There may be a rivalry between Sydney and Melbourne as to which is the best city but we love them both. I’ve had a few solo trips to Melbourne and I’ve enjoyed wandering along Southbank, going to the markets and exploring the laneways. Each trip to Melbourne I’ll try to add another hotel to this list so we eventually end up with a comprehensive guide to accessible accommodation options. If you know of an accessible apartment or hotel, please add it to comments below to help someone else looking for an appropriate place to stay. In the meantime, here is a summary of the hotels we’ve discovered. Click on the link of the property if you’d like to read the full blog post/review.
DOUBLETREE BY HILTON MELBOURNE – FLINDERS STREET
Warm cookies and a central location make for a winning combination when I’m looking for a hotel. DoubleTree by Hilton Melbourne – Flinders Street offers both so it was where I chose to stay for my solo trip to Melbourne.
The hotel is located opposite the historic Flinders Street Station, only a short walk from Federation Square and Southbank. It is also only a couple of blocks from the Bourke Street Mall shopping precinct, there is a tram stop opposite and a taxi rank at the door. To say this hotel is well located is an understatement.
You can read my full review on this hotel here.
NOVOTEL MELBOURNE ON COLLINS
On a family trip to Melbourne we stayed at this hotel and had a wonderful stay. We didn’t need to hire a car because the central location allowed us to walk everywhere. There’s two options of accessible room and both are great. The deluxe king room is huge and although smaller, the queen accessible rooms are also spacious and beautifully appointed.
We stayed in a family suite as we don’t need a fully accessible bathroom. This gave us a separate bedroom. The room is enormous.
You can see all three styles of room and read my full review here.
The Vibe Savoy Hotel is in a sensational location for easy access around the city. It’s opposite Southern Cross Railway Station and around the corner from a free tram service which will take you around the city (I am told this is wheelchair accessible but haven’t used it). I prefer the location of the previous two hotels but being near Southern Cross Railway Station will make this hotel suitable for many.
The Savoy has an old world feel about it with its art deco decor. The accessible room also has the advantage of an interconnecting room for larger families or friends travelling together.
Being an older hotel the bathroom in this one is compact and some people may find it too tight for wheelchair access.
Take a look at the review I wrote with all the details here.
THE LARWILL STUDIO
A big thanks to Kathryn for taking all the right photos and providing lots of information about why she likes staying at The Larwill Studio which is part of the Art Series Hotel Group. Kathryn says, “I have stayed here a number of times in the last 12 months when I have to travel to Melbourne for work and also for specialist appointments. Service is helpful and friendly and when there are special rates sales on it’s cost as little as $125 per night which is cheap for a 4 star hotel in Melbourne.”
This hotel is close to the Royal Children’s hospital and offers a special rate for those visiting because of treatment at the hospital.
You can see all the photos and Kathryn’s full review here.
NOVOTEL SOUTH WHARF
The accessible accommodation at Novotel Melbourne South Wharf has been well designed. It was such a joy to see a contemporary room combined with well thought out accessible features. The room is spacious with great circulation space for a wheelchair user and ample space on both sides of the bed to transfer from a wheelchair to the bed. The beds have been lowered to make transferring easier for guests using a wheelchair but it does leave little clearance under the bed for a hoist.
You can see more photos and read our full review here.
THE LANGHAM MELBOURNE
On my last solo trip to Melbourne I lived out my fantasy of staying at the upmarket, ultra luxurious Langham Hotel. It was divine. I sank into the bed, luxuriated in the bath with the gazillion products on offer and had a decadent high tea. I was living the Pretty Woman lifestyle minus Richard Gere!
The location of the hotel is excellent but the accessible rooms are not as spacious as some of the others listed above.
I’ve got all the photos and information here.
CROWN METROPOL MELBOURNE
Southbank is my location of choice when we visit Melbourne. I love the easy access to the heart of the city, being able to walk or wheel along the level paths beside the Yarra River and dining at the many restaurants. Crown Metropol was our choice last year for just this reason.
Take a look at the photos and our full review here.
OAKS ON MARKET
Accessible apartment accommodation is scarce so when we found we had the opportunity to check out the 4.5 star Oaks on Market serviced apartments we jumped at the chance. We find the flexibility of apartment accommodation suits our needs and being able to self-cater some meals means our travel budget goes that little bit further.
You can read our full review here.
PAN PACIFIC MELBOURNE
After a stay in the South Wharf area earlier in the year, I have to say I’m a fan! Located at the southern end of the South Bank area of Melbourne, it’s home to DFO, the Melbourne Exhibition Centre and a fantastic dining scene. It’s also where the Pan Pacific Melbourne is situated. Pan Pacific Melbourne has 17 accessible rooms.
You can read our full review here.
We have negotiated great rates for many of these hotels so call our team at Travel with Special Needs 1300 404 100.
LUXURY ACCESSIBLE ACCOMMODATION – 90 MINUTES FROM MELBOURNE
After many frustrating experiences booking a holiday, only to discover the accommodation wasn’t accessible at all, Kerry designed this home. Kerry wanted her Mum, who has MS, and any guest in the future to experience a little luxury.
Designed to accommodate 8 guests comfortably, and brilliantly located in the centre of Barwon Heads, the holiday rental is 90 minutes from Melbourne.
You can read more about this house and its accessible features here.
If you’re arriving into Melbourne by plane and not hiring a car, you’ll need a way to get into the city. There are plenty of accessible cabs at the airport and on average it’s cost us around $50 from the airport into the CBD. A more cost effective way is the Skybus service.
The SkyBus is wheelchair accessible and transfers passengers from the airport to a SkyBus terminal in the city. From the large bus, passengers are then transferred to mini buses which deliver them to their various hotels. They do have a wheelchair accessible mini bus for the hotel transfer.
This takes more time and patience than a taxi with the additional transfer at the SkyBus terminal but for the budget conscious it is significantly cheaper. Companion card holders will be issued with a ticket for their travel companion at no charge. Please note the SkyBus website asks you phone in advance to make a booking for wheelchair access, “Please call SkyBus on +61 3 9600 1711 the day before you travel to confirm if you need wheelchair access if using the SkyBus Hotel Transfer Service.” The SkyBus is at the airport and you just hop on at that end without prior booking.
For more information head to the SkyBus website.
TRAVELLERS AID MELBOURNE
Travellers Aid, which is located in Melbourne, provides an exceptional range of services for locals and visitors who have a disability or mobility restriction. Their page states, “Everyone has the right to transit into or out of Melbourne independently and confidently for work, study, or play.” Hear, hear I say!
They say, “We maximise peoples’ ability to participate in day-to-day activities, such as employment, education, volunteering, social and community events. No referral or appointment necessary.
Our friendly, experienced Client Support Officers can provide:
- Meal assistance
- Personal care
- Communication assistance for people with speech impairments, or who require assistance with filling out forms
- Fully accessible bathroom facilities with ceiling hoist and adult change table
- Wheelchair/scooter recharging facilities
- Accessible public internet computers with JAWS software available
Clients’ friends, family, and personal support workers are also welcome.
The service is available at Flinders Street Station 7 days a week.
Main Concourse (between Platforms 9 & 10)
Flinders Street Station
Flinders & Swanston Sts
Melbourne VIC 3000
T: (+61 3) 9610 2030
F: (+61 3) 9614 1249
Let the staff on the gates know you are using the Travellers Aid Facility and you won’t need to tap your Opal Card to get entry to the station.
Southern Cross Station offers the service 7 days a week.
Monday – Friday 10 – 5pm
Saturday – Sunday 11 – 4pm
Main Concourse (located opposite the Luggage Hall)
Southern Cross Station
99 Spencer St
Docklands VIC 3008
T: (+61 3) 9670 2072
F: (+61 3) 9600 1174
For further information refer to the Travellers Aid website for full details and to check these are correct at the time of your travel.
So, that’s what I’ve got for you on Melbourne so far. If you know of an accessible apartment or hotel that you’d recommend to others please add it to comments below.