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Arrival at the Blackman Hotel –
For us “Adelaideans” driving in Melbourne is quite confusing; with tram lines everywhere, roads that are separated into 4 different roads by nature strips down the middle and “hook turns” (where you turn right from the far left lane). We actually drove past the turn off for the Blackman hotel because we were so confused by the roads and didn’t want to cause an accident, it would have been a bad start to our trip. There are 2 lanes next to the tram line then another 2 lanes on the other side of the tram but these roads are divided by a nature strip and there are no clear signs about where you are allowed to go, we were so confused we ended up driving around a huge block to try to get back to the road that the hotel was on. (This is no Reflection on the hotel, Melbourne is just confusing to drive in!)
We were lucky to be able to get a park outside the hotel to check in, I’m not sure what we would have done had we not been able to park, Pete would have had to drive around the block again!
When we finally arrived we were greeted by a very friendly girl, Phoebe, at the front desk. She checked us in quickly and gave us some information about the hotel and where to eat in the surround areas. She was very helpful with locations of various eateries and drinking places. The reception area is filled with small and large art pieces by Charles Blackman (hence the name Art Series Blackman).
Once we were checked in we parked the car in what seemed like a very small car park. We have a ford focus and the roof where we parked was almost touching the roof of the car. I did not really take much notice of the car park, but if you have a large 4×4 you may want to check that it will fit in the car park.
We made our booking for the Blackman Hotel via the Qantas website to take advantage of triple Qantas Frequent Flyer points that were offered.. (yay!!) We booked the basic “Studio Suite Balcony” and were very pleasantly surprised the room was amazing! A nice big queen bed, a small kitchenette and a surprisingly large bathroom for the size of the room plus our very own private balcony.
The views from our balcony on the left were a bit of the city (a very small part of it) and on the right a view of the Albert Park lake, which at sunset the view was beautiful!
The entire room was very “arty” from the funky seats, to the coat rack that looked like dripping paint to the strange looking, somewhat scary “person” painted on the glass of the bathroom door.
We only stayed one night so we didn’t experience or meet any of the housekeeping however the room was very clean. There was not dust, smudges or finger prints on any of the glass or stainless steel furnishings.
We didn’t try out the pool as we arrived late and left early so I can’t comment but there is one on site.
As we were too “buggered” to go out to dinner after our long day of driving we decided to treat ourselves to room service. We were not starving so just had a pizza and a bowl of chips and a dessert each. For dessert I had a very nice but very rich chocolate mousse and Pete had a lemon tart. All the food was well presented and tasted very yummy, I cannot think of anything that was wrong with the meal at all. I wish we could have stayed longer to try out more of it. If you want to venture out of your hotel room (but not too far), the Blackman is located right above “Fleur Depot De Pain” a French themed café and “Classico” an Italian food restaurant. We did not have time to go down and eat at these places but did enjoy a delicious coffee from the café and I believe the room service was from Classico.
The Blackman hotel is on St Kilda road just outside of the Melbourne CBD. It is a short tram ride or walk (but not in high heels!) from a few of the main highlights Melbourne city has to offer.
Staff worth Special mention –
Phoebe at the front desk was very helpful, willing to suggest local places to see or to eat at (she was also a self-confessed foodie). She was able to give us good tips on what time to leave the next morning for our helicopter tour with Point Helicopters at Essendon airport and was always very friendly when spotted running errands around the hotel.
General Summary –
The Blackman hotel is in a good location if you aren’t interested in being in the “hustle and bustle” of the Melbourne CBD but it is a short walk or tram ride. The staff are friendly and you are surrounded by strange and wonderful art work. It makes quite nice change from many of the “copy and paste” hotels that are around these days.
Honestly there was only a couple of things that were “wrong” with our stay which was the bottom screws on the bathroom town rack had broken, which in reality made no difference to its function but rattled around a bit when we hung the towels back up. There was no free coffee, only tea bags (not everyone likes tea), the only option was plunger coffee.