Located in the heart of Melbourne’s central business district, the Clarion Suites Gateway is a high-rise hotel property managed by Clarion, part of the Choice Hotels family. We had the booked the room via Hotels.com for a very reasonable rate of about $120 AUD. We would earn an additional night towards the Hotels.com Rewards program.
Arriving just before 2:00 PM at the Clarion Suites Gateway in Melbourne’s CBD, we parked in the undergrounds garage. I was a but exhausted having to keep up with our rental all week now that we were back in the city. Fortunately this would be the last 24 hours of needing our car. The parking garage is quite compact to say the least and it took me a few turns to get into one of the hotel’s miniature parking spots. Parking at the Clarions Suites Gateway is $25 AUD per night.
Overall Rating: 4 of 5 Stars
Location: 4 of 5 Stars
Service: 4 of 5 Stars
Comfort: 5 of 5 Stars
Cleanliness: 5 of 5 Stars
Dining & Food: Not Rated
This was a our second visit to Melbourne on this same trip after returning from a road trip on The Great Ocean Road. Previously we stayed at The Larwill Studio which we thoroughly enjoyed. And while we would ultimately enjoy our stay at both hotels, our stay was enjoyable at each property for a variety of different reasons. The Larwill Studio was more stylish and the service noticeably great. The Clarion Suites Gateway had a more spacious room, a central location and a few home-like comforts.
The location is quite convenient to Central Melbourne. But if you have a vehicle, the Melbourne CBD is a stressful place to drive. It’s about a 35 minute drive to the Melbourne Airport (MEL). The hotel lobby is rather small and dated with a taste of the 1990s. There’s an in-house restaurant but we didn’t check it out. Our check-in was quick and the staff was friendly. We had booked a standard Studio Room but at check-in, we had been upgraded to a One Bedroom Suite. Nice surprise!
Our room was on the 9th floor near the end of the corridor; a spacious corner room. We were thoroughly impressed with our modest upgrade to the One Bedroom Suite. The room was much more similar to an apartment than a standard hotel room with a separate bedroom, living area, full kitchen and bathroom. While technically offering free WiFi, they is a limit of 200 MB per day which is ridiculous. We ended up paying $9 AUD to have unlimited WiFi for our one night stay.
The one bedroom suite was light and bight with expansive windows the full length of the room. There was a small balcony in the room but it was not accessible as it was used to store the aircon unit. The decor was light and modern with a love seat, desk, and TV in the living room. The kitchen was spacious with a full oven, stove-top, refrigerator, and washer/dryer combo. The washer/dryer was an especially nice surprise as we were able to wash a load of laundry. However, the dryer used steam to dry so it took quite a while to dry our clothes.
The bedroom had a comfy double bed with fresh, soft linens and a comfortable mattress. There was a some nice storage areas including a luggage rack and closet stocked with extra pillows and blankets. The bathroom was my only minor dislike of the room as it was a bit on the small side. The shower was nice but the sink was tiny and hard to use.
Overall, I’d say we had a really great stay at the Clarion Suites Gateway. The room was incredibly comfortable and the surprise upgrade was much appreciated. While the parking and paid WiFi was a bit annoying, I’d say the positive aspects of this hotel far outshine the negative. And while the Clarion brand doesn’t evoke a vision of luxury lodging, we checked out more than satisfied with our stay.