Inside Melbourne’s ‘Worst Hotel’ – I Tried It So You Didn’t Have To

From night terrors to broken window shades, my trip really had it all...

Inside Melbourne’s ‘Worst Hotel’ – I Tried It So You Didn’t Have To

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I spent a night at a Melbourne airport hotel – Ibis Budget Melbourne Airport – which some Tripadvisor users reckon is “the worst hotel in Melbourne.”

Just so you don’t think I’m exaggerating, here’s a couple of their reviews. One guy, who rated it “terrible,” called it the “worst hotel room I’ve ever tried to stay at” and said that when he discovered the tv was not working he was able to negotiate a full refund and leave. His reasons? Beyond the tv not working, he said: “The room was horrible.”

Image Credit: James Booth/DMARGE

“The bathroom was a pod with a shower and toilet with the sink in the main room. It was noisy, close to a communal mess hall but with little or no shielding from the noises in the adjacent rooms and hallway. If the tv worked I might’ve tried to survive it for a night. It would be forgivable if it was cheap, but at $140 for the night it was disgusting.”

Tripadvisor user @wajet71
Image via Tripadvisor

Another unimpressed Tripadvisor user said they “moved to a better location and never to return” because the hotel is “more akin to a youth hostel” than a hotel.

Back in 5…. Not something you’re likely to see at The Hilton… Image Credit: James Booth/DMARGE

Another Tripadvisor user said: “We will certainly not stay there again. The room was very small with no cups ,milk or tea / coffee .The timber floor was dirty – covered in dust and hair. The TV wasn’t working until the receptionist came and gave the set a side tap , One of the main lights was not working and one had to negotiate a high step to the very confined toilet which had not been cleaned!”

Reading all this, my expectations were low. So I was pleasantly surprised to find that when I arrived in my room, everything was clean. Yes: the bathroom was tiny (it was so small you could shower yourself while sitting on the toilet), but still. I wasn’t expecting luxury.

Image Credit: James Booth/DMARGE

My main bugbear was that the window shade was broken, and wouldn’t stay down. This was something that I fixed with strapping tape, meaning I had multiple ‘night terror’ moments when I was rudely awakened by the sound of the tape giving way and the shade slamming up into the top of the window.

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Other than that, the bathroom was really, really small. And the views (see below) were hardly picturesque. But I didn’t expect amazing views from a budget airport hotel.

Image Credit: James Booth/DMARGE

Overall, I agree with the aggrieved Tripadvisor users in that the hotel isn’t that great. But I disagree that you should expect anything other than that. I think the hotel has got their marketing right – I didn’t rock up thinking it was going to be a flash joint. What I would say is that it’s a bit too expensive for what you get – I’d be happy to pay $70 a night, but not $120 (which is what I paid).

Image Credit: James Booth/DMARGE

On the plus side, there was no waiting around in a line to check out (you just leave your key in a box on the door), and it was conveniently located (it was a 9-minute walk to the Qantas check-in at the domestic airport).

As they say, every hotel has a silver lining…

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