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“A bit different”

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Victoria House Motor Inn
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Croydon
Reviewed 2 February 2011

My husband and I have stayed at Victoria House a number of times while attending family events in the area. The previous reviewer was right - this is not an impersonal, run of the mill hotel. While the building itself is not old, the furnishings have been chosen to give the feeling of a grand house of a former era. The rooms have the usual modern facilities (TV, internet, ensuite bathroom etc) but, with the individualised furnishings and friendly management, it is very easy to feel as if we have stepped back into a more relaxed time.
The rooms we have seen are all large enough to have a separate sitting area as well as queen size beds but, for families or special occasions, there are a couple of much larger rooms, one with a kitchen area. We haven't tried the restaurant (given that we have family close by) but it would be an option if you don't want to venture out.

Note to Trip Advisor - the address is Maroondah Highway (not Maroonha Highway)

  • Stayed: January 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Birdie56
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 16 November 2010

Victoria House Motor Inn 331 Maroondah Highway, Melbourne 3136, Australia
4 star hotel 11/10/2010

This is a tough review to write, because this hotel does not fit my standard of a modern, anonymous, super-convenient but impersonal business hotel. On the other hand, it’s not a business hotel and is anything BUT impersonal – in fact, it’s so personal it’s more like staying with family friends.

First, let’s cover the basics. This hotel is very conveniently located in the suburb of Croydon, adjacent to Lilydale, Kilsyth, Bayswater Mooroolbark and Ringwood. Convenient, that is, if you’re already IN Croydon, Lilydate or Ringwood. The owners claim the hotel is 20 miles outside of Melbourne, but I think it is a lot farther.

Even more importantly, the hotel is a solid one hour from the airport, even on a no-traffic Sunday morning. A colleague who arrived separately from my flight spent two hours in the back of taxi careening around the hills of northern Melbourne while the driver pretended to be lost and drove up the meter. My taxi ride back to the airport was AU$119. So be forewarned: this place is a long way from anywhere and is NOT easy to find, so get travel directions before leaving home.

The oddly-designed facility was built as hotel in the mid-1980s, so it has modern plumbing, electrical, internet and so on. It’s located very close to the highway and doesn’t look like the typical modern hotel, so be ready to jam on the brakes when you finally see the sign on Maroondah Highway. I believe there are twenty rooms, supposedly all with balconies. But my room was on the ground-floor of the highway side of the hotel, and to keep out noise and unwanted visitors the balcony was glassed in, making it claustrophobically unsuitable for chatting with friends, sipping whisky or having a post-prandial smoke.

There is no business center, gym or swimming pool.

Lastly, the hotel has only a very limited meal service. Breakfast is delicious and made-to-order, and dinners are equally tasty. But don’t look for room service, or even meals on the weekend. The chef takes the weekends off.

Does this all put you off? You’re probably thinking, “OK, three strikes you’re out, let’s look for a Holiday Inn.” And amazingly, you would be wrong. This is an enchanting hotel and I will go back at the earliest opportunity.

First, there’s Rob and Rene. They own the place, live in the place and raise their kids in the place. They are wonderful. Rene is the chef, and she deserves the applause. The meals she produced for me were superb and she is a charming conversationalist. I’m not sure what title Rob has, but he runs the desk and maintains the facility, and everything was perfectly ship-shape.

Their hospitality is exceptional. Try this on for size:

I arrived late in the day, into the third week of a long Asian trip. Rob took one look at me and said, “You look like you could use a glass of wine.” He popped into the bar, poured me a lovely Shiraz and let me chill out a bit before even getting to the registration details. That won’t happen at the Marriott, to be sure.

On Saturday afternoon, my customer and I popped over to the hotel to freshen up before dinner. The bar was closed, but Rob was working there, fussing away at something. When we asked him what options we had, he never hesitated. He popped a bottle of a very smooth red, fetched us two glasses, chatted with us for a minute, and said “Pour your own glasses gents, I’m heading home.” He left the bottle (indeed, the entire bar) open for our hospitality. The honor system – who knew it still existed?

The atmosphere is of relaxed comfort, more like a home away from home. The rooms are of generous size, but not over-the-top. My room had two levels, the lower one being the sleeping level and then there were two steps up to the “sitting room.” In the sitting area there was a small desk, a modern HD television, and comfy chairs that kept putting me to sleep. The room featured very handsome, clean and efficient bathroom facilities. The bed was firm, the pillows deep, the comforter warm and I slept like a log. Pleasantly, the room actually had a clock by the bed, something of a rarity these days.

The internet access is wired and fast, and costs AU$24 for 24 hours. That’s actually not as expensive as I first thought, because Rob and Rene have the system configured to only charge you for the time you actually are connected. As long as you remember to “log-off” when you’re done with your email, it works great. I stayed four days and used only six hours of my 24-hour quota.

The hotel features handsome furniture. The lobby has a large Victorian chaise lounge, and the bar has a love seat for really, really big lovers. There’s a handsome (maybe mahogany?) bookcase in the lobby that offers plenty of paperback novels, if your schedule has the time. Even the artwork on the wall is interesting.

The door keys are big, old-fashion brass keys, and to avoid throwing off the line of my suits I would leave the keys on the desk when I left in the morning. Now, Rob and Rene have to sleep sooner or later, so guests are given a key-code to punch into a security lock to get into the hotel out-of-hours. This worked flawlessly. It also gave them a chance to demonstrate their sensitivity. They knew I had left my key at the front desk when I departed, and when I came in late they had already pulled my key and left it on top of the check-in desk, ready for my return. Mr. Hyatt, are you listening?

So, modern, anonymous, super-convenient impersonal business hotel this is not. But if you’re ready for the amusing quirks and hospitality of a small, boutique hotel, try the Victoria House. I’m giving it a whole bushels of thumbs-up, and I think you will, too.

  • Stayed: November 2010, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank PilotMike2009
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Victoria House Motor Inn

Address: 331 Maroondah Hwy, Croydon, Maroondah, Victoria 3136, Australia
Region: Australia > Victoria > Greater Melbourne > Maroondah > Croydon
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Croydon
Price Range: $132 - $276 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Victoria House Motor Inn 4*
Number of rooms: 20
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