I was actually visiting Melbourne CBD, but decided to stay at Hyatt Place in Essendon Fields for two reasons. First, it’s brand new hotel – opened only in June this year, so I was looking forward to checking it out. Second, and more significant, it’s the first Hyatt Place in Australia. This follows the opening of Hyatt Regency in Sydney late last year. Given Hyatt’s small presence in Australia, it’s great to see them expanding their portfolio.
Hyatt Place is based on a select-service model. It sits somewhere in between limited-service and full-service. As the name suggests, it offers a selection of services and amenities of full-service hotels, but usually not on the same scale. For example, there may only be one or two restaurants, and in-room amenities are limited to the essentials. For me, it’s the essentials that matter the most – I would take a modern, clean and well-designed room any time over a dated and tired room.
The hotel is located in Essendon Fields, an area undergoing massive redevelopment into a commercial and retail hub. A hourly shuttle conveniently connects to the airport, and tram to the CBD.
There are 166 rooms (no suites) at the hotel. The only choice is between a standard room and a mountain view/city view room. I didn’t think it made too much difference, so booked a standard room at A$158.
Although I’m a member of World of Hyatt, I hold only the base status. Although I thoroughly enjoy staying at Park and Grand Hyatts, their footprint is quite small, making it difficult to rack up status.
Imagine my surprise then, when I was informed at check-in I had been upgraded to a mountain view room just for being a member! Alongside, I also got a check-out extension to 2pm.
Here’s what my room looked like:
Remember what I said about well-designed? This is a great example of a well designed room. A L-shaped sofa provides plenty of comfort and maximizes space. A slim desk provides working space. Power ports are within easy reach on both sides of the bed. And each light is controlled by a single switch. Overall a very practical and functional room.
In-room amenities include a kettle and instant tea/coffee. There is a fridge but no minibar. Dental Kits can be picked up at the front desk. I had hoped slippers were available on request but unfortunately they weren’t.
Bathroom amenities are limited to the basics and supplied by KenetMD. Bathroom is brand new and fitted with an overhead shower.
The hotel must have connected ultra-fast fibre (or NBN) Internet to the building because speeds are fantastic. Seeing these figures absolutely blew me away.
A 24/7 gym is available. It’s well equipped and should be enough for all but the most demanding gym nuts. Free self-parking is available in front of the hotel. Spaces are limited though – the car park can become full during busy times.
Breakfast – included for all guests – is served at lobby between 7am and 10:30am. The selection is quite limited – it resembles something you’d find at an airline lounge. There were only four hot dishes available, in addition to a selection of fruits, cereal, bread and yogurt.
I thoroughly enjoyed my stay at Hyatt Place Melbourne. At around $150 a night, the value proposition is incredible. You get a very comfortable, well designed room, unlimited ultra-fast Internet, 24 hour gym and free breakfast in the morning. If that’s not enough, throw in free airport shuttles and self-parking. Basically there’s very little out-of-pocket expense once you’ve booked the room. Compared to the full-service hotels that still charge you for these ‘premium services’ (with a choice of ‘standard’ or ‘premium’ Internet), the difference is like night and day. If I was to make one suggestion it would be to add more variety to breakfast – to make it something people would actually enjoy. Overall Hyatt Place Melbourne has definitely set a very high standard for select-service hotels, easily surpassing my expectations.