The rise of the apartment-hotel

Citadines on Bourke … absolutely mid-city location.
Citadines on Bourke … absolutely mid-city location.

Hotels have certainly changed over the past 20-or-so years.

No, I’m not talking here about pubs, though they have changed enough to warrant their own separate story.

Many of those have changed quite dramatically from being among the last bastions of ‘blokedom’ to incorporate quality dining, top wines by the glass, genuine family entertainment, and plenty of appeal to the groups of women they see as marketing targets.

I’m talking here about accommodation-type hotels, principally inner-city but increasingly suburban and even country.

They have changed to the point of altering language, to necessitate the coining of a new term — ‘apartment-hotels’.

Plenty of entertainment options … the living area at Citadines.

Plenty of entertainment options … the living area at Citadines.

These carry with them the previous requirements of comfortable bed and plenty of high-pressure hot water, but have added fully functional kitchens and usable lounge areas.

Much of the impetus — but certainly far from all of it — for that fundamental change in modelling has come from the increasing cost of eating out.

A hearty breakfast rates a charge of $30 or so; dinner, with a couple of glasses of decent wine, about $100.

It shouldn’t take the corporate bean counters long to work out the extravagance of that system. And it certainly hasn’t.

Add a spouse and a couple of ravenous kids into the mix and you’ll quickly enough face a credit-card debt of $500 a day, unless the hotel in question can provide at-least-adequate in-room food-preparation facilities and a source of decent ingredients.

Typifying the new-look apartment-hotel … the functional kitchenette.

Typifying the new-look apartment-hotel … the functional kitchenette.

Hence the rise of the apartment-hotel.

Typical of this newish style of accommodation is Melbourne’s Citadines on Bourke, fronting the street of that name between Russell and Exhibition Streets.

It features city-centre location to burn, with rapid access to the CBD, the state’s parliament, a plethora of entertainment, and numerous dining options in most price brackets.

Rooms are modern and spotlessly clean, and have comfortable bedding, plenty of hot water, plush towels, complimentary wifi and excellent entertainment units.

The bathroom at Citadines … all white and plenty of hot water.

The bathroom at Citadines … all white and plenty of hot water.

Most kitchenettes feature full-size fridges, bench-top cooking, microwave ovens, plenty of bench space, plenty of cooking and serving gear, and dishwasher.

Add touches such as a 24-hour reception desk, daily housekeeping, gymnasium, out-front tram stop and laundrette and you really are set up for a comfortable, economic stay that the company accountant will totally approve of.

 Little Bourke Street … the heart of Melbourne’s Chinatown.

Little Bourke Street … the heart of Melbourne’s Chinatown.

Oh, and as a bonus, Little Bourke St — with one of the country’s biggest Chinatowns — is just around the corner.

At the risk of being self-defeating, you should be able to dine there for less than $20 per head.

IF YOU GO

Citadines on Bourke, 131-135 Bourke St, Melbourne; phone (03) 9039 8888; visit www.citadines.com

John Rozentals was a guest of Citadines on Bourke.