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Sunday 11 August 2013

Pensione Hotel Melbourne: Review

I needed to get reaquainted with Melbourne. Fall in love with it again.

A few days away with my significant other (we hadn't been away for eons... ever, actually, post-kids). And so, I needed a retreat to base ourselves while we enjoyed the mini trip of a lifetime: to see our beloved Liverpool Football Club and explore the beauty of Melbourne. The home away from home had to be central, within walking distance to everything, immersed smack-bang in the middle of that famous Melbourne vibe, so we could drink in as much of it as possible

The Pensione Hotel Melbourne... it fit the bill in every single way.

This fabulous boutique hotel has 114 rooms. The rooftop sundeck - a beautiful haven in the midst of a surprisingly quiet 'concrete jungle' - is licensed: think chilled sangria and Corona beer buckets delivered up there for you and your buddies during service hours.

The goregous building façade is heritage-listed and dates back to 1905 – and the original building dates back to 1866.

The 8Hotels group took over the establishment in 2008 when it was a three-storey restaurant, and have been successfully running it since. The Pensione Melbourne's GM Calisha tells me it's hugely popular with tourists of all types, and especially those travelling to the precinct to attend conventions at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre nearby, just up the road alongside the Yarra River in the suburb of South Wharf.

I was given a tour of the rooms by Calisha and I was so very impressed. There is an apartment-style room for those who want long-term stays and the added extra of a kitchenette, and each room is lovingly appointed, with the cosy and modern feel you expect from a boutique hotel.

Here is the front entrance of the beautiful Pensione Hotel Melbourne:

What I love about the establishment is that it captures the essence of that old world grandeur; it has a warmth and charm about it which is immediately welcoming the moment you set foot in there.

It's a very short walk from Southern Cross Station, the free City Circle Tram which runs every 10 minutes (this tram can get quite crowded, but you can hop on the usual, paid trams almost outside your doorstep, too), the huge and opulent Crown Casino (only a five minute stroll from the hotel), The Convention Centre, Etihad Stadium, and popular bars, cafes, restaurants, boutique shopping, and one of my shopping highlights: the Spencer Outlet Centre. For more on the location, and a map, click here.

The hotel has 24 hour reception, WiFi internet, car parking (on request), and laundry facilities.

The Pensione Melbourne Hotel displays the fresh signature style prominent within the Pensione brand and 8Hotels: fantastically good and courteous service, boutique interiors and convenient location. It ticks all the boxes.

We stayed in the courtyard suite, the only room of its kind in the hotel. It's cosy and inviting, and features your very own courtyard, which is kind of a sanctuary when you're in the heart of the bustling CBD.

This suite is a perfect treat for a romantic getaway, and features an ensuite, double bed with luxurious MicroCloud mattress topper, tea and coffee making facilities, plasma TV with Foxtel, and that fabulous and completely private courtyard to relax after walking around the city, and enjoy your own private drinks session or meal under the stars.

The next morning, we enjoyed a typically-Melbourne cosmopolitan breakfast at the adjoining Pensione Café (you can even pop in there for brekkie or coffee if you're passing by).

It's undergoing a makeover right now, right in time for the warmer weather and more al fresco breakfasts, drinks, meals, and coffees. Click here for more on the Pensione Café  including opening hours and menus. Here's the eggs benedict brekkie I had (extra large serves... shared with the partner):

Before we headed off back to Sydney later that day, there was one more important thing on the agenda to do: book a massage for my hardworking partner in life.

Accessed via the hotel or the shopfront, True Thai gives one of those unforgettable massage experiences you swear you'll be back for. We're talking intense thai-style massage for the weary, or a gentler massage for those who want a loosen up. Here's Rada from the front desk.

For more on massages at True Thai, click here.

And for more about the Pensione Hotel Melbourne including enquiries, bookings, information, and even a short video of the hotel, click here. It's perfect for any kind of traveller, and I will absolutely be back here when I next come to Melbourne.

For more on the 8Hotel group - which includes hotels the world over, including Fiji, Paris, Bali, even Thredbo - click here.

Pensione Hotel Melbourne contact details:

16 Spencer Street, Melbourne 

Freecall: 1800 816 168 (Australia only)
Or phone: +61 3 9621 3333
Fax: +61 3 9621 1922
Email: melbourne@pensione.com.au

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