Tuesday, 8 October 2013

The Bed Report 4: Parkroyal Melbourne Airport Accommodation Review

There's something different about airport hotels.

Well, that's obvious. They're more likely than most hotels to have guests only staying one night, or maybe only a few hours. They're likely to have a lot of guests travelling on business. Oh, and there are these whacking great planes touching down nearby.

I'm off to the Gold Coast tomorrow for the annual general meeting of the Australian Society of Travel Writers, and am staying over at the Parkroyal Melbourne Airport before I fly.

Being a cheapskate at heart, I got here from central Melbourne by catching a train to Broadmeadows and then a 901 bus to the airport - a method I've described earlier on this blog.

It's a sunny day, so it was a pleasant walk to the hotel - and as I walked it seemed odd to not be feeling the slight tension that's usually present when arriving at MEL pending a flight.

Just across from the terminal buildings, the Parkroyal fits neatly into its surroundings, with a glass and steel look that resembles something out of a futuristic movie. I particularly like the way the hotel is set up high on struts above the airport parking:

One catches the lift up to level 4, where reception is. To one side is the restaurant and bar area, looking to my eye like a reasonably classy airline lounge:

The guest rooms, however, is where the airport decor analogy begins to break down.

The designers cleverly thought to overcome the glass-and-steel nature of airports with a generous dose of timber panelling, giving my room a vaguely Scandinavian look. Still clean, simple lines, but with a natural element as well:


I've also been pleasantly surprised by the bathroom. Instead of the usual austere all-white interior, the designers have gone wild with this aquamarine look:


And then, of course, there's the view from high above the terminal buildings, looking out onto the runways. This cannot be said to be your generic hotel view, with planes continually taxiing, taking off and landing.

You'd expect there to be noise, but the soundproofing is excellent. There's just a distant rumble as aircraft take off.

Given that the street outside my apartment in central Melbourne is currently having its tram tracks torn up and rebuilt over a series of nights, this is, oddly, the quieter place to be. And you can't fault that view. Looking forward to getting up there tomorrow.

Just the Facts:
Parkroyal Melbourne Airport
Arrival Drive, Melbourne Airport VIC 3045, Australia
Phone: 03 8347 2000 (International +61 3 8347 2000)
Web: www.parkroyalhotels.com
Rates: From $250 per night. Note the hotel offers flexible stays of three hours ($70); five hours ($90) and eight hours ($120); handy if you have a number of hours to while away between connecting flights, or have an evening flight and fancy getting your holiday off to an early start by putting your feet up at a hotel. A cheaper alternative is the use of the hotel's fitness centre for $30 (forget the treadmill - here I'm thinking 24 hour flight from London + desperate need for a shower ASAP).

Disclosure time... for this stay I was hosted by the Pan Pacific Hotels Group. To read previous accommodation reviews, click on The Bed Report label below.