The Sebel in Albert Park, Melbourne is one of those big hotels that I’d often driven past but never ventured into. I was heading to Melbourne and wanted to stay in the heart of things without staying in the city so I thought I might try it out. Location-wise it is great. Close to the CBD and St Kilda Rd business district and I’d be able to squeeze a jog around Albert Park Lake across the road before breakfast. If you’re coming from the airport it’s not too far past the city – about a $60 -$70 cab ride all up (45 mins) and it’s a 2 minute walk to the St Kilda Rd trams.
I’d always assumed that the hotel would be really dated but walk into the foyer and your first impression is that you are in a modern, stylish hotel. And boy is it spacious. At the entrance there’s the double story ceiling and grand curved stairway that greets you. Thick support columns on their marble bases complete the look. To your left is a huge lounge area with grand piano, another smaller lounge / bar area and to the right a cafe with a yet another social area. When I checked in around 3pm there was a pianist working his magic on the black and white keys and groups of people relaxing on the lounges.
My Sebel room was one on the few that hadn’t been recently re-furbished but it had everything you need; a desk, a massive TV (although not flat screen), mini-bar, couch, comfortable queen bed and broadband. Unfortunately I didn’t have views of the lake which would have made for a spectacular sunset over looking Port Phillip Bay.
The hotel is one of the larger ones in Melbourne. It has 242 guest rooms and is well prepared for small or large conferences and events with 28 meeting room options. The pillarless Grand Ball room can host up to 600 people and across the road is an 18 hole golf course available for networking golf days or break out sessions from conferences.
There is a choice of 4 dining options should you choose to remain at the hotel otherwise it’s just a quick cab ride to many of Melbourne’s fine restaurants and cafes.