When you’re offered a pillow menu at a hotel, you figure you’re in for a comfortable stay – after all, few things are more important in a hotel stay than where you literally lay your head. And so it is at the Rendezvous Grand Hotel Melbourne, which offers guests the perfect place to rest and rejuvenate right in the heart of Melbourne’s central business district.
Address: 328 Flinders Street, Melbourne, Australia
Website address: http://www.rendezvoushotels.com/melbourne
Number of rooms: 340 rooms and suites
Star rating: 4.5 Stars
Cost of room: From AU$179 per room per night (valid until 31 December 2014)
How was the welcome and service?
Located in a beautiful century-old building, the Rendezvous is quintessentially Melbourne – traditional in much of its appearance yet modern in the details.
The first thing you’ll notice arriving at the hotel is the building’s elegant early 20th century exterior, which continues into the circular Grand Vestibule, and onto the adjacent Travellers Bar. But its appeal is certainly not skin deep.
Melbourne was recently ranked by one prominent US magazine as the friendliest city in the world (it was also rated the world's most liveable city). And whether you agree with that or not, the service at the Rendezvous Grand is definitely warm. From its valet parking (which on this hectic Friday evening, is working in overdrive) to its front desk staff (who are equally busy) to its porterage, its service is as professional as you’ll find anywhere else too.
Room size and features:
You can try out one of the hotel’s more modern Superior or Deluxe rooms or for more space, opt for one of the hotel’s suites. But when I’m staying in a hotel famous for its history, I want to stay in one of its Heritage rooms.
Located on one of the hotel’s heritage floors, the Heritage room features a lovely Edwardian Baroque design, the highlights of which are the original leadlight windows and the high, ornate ceilings (that are wonderfully illuminated).
Below this, a tall bedhead leads onto a super-comfortable king bed, completed by your choice of Hypo-Allergenic, Latex or Feather & Down pillows. Coloured in warm beige and browns, the classically furnished room also features:
-Air conditioning with individual temperature control
-Foxtel and in-room movies
-Executive desk with adjustable lamp
-High-speed broadband access (free for Heritage rooms)
-Private electronic safe
-IDD/STD telephone and voicemail
-Rain shower, with hairdryer and French Connection bathroom amenities
-Iron and ironing board
-Personal mini-bar, and coffee and tea making facilities
-Welcome Chocolates (Heritage rooms only)
What facilities does the hotel offer?
-24-hour business centre, plus over 1,100 square metres of meeting and conference facilities
-Fully equipped Fitness centre, with cardio and weight-training equipment
-24-hour reception, concierge
-Laundry and dry-cleaning services
-24-hour valet car parking
-Safety deposit boxes
-24-hour medical services on call
-Foreign currency exchange
-Accessible rooms for the physically challenged
Did you find the location convenient?
A short stroll from bustling Swanston St, Federation Square, and many of the city’s famous laneways, shops and restaurants, the Rendezvous’ location is tough to beat.
With a number of tramlines on its doorstep, and Finders St Station just three minutes away, it’s easy to get to anywhere that isn’t within easy walking distance of the property as well.
If you're arriving by car, try to avoid arriving at peak hour on a Friday night (or during any other rush hour for that matter) as Flinders St can get pretty busy, and the driveway into the hotel isn't difficult to miss.
What dining options are there on site?
From seared scallops and crispy skinned-trout to roasted goats cheese and truffled mushroom risotto, Straits Café boasts mostly modern Australian and Western-style cuisine, and pairs it with a great selection of local Australian wines.
Open for dinner and breakfast (the highlight of which are pancakes served with your choice of toppings), the Straits Café also offers a delicious high tea from 3-5pm, which includes a naughty glass of sparkling wine.
Elsewhere, the Travellers Bar offers light meals, breakfast and lunch among elegant furnishings. Complementing its vast range of cocktails, Tapas style bar snacks are available in the evening.
The hotel also offers an extensive in-room dining menu (available from 10am to 10pm), including South East Asian dishes like prawn laksa, nasi goreng and Singapore noodles, and a basic late-night menu (10pm to 10am).
Would you recommend the hotel for couples, families or groups?
The hotel is suitable for families, and with its well-trained staff, great for groups too. But the property’s old-world charm makes it perfect for young couples, honeymooners or anyone looking to rekindle a little romance.
What was the best thing about the hotel/resort?
I love the hotel’s traditional architecture. Sure, there are other hotels in Melbourne, which boast a classical design, but there are few as affordable as the Rendezvous. Its modern features blend seamlessly into its traditional design as well.
And the thing you would most like to change?
There are no views in the Heritage rooms, but that’s the trade-off for having beautiful, frosted leadlight windows at which to gaze. And then there are the more contemporary Superior and Deluxe rooms – many of which offer wonderful vistas over the Yarra River – for those unwilling to go without a view.
Would you stay there again?
For its location, its history, its affordability, and for that wonderful choice of pillows, I’d definitely stay at the Rendezvous again.
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