Alex Robertson checks into Oak on Collins, Melbourne.
Only two blocks from the Southern Cross transport centre made for an easy stroll through late-afternoon city traffic. The trip from Tullamarine airport took 25 minutes on the Skybus express service and cost A$37 return.
Check in experience: No dramas.
Room: Maybe 12 sq m in total. But room enough for a kitchenette, seating area, bed, hanging space and drawers and a bathroom the size of my wardrobe at home. It all functioned perfectly well. There are gym facilities and a pool on level three, but keep your clothes and footwear on to and fro’ please. Wi-Fi is free for the first half-hour (per 24-hour period, which seems to reset at midnight), otherwise A$5 for 30 minutes, A$10 for two hours, A$18 for 24 hours and A$270 for 30 days. Don’t take your teenager!
What’s in the neighbourhood: The Oak is right on Collins St, in the heart of Melbourne.
The laneways are a block to the east, Southern Cross train and bus station two blocks to the west. The river is about two blocks south and Etihad stadium in walking distance.
Trams trundle right past the front door and taxis are everywhere if you want to venture further afield.
Food and drink: Complimentary tea and coffee (electric jug and sachets) are in the kitchenette. There’s a restaurant and bar on level one with breakfast served from 6.30-10am most days. Dinner and room service available after 5pm and the lounge bar opens between 5-10pm (happy hour 5-6pm) daily. I got as far as the tea.
The view: The Edwardian-era building across the road was bathed in the golden glow of the late-summer setting sun when I got into the room. A large site was being excavated just behind, no doubt for another early 21st century glass monument to Mammon.
What’s so good about this place: It is literally the centre of Melbourne. Transport, dining, entertainment and culture are within walking distance or are reached by the excellent transport options available in Melbourne.
Perfect for: Business travellers who need to meet and greet in the business district (you’re already there). Weekenders, or visitors to Melbourne on a short stay to see the sights and taste Victoria’s finest in dining and drinking. Not good for families.
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