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“A Little Gem”
Review of Tolarno Hotel

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Tolarno Hotel
Ranked #8 of 19 Hotels in St Kilda
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
52 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
“A Little Gem”
Reviewed 25 August 2014

My family (wife and I + 21yr old daughter & 19yr old son) stayed for one night to attend a wedding at a function room on the St.Kilda foreshore. The hotel is located on busy Fitzroy street in the heart of the restaurant and bar area. It's only a 15 minute tram ride to the heart of the city or a 10 minute stroll to the beach. There is no parking at the hotel however they provide a voucher for a nearby car park for $7 dollars a day which they add to your bill. The balcony rooms right on Fitzroy street can get a lot of noise but we were well back from the street and didn't hear a thing. Check in was smooth and efficient. The hotel has quite a striking colour scheme of deep blue, purple and burgandy and there is an amazing stained glass window on the main staircase. There are dozens of local artworks lining the walls and it really is like living in a gallery. It is an old building that was not originally a hotel so the rooms are all different shapes and sizes Our room had a queen bed, small kitchenette area and a smallish bathroom with basin, shower and toilet. The kids room was slightly larger with a double bed and a king single. Both rooms also had a bar fridge full of the usual beers, wines etc. It is very different to the standard hotels I am used to staying at I really liked the feel of the place. If the Tolarno was was located in Barcelona or Milan we would all be writing home and telling everyone how amazing it is and it has inspired me to start looking for more alternative type accommodation in future. One of Melbourne's best kept secrets.

Room Tip: Ask for a room away from the street.
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  • Stayed August 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank magpie59
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, 4 September 2014
Hello magpie59,

Thank you for such a comprehensive review from your recent ‘family stay’. It is very rewarding, from our end, to hear of your appreciation for the artwork and aesthetics of the hotel. You have given a very candid evaluation of your experience and observations, which will be helpful to Tripadvisor readers.

We like to think of Tolarno’s as a colourful haven for those who like something different. Guests have told us they have changed the colour schemes in their own homes or purchased artwork as a result of enjoying it in the hotel.

It’s very pleasing to know that you too are going to seek out the more alternative hotels in your travels! We hope to see you again if you have another event on in town, and thank you for choosing to stay with us. Warm regards, 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)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Indonesian first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
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English first
Adelaide, Australia
Level Contributor
18 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 August 2014 via mobile

My husband and I recently stayed in a junior suite with my elderly mother. Our 2 rooms were very clean and comfortable with our own ensuite bathrooms. Staff we're friendly, and had even put fresh flowers in my mothers room which she loved. We enjoyed the artworks throughout the hotel. Breakfast at Cacao was close to the hotel and a wonderful treat. We will definitely return.

Stayed August 2014, travelled with family
Helpful?
Thank Kathryn 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, 22 August 2014
Dear Kathryn T,

Thank you for your recent review. We’re very pleased to hear that the Junior Suite suited your needs; it’s a good choice if you want to be close to each other but have your own facilities in each room.

It’s always great to hear people say how much they enjoy the art throughout the hotel. Cacao is a beautiful French Patisserie (and so close to the hotel), being open from 7am-7pm makes it very accessible for breakfast, lunch and then some.

Thank you for staying with us and we’ll look forward to seeing you again. Best wishes, Jane Lewis.
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Ballarat, Australia
1 review
Reviewed 4 August 2014

My husband and I recently booked for a weekend away.We saw the great pictures online and felt this would be a perfect spot.We were booked into a balcony room and were very disappointed with the amount of street noise coming from the public on a Friday and Saturday night.The hotel is a suitiated a block away from a community housing apartment aswell which all lends to the amount of people hanging around the front of the building at night.We asked if we could change rooms to the back of the hotel but were told this could not be done as it was all booked out.We were offered a small bottle of wine, a 20 dollar gift voucher and mini bar snacks to make up for the upset.Frankly this didnt suffice as what we would of expected was a refund or two complimentry nights stay to make up for two sleepless nights, overall a disappointing experience.

Room Tip: Would definately choose a room at the back of the Hotel.
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  • Stayed August 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank TenneH
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 August 2014
Dear TenneH,

Thank you for recent review. We are sorry to hear your stay was not to your satisfaction. For yourself and the benefit of other readers on Tripadvisor we do state on our website that we do not recommend balcony rooms for light sleepers. It is evident from the reviews on Tripadvisor that many guests love the balcony rooms whilst others suggest choosing rooms towards the back of the hotel.

Street noise is something we cannot control. Although the windows are double glazed this won’t completely block sounds on the street. The community housing you mention is in fact a private hotel on our lower corner. This is run independently and provides accommodation, on the whole, for the under-privileged; there are many long term residents who have been there for many years.

The St Kilda community is very eclectic; a mixture of wealthy and middle of the road folk, artistic and creative types, backpackers, and a minority who are disenfranchised. Somehow the melting pot is what makes St Kilda what it is – vibrant, edgy, interesting and always dynamic. Of course, when you’re trying to sleep that is not always so appealing.... but it is why people are drawn to the area.

We always try to assist in moving guests whenever possible, but as you say, we were fully booked and it was not possible. I feel our receptionist offered a very reasonable amount of add-ons, free of charge, to compensate for the street noise. I am very surprised you expected a full refund for 2 night’s accommodation. We are disappointed it was not a great stay for you, as we want all our guests to enjoy their experience with a desire to return. If you do choose to visit us again, please call us and we can choose a much more appropriate room for you. Kind regards, Jane Lewis.
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Jakarta, Indonesia
Level Contributor
27 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 July 2014

Frankly, I have doubt when first I arrived in this hotel. This hotel was almost nobody in the lobby. there are a bar and restaurant downstair, make me feel i might be hear some noise in the night. but everything was fine. my little son can sleep very well

The receptionist was very friendly and very helpful. He helped me to carried my luggage because there is no lift/elevator. He even lend me the tram card when i asked how to go to downtown. there is a tram station in front the hotel, two seven eleven and self laundry on the opposite. there are also many restaurant, bar, ice-cream store.

The other receptionist was also very kind. He called my cab, and helped me to watch my luggage in the early morning.

My room in is very cozy with a couch, and make me surprise was the kitchen. its like a mini studio apartment.

I will be back to this hotel if I have to stay in St. Kilda.

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled with family
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank MIchelfelicia
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, 16 July 2014
Dear Michelfelicia,

Thank you for your recent review. You touched on a lot of things which do make Tolarno’s unique.

We find that even when the hotel is fully occupied it never feels that way, and our lobby rarely feels overcrowded. It is unfortunate we are unable to install a lift but our receptionists are very happy to assist with taking luggage to and from rooms. Jorge would have been very pleased he could help you with this.
We have good local knowledge and are always happy to help with information to assist guests with using public transport around Melbourne. It was great Jorge could give you a Myki card.

Our night manager, Ursan, is very helpful and in those early hours of the morning it’s nice to have someone here that can help you with luggage, transport or any other issues which may arise.

We’re glad you enjoyed your room and found it quiet and cosy. The kitchenette is handy when you are here for a few days and have children with you.

It’s very pleasing to hear that you will stay with us when you are visiting Melbourne next; we’ll look forward to seeing you again. Best wishes, Jane Lewis.
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Mexico City, Mexico
Level Contributor
49 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 July 2014

I loved this hotel, the rooms were nice, the staff super friendly and helpful and the neighbourhood was really the type of location that we were looking for, but please note it is not in Melbourne Downtown, you are located in St Kilda a great trendy neighbourhood with tons of cafes and restaurants!
Everyday we took the city bikes to go to Melbourne and we loved the experience! (20/25 min ride)

Room Tip: Ask the front desk for a Room away from the stairs!
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  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank LolaCam
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, 10 July 2014
Hi Pikotoba,

Thank you for your review. It’s really good to hear how much you enjoyed staying in St Kilda. As you say, it’s not ‘downtown Melbourne’ but St Kilda has a lot on offer with its cafés, restaurants, bars and the beach.

Great you used the ‘Melbourne Bike Share’ while you were here to venture out. Melbourne’s bike paths make for enjoyable and easy riding. With the city only 4.5 kms away it's a convenient way to travel in and out of town.

We hope to see you again if you travel again to Melbourne.

Best wishes,
Jane Lewis
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Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei Darussalam
Level Contributor
32 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 July 2014

I remember visiting Tolarno Art gallery on school excursions when I was a kid. Now the gallery has become a great little bar and the art work is dispersed throughout the hotel. The rooms and hallway are quirky and appealing. The front office staff are friendly and very helpful. The location right on Fitzroy street is fabulous.
The only downside is that that bathrooms are a little tired, but overall Tolarno is a great choice for a stay in St.Kilda.

Room Tip: A front room with a balcony would probably be a good choice.
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  • Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank AussieinAlain
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, 10 July 2014
Hello AussieinAlain,

It was very nice to hear of your childhood memories of Tolarno’s, when it was a gallery. As you say, there is plenty of artwork throughout the building now, which makes for interesting viewing. We are very happy you chose to stay with us and welcome your feedback.

This week we have completed resurfacing all our bathroom floors; which do vary a lot in their size and style but we are really pleased with this renovation, and hope if you are able to stay with us again you are too. We appreciate you taking the time to review the hotel and hope to see you again. Best wishes, Jane Lewis.
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Fremantle, Australia
Level Contributor
7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 June 2014 via mobile

My husband and I have stayed in Melbourne many times but have now found our favorite hotel.
Tolarno was terrific, the rooms were great, the location was awesome and the staff couldn't be more helpful.
This will be our "usual" place to stay from now on.
Thank you Tolarno

Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank Karen B
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, 18 June 2014
Hi Karen B,

It’s wonderful to hear you enjoyed your recent stay here and are now going to make Tolarno’s your regular place to stay when in Melbourne.

Thank you for taking time out to review us. We will look forward to seeing you in the near future. 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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