Crowne Plaza Hotel in Melbourne

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Updated: August 28, 2020

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Review of Crowne Plaza Melbourne Hotel.

Crowne Plaza Melbourne – Flawless river views, quiet city-edge location, and totally refurbished.

Built virtually above the water, the Crowne regards itself as the only city hotel with direct river frontage. By late 2019, massive renovations were completed while keeping the curved design and 1960s’-style exterior remain unchanged. All categories of accommodations are very spacious and feature a wide selection of mod-cons. The bright and airy rooms and suites feature wonderful views of the river from full-length windows and even those facing away from the Yarra offer impressive city views. In addition to the views and pool (rare among rivals), the other main drawcard is the superb location: a short walk from downtown, convention center, casino complex, and all the amenities alongside the Yarra River.

Crowne Plaza Melbourne – The Location

    (Not to be confused with the Crown Casino trio of hotels: Crown Metropol, Crown Towers, or Crown Promenade.)

  • Address: 1-5 Spencer Street on the southwest edge of the city center.
  • Area: Beautifully positioned facing the river and on a corner of a road across the Yarra. Riverside paths lead to many shops, bars, and cafés in the Southbank and South Wharf precincts close by.
  • How to Get There: Taxis to/from the airport (15 miles, 1-hour drive) cost around A$70. For about A$20, SkyBus (every 30-60 minutes, 6 am-7 pm daily) links the airport with the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre across the bridge (0.1 mile, 2-minute walk). Otherwise, Starbus shuttles (5 am-10 pm daily) travel directly between the airport and the hotel (about A$30).

Crowne Plaza Melbourne – The Basics

  • Guests: About half-and-half tourists and business people.
  • Pets: Not permitted.
  • Views: The river views are extensive, unobstructed, and the finest in the city. Views from other rooms and suites of the streets are partially blocked by the building itself, but still decent enough.
  • Private Pools/Jacuzzis: Not expected (or provided) at an inner-city hotel like this.
  • Wi-Fi: Available free throughout for all guests.
  • Parking: Self-parking available for very reasonable rates (or valet parking costing more) in a public car park just across Siddeley Street.
  • How to Book: Booking.com will have the best rates.
  • Phone: +61 (0)3 9648 2777
  • Email: [email protected]
  • Website: melbourne.crowneplaza.com

Crowne Plaza Melbourne – Amenities

  • Pool: Heated and outdoors. More inviting than those at most hotels where the pool is indoors and often stuffy, or not offered at all.
  • Spa: Greatly enhanced as part of massive renovations in 2019.
  • Fitness Center: Large and well-equipped. Open 24/7.
  • Other Facilities: Business center. Same-day laundry.

Crowne Plaza Melbourne – Food and Drink

  • Restaurant: Yugo – Asian-inspired modern cuisine and fine dining on Level 2.
  • Bar: Dive Bar – Glitzy interior, custom jukebox, hot pink billiards table, imaginative cocktails, and open till late. On Level 2.
  • Cafe: Pow Wow – Bright and cozy cafe with a California-inspired design and a focus on natural, locally-sourced, and sustainable products. Healthy snacks, grab-n-go options, and completely cashless – use a credit card or charge it to the room.
  • Breakfast: Can be included depending on the type of room and how it was booked.
  • Room Service: Available 24/7.

Crowne Plaza Melbourne – Rooms

  • Room Types: Standard Rooms • Superior King/Twin Riverview Rooms • Premium Riverview Rooms • Skyline Riverview Rooms • Skyline River View King Suites • River View King Suites
  • Smoking Rooms: No smoking allowed in the rooms/suites or public areas.
  • Best Room: Suites on the exclusive top floor offer superior views and far more space, including separate living/dining areas.
  • For Families: Some lowest-category rooms have connecting doors, while single beds can be added to most types of accommodations for a minimal extra charge. Suites feature separate living areas which can accommodate 1 or 2 children.

Crowne Plaza Melbourne – Local Transport

  • Walking & Cycling: The riverside paths in both directions are flat, lined with bars, bistros, and boutiques, and ideal for strolling and cycling. Use the riverside paths around the Southbank and South Wharf areas and avoid the city center.
  • Public Transport: The nearest tram stop is just up the road (25m, 1-minute walk). Every few minutes, trams shuttle along the streets of the city center and to suburban areas like South Yarra, Docklands, and St Kilda Beach. All trams within the city center and to Docklands are free.
  • Taxis & Ride-shares: Arrange a taxi through reception or find one along the streets. Uber and Ola operate all over Melbourne.

Crowne Plaza Melbourne – What’s Nearby?

Restaurant & Bars

    These are a quick walk west along the riverside path from the hotel:

  • The Wharf Hotel – Sociable pub offering good-value meals, live music on weekends, TV sports, and superb riverfront setting. Famous for its ‘igloos’ (heated and covered outdoor seating areas used in winter). Right next door. 1-minute walk (50m).
  • WTC Wharf – A few casual eateries and a food court are on the ground level of this building (with police station above). Part of the building but alongside the river are: Man Mo @ WTC (contemporary Malay/Chinese food with striking décor, silver service, and intimate setting) and Byblos Bar & Restaurant (modern Lebanese, lavish setting, and perfect riverside views). 1-minute walk (50m).
  • Pud Thai vs Pho – Hearty portions of fusion Thai and Vietnamese dishes. One of several laidback cafés with outdoor tables in a cluster. 5-minute walk (0.2 mile).
    Across the bridge are several great places to eat and drink.

  • Crown Melbourne – Turning left from the bridge is an area called Southbank which offers a fabulous array of places to eat and drink. Many are part of this extraordinary restaurants complex which also features a casino, cinemas, and malls. (Not associated with the Crowne Plaza hotel.) 4-minute walk (0.2 mile).
  • South Wharf – Turning right from the bridge, this complex is also packed with bars and bistros. All are competitively-priced and many offer some of the city’s happiest hours. 6-minute walk (0.3 mile).

Shops

    Plenty of shops in the city center and along the other side of the river at Southbank and South Wharf (see above).

Crowne Plaza Melbourne – The Hotel

The hotel has direct river frontage.

Built virtually above the water, the Crowne Plaza can honestly claim to be the only hotel in the city with direct river frontage.

The main entrance is on Siddeley Road.

The hotel was undergoing massive refurbishments in 2019, so the main entrance pictured here will actually face Siddeley Road.

The restaurant is currently located near the reception.

The hotel restaurant was temporarily located alongside the reception area while renovations continued in 2019.

The heated pool is also under renovation.

Also undergoing renovations in mid-2019 was the heated pool, one of very few in city hotels located outside.

The refurbished suites are opulent.

Newly refurbished, the suites are very spacious and modern.

All accommodations offer great river views.

One feature of most rooms and suites is the wonderful view of the river and city.

The refurbished bathrooms are beautiful.

The bathroom in every room and suite has been beautifully renovated.

The convention center and Crown casino are nearby.

The hotel is positioned where the river meets a major road into the city center. Views from some accommodations include the convention center and Crown casino.

Accommodations facing the rear also have decent views.

Rooms and suites to the back of the hotel not facing the river still offer decent views.

Some accommodations offer views of the WTC Wharf.

Views from some rooms/suites include the WTC Wharf precinct (in red) and, across the river, the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre.

The riverside boardwalk is pleasant.

Across the river from the hotel is a boardwalk alongside the convention centre.

Wharf Hotel offers live music and inexpensive meals.

Next to the Crowne Plaza, the friendly Wharf Hotel offers live music and good-value meals.

The WTC Wharf building has a food court.

Almost alongside the Crowne Plaza is the WTC Wharf building which has a food court.

There are several eateries inside WTC Wharf.

Numerous good eateries can be found on the ground level of the WTC Wharf building.

Man Mo is known for its Malay/Chinese cuisine.

One of them is Man Mo, a sophisticated Malay/Chinese restaurant.

Byblos Bar & Restaurant is known for its Lebanese fare.

Another great restaurant here is Byblos Bar & Restaurant, offering contemporary Lebanese cuisine.

Pud Thai vs Pho is a great cafe nearby.

A few minutes west via the riverside path, this cluster of inviting cafés includes Pud Thai vs Pho.

South Wharf has several bistros and bars.

Over the river, just a few minutes on foot from the hotel, South Wharf is home to many fine bars and bistros.

Southbank is popular for cycling.

Also on the other side of the Yarra River from the Crowne Plaza is Southbank, an area popular with walkers and cyclists.

Southbank has several river-facing amenities.

Southbank, across the river from the hotel, is packed with appealing cafés, shops, and bars, many of them facing the river.

Riverside strolls are delightful.

Strolling along the river, especially about half a mile further east, is delightful.

The Crown Casino complex is nearby.

Just across the bridge from the hotel is the unmistakable and remarkable Crown Casino complex.

These are several cafes and bars along the river.

Both sides of the Yarra River are lined with cafés and bars accessible via delightful paths.

Trams in the city center are free.

The hotel is along a tram line. All trams within the city center are free.

Free trams connect the hotel to the city center.

The city center and all its facilities are just a few stops by free tram from the hotel.

The convention center is just over the bridge.

One attraction of staying at the Crowne Plaza for some is its proximity to the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre just over the bridge.

The express SkyBus is the best way to and from the airport.

The cheapest way to travel between the airport and hotel is by SkyBus.

The Starbus shuttle service offers great airport connectivity.

A more direct connection between the hotel and airport is the Starbus shuttle service.

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