More about Oaks On Collins
Comfortable, convenient, better than expected!
We stayed here in July 2007 for a two-night weekend getaway. Booked a Studio Executive room direct and received the internet rate. My partner was at the Rialto across the street on business so swapping over was very easy. Front desk service was very good (I arrived at 11am), they offered a room straight away but promised a better one if we could wait an hour or so. Yes please!
Ended up on the 16th floor, I think the corner room, so no noise and no passing traffic. It was spacious and elegantly decorated, a fantastic view down to Collins Street and through the buildings to the river. The bed was fantastic (we like firm but comfy), the lounge/meals area was roomy with cupboards and drawers to the side where we could store our luggage and hang our clothing. I guess the three large windows gave a lovely sense of space and light.
The bathroom was very compact but sufficient for us - not very big people. So honeymooners, forget getting clean in the shower together. We did have to put our toiletries on the kitchen bench just next to the bed/bathroom. We didn't use the kitchen faciilties/appliances but they appeared to be all there and new and shiny.
Overall, a tastefully refurbished property (I get the idea it used to be an office tower), with designer touches and all conveniences at hand, but a notch up from what you'd expect. We saw some rooms seemed to be in the middle of the floorplan, the bedrooms separated from the corridor/walkway by a glass wall and louvres/venetians, so if you're after privacy, maybe don't book those rooms.
The trams runs both ways on Collins Street, so it's a good location if you don't want to fall into hundreds of passing shoppers out the front door. It's relatively quiet during the week (business/financial area) and more so on the weekend. Lots of breakfast options a short walk away (unless you want MacDonald's - next door) and a tram ride can take you anywhere in the city. The walk towards the centre of the city reveals some gorgeous designer clothes and shoe stores - yum! Taxis are also up and down Collins Street and lined up in front of the Rialto opposite, so no problem catching one.
And yes, the towels were thick and fluffy!
Great Location in Melbourne
This hotel is in a great position if you are visiting Melbourne. It is walking distance to pretty much anywhere, but even better it is close to some tram stops as well as the city circle tram which runs for free. This end of Collins street is the CBD end, which makes it quiet on weekends and busy during the week.
I booked the room through a last minute website for a great rate and was promised a room upgrade as part of the deal. I also requested a balcony. Upon arrival we discovered that our request had not been fruitful and had a studio executive room. When I enquired at reception, I was told that often last minute rooms dont get the pick of the bunch. But the receptionist did follow through with my request without any hassle and was helpful throughout. Our next room was perfect and even a little bigger.
The facilities are modern and clean with the kitchenette a very handy resource. The bathroom is small, but has all of the amenities that you need (except a bath). Our room was serviced to hotel quality every day, which I didnt expect from a last minute deal.
Overall, I would recommend the Oaks on Collins to anyone who is visiting Melbourne, especially couples or business travellers.
We stayed in a 1 bedroom studio for 2 nights in Nov 05 when the hotel was just finishing their renovations.
We were very happy with our New York style studio room, which would have to be one of the most attractive accomodation options in Melbourne for the budget rate you pay.
Situated right in the middle of Collins St, we could walk to everything we needed.
The only disappointment was the pool - quite small & outdoors - felt a little exposed swimming out in the open surrounded by tall buildings!
But we would absolutely recommend this hotel as top value for money. I doubt very much whether you could book accomodation like this so cheaply anywhere else!
3 uncomfortable nights
We stayed 3 nights in a "New YorK Style studio with internal views to a man-made Zen garden". This is code for a room with no external windows - the window looked out onto the Zen garden, which is part of the internal corridor. It also looked out on another room's window, part of the corridor & the door of another room, so we kept the blinds closed. No great sacrifice, since the only natural light came in through a firedoor about 15 metres down the corridor.
The totally enclosed room had no access to building A/C and the self contained A/C was faulty - it took some time to diagnose this - only basic instructions , so a lot of back & forth, try this, try that with staff before they confirmed it would need external maintenance - since the hotel was fully booked they had no alternative to offer us so we would just have to make the best of it. So the final tally was 3 hot stuffy sleepless nights with sincere apologies from the staff.
There were other maintenance issues (toilet cistern wouldn't refill, TV remote not working, hairdryer missing) but these were quickly rectified.
Room was stylishly appointed, but layout was unusual with some poor functionality (eg a narrow wash basin in the en-suite with a shelf almost as wide immediately above it making it close to impossible to wash face, spit out tooth paste etc). From floorplan on fire exit sign most other rooms may be better laid out. So my advice would be avoid the Zen garden views.
Staff tried to be helpful & the breakfast was good.
Looks can be deceiving
What a disappointment. Searched carefully to choose this property and it was like staying at Fawlty Towers. We checked in to a studio suite and it had a very bad smell - we advised them of this and were told another room would be found. The lights were also flickering and needed globes replaced. Fair enough to move us but it took some time. We probably should have done our ironing to get ready for dinner as the room we were moved to (with no assistance) had no ironing board which then took an hour to arrive. The shower had no cold tap (broken off) and the bathroom basin was blocked and unusable. We were told that we could use the shower in the gym on another floor and that they would try to fix it tomorrow. I reminded the front desk 4 times in the next 24 hours, and only then was it partially fixed. The cold and hot tap indicators were put on in reverse and the sink was still blocked. Admitting defeat with the very stylish but dysfunctional room, i went to use the wireless internet (way overpriced) and then went to have a swim - only to find cigarette butts in the pool. By now I was over complaining and instead just vowed not to return. Shame as it is very modern looking, compact but could be functional (you'd want to be staying with someone you are comfortable with - the frosted floor to ceiling glass is not so discreet), and in a great location. Big ticks to the parking people who were very nice (despite being separate to the hotel). Could have been great but has maintenance/staffing issues.
Great, depending on the room!
Initially, we walked into a very smelly room, with an overpowering citrus odour and month-old eggs rotting in the cupboard.
The studio room offered no privacy at all - it was very open, and the bathroom/toilet had no door (and looked directly onto the bed, which was an interesting plan design). The rest of the room was quite nice - clean and comfortable; the intimacy of the bathroom was however, probably not appropriate for a relatively new couple. It would be great for a single executive.
We were in an executive room (the mid-tier option), with 'river views' according to the booking clerk on the phone. However, what we actually got was a view straight into a couple of office buildings and down a dirty alley way. This wasn't so bad to start with, until 5am the next morning when we were awoken by some sort of construction/steel works/garbage disposal in the alley way!
In the end, we gave the hotel a decent rating because we asked to be moved from our original room, and got shifted to a much improved room, on the other side of the hotel. This room had a door on the bathroom (still very intimate, but the door affords at least a modicum of privacy), and the view was quite nice, and probably would have been river views a few floors higher. As it was, the 2nd room was great and we really enjoyed the rest of our stay.
Four room changes!
Let me say upfront - the Oaks on Collins has a good location and very nicely appointed rooms. Tasteful modern furnishings and spacious feel, but quirky. Outrageously high kitchen cabinets, LCD TVs located where you could brain yourself, and frosted bathroom walls which under halogen lighting, silhouette the "Thinking Man" position when one's on the throne and sinks so trendy but so small that brushing ones teeth almost always results in spitting on the amenities shelf ;)
We started our stay on the 20th floor Sky Suite - the lifts end at 18th floor. Staff helped us up 2 floors of stairs into this bedsit with a huge outdoor deck (surprisingly small considering the grandiose term Sky "Suite"). After discovering the toilet door was missing - obviously not the first reviewer to say that this makes one uncomfortable, as the bed was right next to the toilet - we were changed to a standard executive on the 7th floor that night. The office block 10 m across the alley way had a full-on view of our bed and toilet (might have frightened them with me wandering out in my boxers - but I guess they're used to that). It was early, as we were woken at 6 am by construction trucks down that alley.
The next room change was when front desk moved us back to a 19th floor suite - very spacious with great views of Collins St and Crown. That side of the building is definitely the better looking side. This suite had a real separate bathroom. Unfortunately the front door lock didn't work and with ability to walk off the street into the hotel unchallenged day or night, this didn't fill us with confidence leaving bags there.
Final room change was to another 19th floor suite, this time behind the lift shafts, where muted sounds of machinery from 6 lifts going up and down didn't bother us but if you were a light sleeper - probably not a joy. Again spacious suite, but back to the back alley view and glass toilet. Huge deck though - with outdoor dining table - kinda fun, except Melbourne is quite cool in winter.
One particular member of front desk tried his best to make things right by offering breakfasts and better rooms - certainly his friendly nature made me less annoyed by the room changes and was ever courteous and helpful.
The lack of maintenance management must be something the Oaks across the chain obviously needs addressing. Real hotels manage it, why can't the Oaks? They might be good value rooms, but managing to score a wholly satisfactory room in this hotel is likely to be a hit-and-miss experience.
Terrible internet and poor communication internally detracted from my stay
I chose this place because it was close to the meetings I have today and it offered rooms with built-in internet.
When I arrived they were confused about whether my rate included breakfast (it did), and then explained the internet is avail but costs an extra $24 on top of the room rate. That's annoying but it was 9pm and I wasn't about to find an alternative. Alas the internet connection was (and still is) hopeless. Initially no web pages would load, that got fixed at around 11pm. Now it's just sloooow. It takes a few minutes for each mail message off my company server to load, (normally this happens in milliseconds), my instant messenger won't load and skype will only (just) handle text messages but not voice.
They were nice enough to waive the internet charge (or at least said they would, i've not checked out yet) but then this morning when I went down for breakfast (hotel standard fry-up with okay coffee and not too terrible juice) they had to call for confirmation that my breakfast is included in my room rate. Get it together people!
The room itself is okay but the windows don't open and there is quite a bit of noise from the adjacent rooms. I didn't sleep very well and find the air in here a bit dry. The bathroom / toilet is very small and it offers 'own brand' toiletries so bring your own, or even better stay somewhere else.
great position, bathroom a joke!
stayed here for 3 nights in May 2007.. first visit to Melbourne, handy location, though beware.. business end of Collin's St, so most things closed down Friday evening til Monday.. room was clean & tidy, though the bathroom was a real joke.. frosted glass slider doors, one foot away from the side of the bed.. tiny sink, with no shelf or any storage for toiletries.. absolutely NO privacy.. bathroom really let this place down.. well you say.. so what ! you don't live in the bathroom.. well that's what we said when we read a similar review.. only wished we had taken that on board.. a real pain....