Thursday, December 19, 2013

Where to stay in Melbourne, Australia: Citigate Hotel Review

As someone traveling on a budget, a hotel situated right in the center of the city generally comes as a boon. And Hotel Citigate in Melbourne was exactly that - a boon! Let’s see how!

Hotel Citigate, Melbourne Entrance
Hotel Citigate, Melbourne: Entrance

Hotel Citigate, Melbourne in Australia: A Review

Location: Just Perfect!

Outside:

Crammed amid a row of buildings, running parallel to the clock tower of the Flinders street station and enveloped by a multitude of other city attractions; this key location that Citigate affords is every budget travelers dream. It is right there – sticking out its spirit in the center of the city! All I had to do was to take one step outside and the whole of Melbourne came alive in its true colors.

Flinders street station view from Hotel Citigate, Melbourne

Flinder's street station right across the hotel entrance

Morning, afternoon or evening, no matter which part of the day the world is in – Flinders street station is always a hub of chaos, bustling with people busy running the humdrum of life. The other prominent icons of the city like the Federation square and St. Paul’s cathedral to name a few are a stone’s throw as well.

Inside:

Chaos prevails outside. Yet, inside, it is a silent retreat. Thankfully, even amid the city’s bustle, the hotel of Citigate stands insulated.

Lobby of Hotel Citigate, Melbourne
Lobby area, Citigate, Melbourne

One step inside the hotel lobby through the automatic sliding doors and one immediately gets a glimpse of the hotels character: quiet and relaxed, greeting visitors like me with a smile. If I were to describe Citigate’s personality, I would say, it reflected an understated demeanor on the outside but showed a sophisticated and classy persona indoors.

Food: Wide range but with limted options for the veggies

One step in the buffet area and the place ruptures into a kaleidoscope vision, with a burst of different kinds of foods assorted for every kind of traveler and taste bud.


Breaskfast area in Hotel Citigate, Melbourne

My breakfast buffet came with the hotel tariff and the spread was so wide, that it had the potential to spoil anyone silly.

Buffet spread in Hotel Citigate, Melbourne
Buffet spread

Bread spread in Hotel Citigate, Melbourne
Bread spread

Fruits in Hotel Citigate, Melbourne
Apricots

Limited for the veggies, still I did manage to pamper myself to some bread, fruits, smoothie’s, juices, dried flakes and coffee!

My breakfast spread in Hotel Citigate, Melbourne
My plate of bread, fruits and flavored curd

But my favorite from amongst these was the special Indian bread, roti made especially for me by the chef of the hotel!

Indian food in Hotel Citigate, Melbourne
Indian roti and potato dumplings

Staff: Friendly and Helpful

When it comes to how well you spend your time in the hotel, the staff surely does have a huge role to play. And in my case, the staff made the place from a recommended one to a highly recommended one. Warm, friendly, helpful and courteous, they gave me ample of reasons to come back happy and satisfied with their service. I stood at the reception with a map in my hand and they gave me all their time to help me with the how-to’s and what-to’s of the places I wanted to visit; they left the reception to make me a warm cup of honey and lemonade to soothe my aching throat while at other times just chatted up casually on my expeditions of the day.


Reception area of Hotel Citigate, Melbourne
The friendly reception area (that's Richard busy helping a customer out there!)

Today, I can recall two people by their names – Ananda, from Nepal and Richard, from Australia – I established a good rapport with them during my stay. In addition, there were a few more, like the lady in the buffet section who helped me with my coffee and toast and that cheerful gentleman in the reception area with a smile so bright that it could make anyone’s day and that young chap on the front desk who made a magic-healer honey tonic for me – all of them ensured that I had a wonderful time in the hotel.

Room: Comfortable and minimalistic

What does a traveler need after a long day of exploration? A comfy bed, a clean spacious bathroom and a good night’s sleep? Citigate definitely provided for all!

Room in Hotel Citigate, Melbourne
Basic yet comfortable: Citigate room

Neat, clean and minimal furnishings with soft fluffy king size bedding keeping me warm, it was my perfect shelter for the night for 4 complete days ensuring I felt fresh for a new day of discovery, each and every day.

Views: Expensive

Window views are something I really look forward to, especially in an international trip but here, they were nothing to show or speak of, really. All I could see was buildings, all of them taller than my own, leaving me highly disappointed. I learnt that a city view would cost me AUD 30 more which would mean burning a big hole in my pocket; hence I wasn't left with much of a choice but to settle down with what I had.


Hotel Citigate, Melbourne view from window
Buildings and concrete: My View from my hotel room

So this is all I got from the room, but then it didn’t really matter, I was seldom (awake) in my room to savor views like these!

Only toiletries, no freebies:

Nothing much again, this was my basket in which all the items were tagged. I did touch the salty wafers once but on finding it too pricey, not worth my money, I kept them back. 

Freebies in Hotel Citigate, Melbourne
A goodie basket: Items all tagged!

The soaps and other soapy stuff in the bathroom was good though.

My secret window: The Fitness center on the first floor!

Guess what was my favorite spot in the hotel?

It was the fitness center on the first floor of the hotel. Not because it had all those equipments to make me trimmer. But because, it gave me views that I always longed for but never got from my room.

Flinders street station view from Hotel Citigate, Melbourne
From the fitness center: My best takeaway from the hotel

I came here every day, at least once in the morning, to drink cool water from its water filter while watching the trams pass and the crowds’ whiz by. This was my find, my very own special take away memory from the hotel!

Why choose Hotel Citigate over the others?


For its location, undoubtedly!

Flinders street station and Hotel Citigate, Melbourne  placed opposite
Citigate hotel and the Flinder's street station,
distanced by the traffic road in between

Citigate lived up to its name; it was just that, a gateway to the city. Beating in the heart of the CBD, Central Business District, with Flinder's station positioned just opposite and a whole range of trams and buses operating from this area to different parts of the city, it provided for an easy entry to the beautiful world of Melbourne. If you are that traveler who prefers a hotel with easy accessibility to getting around, this is the one for you.

For the 'Location': Go for it!

Traveller Tips:

Getting from the airport to the hotel: Book in advance for a seat in coach that will transfer you from the airport to your hotel. A wide range of options are available to choose from but we opted for the sunbus, they can be recognized by a placard with a kangaroo in yellow and they operate approximately every 30 minutes.

Express Check in: Make sure to slide in a request for express check-in, in case your flight is landing early. Lucky, if you get the request issued, but in the other case too (as in mine) Citigate treats you well. The bathrooms in the fitness center are well maintained and neat, so that you can freshen up there. And as I already mentioned above, the views from there are amazing too. The luggage is secured in the luggage room of the reception till you are granted a room.

Address: 270 Flinders Street, Melbourne, Victoria 3000, Australia.

Contact: 61 3 9654 6888 / http://www.citigatemelbourne.com.au

Tariff of my Citigate room: 240 AUD per night, breakfast inclusive (Note: There is no city view in this type of room.)

47 comments:

  1. What a great food and nice hotel. Have a wonderful day. :D

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  2. Seems like a good hotel, and that railway station opposite is sure useful to travel around.

    What a nice gesture by the chef to make rotis for you.....

    I myself never take anything from the hotel minibar as everything is so expensive. I would rather buy from a nearby store if I need anything.

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    Replies
    1. Besides being a great mode of transport, that railway station is also one of the historic icons of Melbourne. Though trams are the most used mode of transport for getting around but surely that station is one of the prime hub of chaos in the city.

      And you are so right about stuff being sold at the hotel being expensive than what we might get in the markets outside.

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  3. Nice post, i can visualize your experience even though I have not been Melbourne...Did you get chance to visit St Paul's Cathedral? Will be delighted to read your blog on it.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you so much Abeesh, I am so glad to hear from you. Yes, I did visit St. Paul's Cathedral and I will soon be blogging about it. I will be delighted to read your comment on it as well. :)

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  4. lovely review arti...am sure that Roti would have been a special delight..have a great time

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    Replies
    1. Sure it was Divya, simple gestures like these make your stay memorable. Had a great time, am back now in Mumbai.

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  5. It also looks very clean! Where are you now?

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    Replies
    1. Mumbai, India. Had been to Melbourne for around 5 days towards the last week of October.

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  6. This sounds like a lovely place to stay and really wonderful that the chef made roti just for you!

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  7. I just imagine melbourne will look busy, but from your pic, it's look quiet , or you stay around quiet place?

    Hows the food there..?

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    Replies
    1. Your imagination is spot on Mareta. Melbourne is busy but most of the pictures you see above are from inside the hotel, my hotel was quiet. Outside, it was busy and chaotic.

      Food, kind of limited for us vegetarians but the range of fruits and juices is good.

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  8. Arti, I too stayed on Flinders Street and can vouch for the lovely views one gets here including a replica of CST of Mumbai:) Enjoyed this post and a lot of memories came back!

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  9. The hotel looks quite inviting. Nice review, Arti!

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  10. Congratulations on reaching Melbourne safely and checking into this wonderful hotel. BF spread looks Fab.So kind on part of the Chef to give you chapati ! Will make you feel at home. Flinder's street looks fabulous. Have a great trip to Melbourne.

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  11. Hey Arti,
    I have tagged you in a post for the paus activity in blogadda. Here is a link for details.
    http://blog.blogadda.com/2013/12/04/protest-against-smelly-stubble-indian-blogging-contest

    And here’s the post where I tagged you.
    http://chinkslounge.wordpress.com/2013/12/19/the-stubble-sansani/

    Please don’t feel pressurised about it. The tag is just to show I encourage your blog and your readership:)

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  12. Well written review of the hotel in Melbourne. People visiting this place will sure find some useful information from your post.
    Keep up the good work Arti !

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  13. What else can I say apart from wish I was there.

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  14. What a detailed review. I am shamelessly learning from you on how to write a travelogue or review :D ..By the way,that beautiful building you could see from the gym, what was it ?

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    Replies
    1. Haha, thank you so much for your kind compliment, Puru. :) That building is 'Flinders street station' It was the first of railway staions to come up in an Australian city and today, besides being one of the most historic icons of Melbourne, it is also the most busiest of them all.

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  15. very helpful review for the soon to be tourists in Melbourne Arti, I am learning from you how to present places such as hotels, love this article.

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  16. Hi Arti, Although I am not planning to visit Melbourne anytime soon, your insights given have been captured so beautifully by you that if I ever plan to go I will surely revisit this page. Thank you.

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  17. Citigate Hotel looks and sounds like a fabulous place to stay. Despite being in the center of things, you can feel the sense of calm inside. Once you enter, the noise outside stops.
    I'm glad the chef accommodated you with some veggie food. I had roti a few nights ago, it was so delicious, I thought immediately of it when I saw yours.
    Look forward to reading more about Melbourne in you next posts. Will you be there for Christmas?
    Enjoy!

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    Replies
    1. You summed it up perfectly in the first few lines Marcia! And I am glad you liked the rotis. I wish I could be in Melbourne for the Christmas season but alas! I am now back in Mumbai! :(

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  18. Great post as always and filled with lots of detail information. But I am not a city person and would have found this hotel to sterile looking inside for me. I like a homier feel. So happy for you to experience another adventure and be able to share it.

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  19. How nice of the chef to make your special bread -- sounds like they went out of their way to welcome you. Love that you found the "room with the view"....(the fitness room).

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  20. Citigate is located in a prime spot of Melbourne, right in the heart of the city or CBD (Central Business District) as we call it..... Wish we could have met Arti :(

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    Replies
    1. I wish the same Chondryma. :( Never mind, next time - we will! Right? :)

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  21. Okay! The hotel looks classy :)
    Glad to read this post. Refreshing! Happy traveling.

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  22. That was a good description of your travelogue. Seems like a really nice place to stay :)

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  23. Love your travelogue. Enjoying the virtual trip:)

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  24. Must say you were lucky to get rotis specially prepared by the chef

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  25. Definitely a feel good refreshing post.:)
    The place looks real nice. :) :)

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  26. How nice that the hotel turned out to be so good-it must have made all the difference.

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  27. nice..
    Life Experiences Blog-- www.alloyeduniverse.blogspot.in

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  28. The post was a treat to the eyes Arti! Lovely clicks and review... :)

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  29. A great review as usual, Arti! Now I know which hotel to pick when I am in Melbourne :)

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  30. Oooh! You have traveled Down Under! It's wonderful to see that you are still exploring and adventuring and having fun. Many warm wishes for the holiday season to you and your family. I hope the new year brings many blessings, new travels, and lots of excitement! xo

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  31. ahh! awesome place to see from your camera Arti...

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  32. Woe awesome hotel.. Thanks for sharing...

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  33. Beautiful post, photos, Great to read.

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  34. That was a very neutral review of the Hotel.
    Glad you were treated very well there.

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Delighted u stopped by... Your suggestions, feedback are really appreciated. Thanks a lot! Hope you visit again!

If you have asked a question, please give me at least 2 days to reply back. Thank you :)

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