Pier / beach and a short walk to Acland street. We chose it because it seemed to be the best affordable boutique hotel in the area, and we weren't disappointed. The staff at the hotel are very friendly and check-in was easy. The art on the walls really gave the hotel extra personality. We had a hire car for part of our stay and parking was easy. There is unlimited parking only two blocks from the hotel, and our stay was over the Aus day weekend and we had no trouble getting a space but if there are no spaces the hotel has a deal with a nearby carpark for $7 a day.

Some nearby places I would highly recommend:
- Captain Baxters (trendy bar/restaurant overlooking the Beach) - awesome food and great cocktails
- Fitzrovia (On Fitzroy St just up the road - for breakfast or dinner)
- 95 Espresso on Acland Street has very good Coffee
- Milk the Cow - Wine and Cheese Licensed Fromagiarie on Fitzroy Street - AMAZING!

We'll be back to stay at this Hotel on our next stay in Melbourne without a doubt.

Room Tip: We asked for a room on the upper floor to avoid noise from people on the stairs. There isn't a l...
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  • Stayed January 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Benjamin G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
tolarno, Guest Relations Manager at Tolarno Hotel, responded to this review, 17 February 2014
Hi Benjamin G,

Thank you for such a comprehensive review, from your recent stay. It’s really great to hear why you chose Tolarno’s, and list “affordability” as one of your criteria.

We wish we had parking at the hotel but as this is not possible we have the arrangement at Metropol on Canterbury Rd - $7 for 24 hours. It was good you were able to park in the free parking area a couple of blocks back from the hotel and found it to be no problem. The free street parks can fill up, which is why it’s good to have the car park as a back up and some people prefer to have their car under cover.

We always hope our guests explore and discover some of the terrific places in the area, and I think your recommendations will be very well received by those looking at your review for ideas. Places like “Milk the Cow” are so unique and great for cheese lovers! On the summer evenings what could be more relaxing than looking at the sunset while sipping cocktails overlooking the beach at Captain Baxters! Fitzrovia produce great food and 95 Espresso on Acland St is one of many great coffee places.

We love repeat guests and will look forward to your return visit. Thanks again for taking the time to submit your feedback. Warm regards, Jane Lewis.
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London
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 February 2014

A rare night away withmy husband to see the St kilda festival. This hotel was perfect! The staff were brilliant, helping me out with parking on one of the busiest days in the year and looking after our bags when we arrived so early. A great welcome, a fabulous stay in a funky hotel in a fantastic location, better equiped than my house! Thank you, we can't wait to come back! Great Sunday value.

Room Tip: We had a standard room, suited our needs for a festival focused stay.
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  • Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Lizanddunc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
tolarno, Guest Relations Manager at Tolarno Hotel, responded to this review, 17 February 2014
Hello Lizanddunc,
The St Kilda Festival is certainly a lively time to come to the area! This is one Sunday we need to prepare for at the hotel. Many streets in St Kilda, including Fitzroy Street, are closed off to vehicles, which can make it difficult for guests entering to check-in and park. We’re really pleased we could assist you with the luggage and parking early in the morning, so you could make the most of the day.
As you were out for most of the day, I agree that the standard room would have been the right room type for you.
We’ll look forward to seeing you again. Thank you very much for taking the time to write your review, we really appreciate it. Best wishes, Jane Lewis.
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Switzerland
Level Contributor
181 reviews
35 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 82 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 February 2014

Definitely a different kind of place from what we had in the past! Upon arrival the lady at reception made us feel welcome, checked us in quickly, offered info on parking and surroundings and more. It's a period building so there was no elevator and the floors were wooden so made a bit of noise. This was the fascination with it: completely renovated and the walls are adorned with original local artworks. The rooms are all different and individually styled. Our room was very tiny but enough for us since we didn't plan on spending time in the hotel but outside. Nothing is missing though: towels, soaps, cutlery, dishes and storage space. Walking distance to all St.Kilda shops and restaurants and to the beach. A bit noisy in the morning when people talk in the corridor but overall a nice stay.

  • Stayed January 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Tilena T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
tolarno, Guest Relations Manager at Tolarno Hotel, responded to this review, 17 February 2014
Hi Tilena T,
Thank you for your review. It’s nice to hear you liked our point of difference; Tolarno’s definitely is not beige! The building is very solid but there is the odd friendly creak and although the hotel is quiet, voices can travel in the morning, when people are on their way out. We have many different room types and although some are on the small side we have made sure they are equipped with all the necessities one would hope to have. We're pleased you found there was everything you needed in the room and you made the most of your time exploring the area. We hope to see you again if you choose to stay in St Kilda and perhaps you can try another style of room. Best wishes, Jane Lewis.
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Additional Information about Tolarno Hotel

Property: Tolarno Hotel
Address: 42 Fitzroy St, St Kilda, Port Phillip, Victoria 3182, Australia
Phone Number:
Region: Australia > Victoria > Greater Melbourne > Port Phillip > St Kilda
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Suites Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#1 Green Hotel in St Kilda
#4 Business Hotel in St Kilda
#5 Family Hotel in St Kilda
#8 Luxury Hotel in St Kilda
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:4 star — Tolarno Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 37
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Once an art gallery, cafe and private residence of flamboyant Melbourne artist Mirka Mora and her husband Georges, the Tolarno Hotel has always been a creative space in St Kilda. The tradition continues at Tolarno Hotel. In a salute to the charismatic Mirka, the hotel’s walls and halls are hung with striking artworks by emerging and accomplished artists, 150+ works in total including a number of Mirka’s – guest’s often comment that it’s like staying in an art gallery. Today our 4 star hotel awards 3 major student art prizes via the Victorian College of the Arts (VCA), Monash University and Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) and the yearly winners are exhibited in the hotel foyer for 12 months. Many of the artworks in guest rooms are prize-winning student paintings; the remainder are works by prominant local artists. Combine these striking surrounds with our friendly service, well-appointed rooms and suites and location in the heart of St Kilda’s dining and entertainment precinct and you have a stay like no other. With trams just a 30-second walk from our front door offering easy access to Melbourne’s CBD attractions, shopping, restaurants, events and business precinct, you’re connected to everything the city has to offer. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Boutique Hotel Melbourne
Tolarno Hotel St Kilda, Greater Melbourne

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