Life is the art of drawing without an eraser ~ John W. Gardner

Melbourne Trip Diary 1: Hotel Formule1 Melbourne CBD

Going to do my trip-blogging a bit different this time, not going to create another page in my blog but rather would just post them as a blog post.

Was having a hard time deciding on where to stay in Melbourne. There were 6 of us travelling together, some of us wanted it to be budget and some of us did not care. Me, all I wanted was cleanliness and convenience. Was having doubts for Hotel Formule1 in Melbourne CBD after reading the reviews on Trip Advisor. Then, read more reviews on other alternatives. Checked the rates of shortlisted ones, gosh, most of them are way over our budget. Got a friend in Brisbane to help, still couldn’t find a cheaper rate. Took us 3 months to decide on Hotel Formule1! It has the best rate ever and the room condition from the photos doesn’t look so bad at all. I was telling myself, it is now or never. If I don’t book it right there and then, I’d never find a cheaper one.

I made a grave mistake on the arrival date during the online booking. Was looking for the lowest rate available, when I saw the lowest, I clicked BOOK without checking on the dates. I did not even bother to check the dates too when I paid! Geez…… Yeah, I was so desperate because it was one month away from our trip. So people, never ever do your last-minute booking especially during peak season and you are desperately looking for the lowest rate! You wouldn’t know what mistake you are going to make because you will be so blinded with the rates and availability. The online booking guaranteed lowest rate but no amendment is allowed! Luckily, I managed to call the hotel and it was so nice of them to allow me to change! *Phew* You have no idea how much hassle I had to go through to get it changed. So please, be more alert when you do online bookings.

I managed to book a 3-person room (with en-suite bathroom) for AUD69 per room per night. That is about RM213.90 (@ RM3.10 exchange rate) per room per night. It only cost AUD138/RM427.80 per person for 6 nights of stay! If that isn’t cheap, I wouldn’t know what is.

We booked a return transfer at the Melbourne airport. They chauffeured us from the airport to the hotel and on our last day picked us up at the hotel back to the airport. It was AUD26 per person for two-way transfer.

After all, Hotel Formule1 of Melbourne CBD isn’t that bad. Sometimes you can’t just rely too much on the review  Here’s what I think:

  • Location – 9/10
  • Cleanliness – 8/10
  • Tidiness – 8/10
  • Staff – 8/10
  • Service – 7/10
  • Room condition – 6/10

Generally, the room is clean and tidy, better than what we’ve expected. The staffs at the reception were pretty friendly too although they were a bit robotic in handling tourists. Good service. Due to the room condition, we actually changed 3 rooms on the first night! First room, the heater problem. 2nd room, the bathroom door problem. 3rd room, bathroom door problem too but Andrew managed to fix it on his own. The staff was quick at responding to our requests. No complain about it.

Couldn’t get a kettle from the reception to boil water for drinking and they asked us to boil it at the cafeteria area. I can’t possibly wake up 5am to boil the water and wait for it to cool and go back to the hotel midday to boil it again, can I? Was constantly buying drinking water from supermarket and convenient store. That is the downside.

Hotel Formule1 is at Elizabeth Street, which is only 5-10 minutes walk from the famous Flinders Street Station. Across the street would be where the Royal Arcade is. St Paul and Federation Square is like 10 minutes walk from the hotel. Crown Casino, Southgate and Yarra River is also 15 minutes walk away! Everything is so near and within walking distance! I love the location so much! No regrets with choosing Hotel Formule1, will definitely stay there again if at all I travel to Melbourne again. Highly recommended by the fussy and choosy Ashley. :)

Hotel Formule1 @ Elizabeth Street, Melbourne CBD

The entrance. Formule1 is right beside Laura Ashley. :) I regret that I did not step into Laura Ashley to shop!!! Saw a pretty scarf by the window on our last day. Argh. :(

The first room we checked into. Pretty spacious. The 3rd room we changed to was even more spacious than this but forgot to take photo. :(

The door and the bathroom on the right with the red curtain. Yes, the bathroom is only separated from the room by a red curtain! No clothes hanger for us to hang our towel when we shower. We got creative. We pulled the chair to the bathroom to put our changing clothes and towel! :D

See, the bathroom and the washing basin. It is small but better than Hotel Bridal Tea House in Hong Kong!

The toilet, all by itself and separated from the bathroom. Good that it is always dry. Bad that you can’t shower right after you do your number 1 business. You have to get dressed and come out and go to the bathroom to undress and shower. Bummer. @__@

That’s all for now. I’ll share other hotels that I’ve researched and the pros and cons of them. Stay tuned. :)

10 responses

  1. Catherine

    Hello! Thanks for your review of the hotel. It is so helpful!! I can’t really trust Tripadvisor sometimes :x

    I am looking around for a hotel in Melbourne and everywhere seems so expensive >_< i think i might just book Formule 1 !

    Questions!! How do you travel from the airport to the hotel? Can i find food easily around the hotel? (saw from your picture that there is a Subway outside)

    Thank you so much Ash!

    July 10, 2011 at 4:40 PM

    • Ashley

      Hi Catherine, thanks for dropping by. :) And you are most welcome, I’m just trying to help people to decide easier. :)

      Yep, sometimes the more reviews you read on Tripadvisor, the more confuse you get. However I must say Hotel Formule1 is definitely a good place to stay. Clean and convenient.

      Oh yes, Subway is just beside the hotel entrance, you wouldn’t miss it. Since the hotel is in the city centre, you don’t have to worry about the food. Walk across the street you will find Royal Arcade and there’s a few shopping malls beside it. You can find a lot of food there. I remember there’s a small alley beside David Jones and there’s a few restaurants in that alley. I tried the ramen, nice. :)

      As for the transfer from the airport, once you exit the arrival hall, you will be seeing a lot of counters offering tours or transfers, do check out the best rate. They could send you all the way to your hotel and pick you up on your departure day as well (Just give them a call a day before your departure date). Alternatively, you can use Skybus – http://www.skybus.com.au/

      I’m supposed to write more about my Melbourne trip but just couldn’t find the motivation to do it. Sorry about that. :)

      July 11, 2011 at 9:06 AM

  2. Catherine

    Thanks ash!

    Do write more about your Melb trip. I’d be interested to learn more :D

    July 11, 2011 at 9:07 PM

    • Catherine

      Ash, does the hotel has Free WIFI? i know that is a bit too much to ask for :o)

      July 11, 2011 at 9:53 PM

      • Ashley

        Hello Catherine, thanks for your support. I’ll be writing for the trip soon, thanks to your motivation. Hahaha. :D

        Formule1 doesn’t have free WIFI. :( My friend paid for AUD2.50 for i can’t remember whether half an hour or one hour of internet usage. Pretty expensive I’d say.

        July 13, 2011 at 2:46 PM

  3. Catherine

    oh geeeee…i procrastinated and the room rate has increased this week! :(

    July 13, 2011 at 10:51 PM

    • Ashley

      Oh gosh…. when r u travelling to Melbourne? Could it be their peak season?

      July 14, 2011 at 8:59 AM

  4. Pingback: Formule1 Melbourne Cbd

  5. Hi. thanks for this… My family will be meeting up in MEL, stay there for 4 days before heading to NZ – and this is where we’ll be staying in MEL…there’s 8 of us… as we are expected to be outside, we really don’t want to spend too much on accommodation. So hope we don;t really get disappointed… thanks for the review…

    May 11, 2012 at 4:37 AM

    • Ashley

      Hi Cherrie, thanks for dropping by. :)
      Remember to ask for a room away from the lift area if you’re not comfortable with noise, as the sound-proofing of the rooms is not really that good.
      Have a fun and safe trip! :)

      May 11, 2012 at 10:40 AM

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