on January 19, 2006
Pulling up the driveway to the Sofitel Melbourne, the first thing that caught my eye is the tree trunks that were lit up in blue light. The room keys were blue, the décor was blue – when this hotel picks a theme, it runs with it!This five-star establishment sits in the heart of downtown Melbourne (and was recently renovated extensively), and though walking to the city sights is possible, I’d say taking a cab would be more reasonable. The rooms were very nice, thought the double rooms were two twin beds instead of two double beds, but they weren’t too bad. I enjoyed playing with the lights, which were computerized with a touch screen control pad on the nightstand. You could set the lights to “movie” mode, “relax” mode, etc. The TV was also operated with this little gadget.The beds were too soft for my taste, and I didn’t know that I didn’t have to sleep on the down pillows (which are also too soft for me.)The staff here, however, was quite friendly. I even had my photo taken with the concierge, who went into the “pictures with hot Australian men” file. The business center had a fairly sluggish Internet connection, but the staff let us use it free of charge. The buffet breakfast here would normally be an extra $30 or so a day, but was included in our tour package. I found it to be quite tasty, but admittedly that was before I started to get tired of the same eggs and toast and so forth each morning for breakfast. All rooms start on level 36, and offer a fantastic view (at least ours did) of Melbourne. I opened the shutters one morning at 6:30am and was greeted with five hot air balloons floating just outside. Normal room rates would be around $200 a night.This hotel would be suitable for anyone wanting a luxury hotel in Melbourne.
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