I love Melbourne. I’ve explored the city with the family many times and I’ve been lucky enough to visit on my own too. I don’t know what it is about exploring Melbourne but it brings out a carefree me. So you can imagine I was excited to have the opportunity to stay in a hotel in an area of the city I was yet to explore. I’m so familiar with South Bank but I’d never ventured beyond the Crown Casino Complex, assuming that was the end of the road, so to speak. For my most recent stay I was based at Novotel Melbourne South Wharf, a brand new hotel. In fact, it was only days old when I visited. I don’t think there’s anything better than a new hotel. The towels are at their fluffiest best, the paintwork’s fresh and the staff are enthusiastic and eager to please. My stay was an absolute delight and the accessible accommodation did not disappoint either.
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.
The video below gives a much better idea of how spacious the room is so click on the arrow for your tour of one of the accessible rooms.
Floor to ceiling windows make the room bright and also provides a great view over the bustling city below, without any of he noise associated with city life.
The drawers in the accessible rooms have been fitted with handles to make opening easier (there are no handles on the drawers in the non-accessible rooms), the safe is lowered and there is two levels of hanging rack in the wardrobe.
I’m always happy to find the option of an interconnecting room if needed for a larger family or a group travelling together. Novotel Melbourne South Wharf caters to a range of needs including guests with a hearing impairment with some of their rooms including a visual fire alarm.
It was a pleasure to walk into a large accessible bathroom with grab rails throughout, a height adjustable hand-held shower and flip-down shower seat. The toilet seat is fitted with a back rest and there’s a good circulation space to transfer to the toilet or shower bench.
The bathroom is equipped with lever taps and a wheelchair accessible sink (the sink even has room for a toiletries bag!). It should be noted the Novotel Melbourne South Wharf has towels to die for. They are the fluffiest luxurious towels I’ve found in a hotel bathroom in a long time.
As I was travelling solo I booked into a non-accessible room and I lapped up all the features. I sank down into the bed to indulge in my take away dinner, enjoyed free reign of the remote and sleeping in the middle of the bed. Hubby would say I usually sleep in the middle of the bed at home relegating him to the edge but this is my blog so I’ll tell my version of the story and deny, deny, deny!
When the sun went down I was thoroughly relaxed with a glass of wine and mesmerised by the city lights. AJ was super impressed to hear the TV’s are fitted with chromecast making Netflix watching on the big screen possible. How to keep a travelling teen happy.
During opening week at the hotel, Le Club Accor Hotel guests were treated to fruit and this divine ball of lusciousness. When I sent a photo home to the family they felt I should take it back for them to share. I informed them it was far too delicate to travel and therefore I had to gobble it up. The diet went out the window that day.
Dining alone isn’t my thing so I didn’t have the opportunity to try the dinner menu at Mr Carpano Bar & Dining but the menu of rustic and seasonal Italian dishes definitely appealed.
The restaurant has lovely large windows which let in lots of natural light and two outdoor dining terraces for the warmer days.
The buffet breakfast is extensive with a range of hot and cold options. Eggs for breakfast are always a treat so I opted for poached eggs, some cereal and a little fresh fruit. The buffet area was quiet on my first morning when I arrived a little later (8.30am) so avoid peak times if possible as the area can be congested, particularly for a wheelchair user.
Allora Espresso & Desserts is a café located in the main foyer of the hotel. The chairs are every bit as decadent as they look in the photo and I can vouch for the chocolate brownies which are equally decadent. Allora has a range of sweet treats and sandwiches which can be enjoyed in the café or can be an easy snack to take with you for a day out.
Wi-Fi is complimetary for guests and was fast which I always appreciate.
The hotel has a 24 hour fitness centre which I can’t personally vouch for because I was too relaxed to hit the gym. I’m told it has all the latest cardio equipment though!
You can read more about Novotel Melbourne South Wharf here.
A big thanks to Novotel Melbourne South Wharf for hosting, and welcoming me into the hotel during opening week. I had a fabulous stay and I’m a big fan of the South Wharf Promenade as a location.
When I looked out the window of my room I could spot the Docklands nearby, DFO right opposite (be still my beating credit card!) and the waterfront walk along the Yarra River. Immediately I felt like I was going to be right at home at South Wharf. And I was. Many guests will chose Novotel Melbourne South Wharf as it has direct access to the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre but the hotel is a great location for tourists as well.
I thoroughly enjoyed the South Wharf Promenade and each day made sure I exceeded my 10,000 steps by walking from South Wharf to Federation Square and back. Along the way I enjoyed people watching, the activity on the river and the occasional live musician.
There’s such a great energy along this walk and it’s all level and accessible.
South Wharf is much quieter than South Bank but still has a variety of restaurants, cafes and bars. I can recommend Bangpop which is just a few minutes walk or wheel from the Novotel. The food is delicious and they make a mean Mojito, which I had while waiting for my take-away dinner. If you prefer to eat-in, the restaurant is wheelchair accessible and has a large accessible bathroom.
While in Melbourne I was keen to visit Dialogue in the Dark. As I was time poor I caught a cab to do the experience at Docklands. I can’t recommend this experience enough. It was such a wonderful insight into the world of a person who is blind or someone who lives with low vision. You can read my review of Dialogue in the Dark here.
Travelling as a family we always appreciate having a supermarket or mini-mart nearby to buy a few snack foods or forgotten items. This mini-mart is situated right opposite the hotel.
And last but certainly not least, as I mentioned before, the DFO (Direct Factory Outlet) shopping centre is just a few steps from the entry to the hotel. I didn’t have a whole lot of time for shopping but I was appreciative of having it so close so I could get a few gifts for the family.