My Sleepover at the Holiday Inn on Flinders, Melbourne

Holiday Inn Melbourne Review

Despite decades of sleeping all around the world I’d never spent the night at a Holiday Inn until last week.

When I was a kid my bestie’s dad was big in the Holiday Inn. Last thing I heard he still is so they’ve travelled the globe working for the company and enjoying many a holiday at the aptly named Holiday Inn.

Now it was my turn to give it a whirl.

I went to Melbourne for the Problogger event 2012 and rocked up at the Holiday Inn at 4.30 pm slightly late for a “business” meeting. So I checked into my king suite and invited the “business associate” I was meeting to join me in my suite.

I put all that business stuff in quotes because while many talks between bloggers are all about business it feels like fun.

Since I started going on trips as a professional travel writer and blogger I have a strange routine in hotels these days. Here’s how it goes.

1. Dash into the room and dump my bags by the door.

2. Run around checking out everything and paying special attention to little details like bathrobes (or their absence), tea bags (I do come from British stock) and views (because when you’re traveling it’s important to see something from the windows that you don’t normally see every day).

3. Madly take photos. This needs to be done as soon as I arrive and before I trash the joint. When I say trash I mean unpack my gear and cover every available surface in stuff, not throw the TV out of the window or anything like that.

Holiday Inn Melbourne, King Suite

Holiday Inn Melbourne, King Suite

Yes, I just have to get the all important hotel photos done first then I know the room will look as fresh and clean as it was when I arrived in the pics and no one will ever find out how messy I am.

With that done in record time I was ready to meet the PR chick and fellow blogger (hello Holly!) from Sydney who I’ve spoken to on the phone but never met before.

It felt a bit odd inviting her up to my suite but in fact meeting in the room was more fun and comfy than meeting in a cafe. There was a cosy sofa and even earl grey tea bags, fresh milk (not UHT) and mugs (not tiny tea  cups) so I could brew up a much-needed cup of tea. Home from home.

Half way through our chat a dear blog reader, fellow travel blogger and another new friend rocked up. It was Johanna Castro from Perth who I’d invited to sleep on the sofa bed.

Once we’d all caught up it was time to dash off to a restaurant where we were meeting a host of other travel bloggers.

Literally the entire weekend was spent like that, dashing between meetings, the conference and the hotel, to change or have another cuppa. Sometimes we even managed to fit in a bit of sleep.

Holiday Inn on Flinders, Melbourne views

Night views from the suite

What I Most Liked About the Holiday Inn on Flinders

  • Choice of soft or firm pillows.
  • Super friendly and helpful staff.
  • Big breakfasts delivered to my room to sustain me for the conference.
  • Earl grey tea bags – I might have mentioned this is important.
  • A lovely sign in the bathroom saying if you’ve forgotten any toiletries just ask and they’d get it for you.
  • The pool with twinkly fairy lights looked lovely by night.
  • Fluffy dressing gowns because Melbourne was chilly, even in spring.
  • The location is fabulous, slap bang in the middle of the city within walking distance of hundreds of amazing shops, cafes and restaurants. It was also only a ten minute walk from Etihad Stadium where the conference was held and the Southbank casino which I visited last year to interview poker star Jo Hachem.
holiday inn melbourne review

Lots of lovely lotions and potions and a little sign saying if you’ve forgotten anything they’ll find it for you

The only real problem was the WiFi which stubbornly refused to work in suite 713 on the seventh floor. The kind staff tried their very best to fix it and offered to move me to another room but by then I’d unpacked all my clobber and couldn’t face it.

Anyway, I think it was a secret message from someone important and wiser than me telling me not to waste time in my hotel room surfing the Internet but to get out there and meet people at the Problogger Event. So that’s what I did.

My biggest regret is that I couldn’t stay longer and didn’t have time to mooch around Melbourne exploring properly. Next time I’m in Melbourne I want to:

  • Go to Kinfolk, a cafe under The Hub at 673 Bourke Street which was recommended by a friend who says it’s “one of my fave Melbourne hangouts”.
  • Explore the Lanes – I dipped into them last year and discovered a few Melbourne secrets but I’d like to see more street art.
  • Make it to Richmond’s Bridge Rd and look for bargains at the outlet stores.

It’s always a bit strange sharing a hotel room with someone you’ve never met before ( I did it in Las Vegas for BlogWorld too) but Johanna from Zigazag was a gem and having someone to chat with made the whole event much more fun.

So finally, after all that sleeping around, I can say I’ve now slept at the Holiday Inn. And a very good sleep it was too.

Travel Notes

To find out more about visiting the Holiday Inn on Flinders check out their blog with the latest specials. You can also connect with them on Twitter or find the Holiday Inn Australia on Facebook where they offer more specials and giveaways.

Want to Hear More About the Blogging Conference? 

All the gory details including some silly photos and red hot blogging tips are over on Successful Blogging.

holiday inn melbourne review

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  1. Johanna October 19, 2012 at 2:02 pm - Reply

    A wonderful story and write-up and you’ve captured the ambience of the hotel so well in pics. Sadly I only had one photo pre-messing up my sofa bed area :) Great place to stay. The staff were so helpful bringing us more earl grey tea bags and extra winter blankets.

    • Annabel Candy October 19, 2012 at 2:20 pm - Reply

      Hi Johanna,

      Well the funny thing is after writing this of course I wanted to show everyone the after photo too but I didn’t take one! Next time:) I agree and you can never have too much tea or fluffy blankies can you?!

  2. Shelley October 20, 2012 at 6:48 am - Reply

    I stayed at the Soul Kitchen Junior hostel in St Petersburg, Russia recently. Best hostel I have every stayed in! Location was fantastic. Had room with private bathroom overlooking a canal and the window box was a fabulous place to sit and drink tea and watch life go by. The bed had a gorgeous white wrought iron frame. They had a huge amazingly well-stocked kitchen with free tea, coffee and filtered water. The open lounge area was comfortable, light and large, and there was free wi-fi, computers (apple laptops) and phone for making calls to anywhere in the world for free! Friendly staff too.

    • Annabel Candy October 20, 2012 at 7:27 am - Reply

      Hi Shelley,

      Great to see you here. That sounds like a good find. Little things like tea and coffee make a big difference:) I have never been to Russia but maybe one day.

  3. Robert Schrader October 20, 2012 at 4:00 pm - Reply

    As an American, I guess I take the Holiday Inn for granted — I don’t remember a childhood holiday where I didn’t stay in one! It’s interesting to read a relatively outside perspective on a brand that been been practically synonymous with travel for me my whole life.

    • Annabel Candy October 22, 2012 at 7:18 am - Reply

      Hi Robert,

      I knew I had a deprived childhood! We went camping:)

  4. Seana Smith October 20, 2012 at 8:56 pm - Reply

    I have and it’s on the blog on Monday, one post plus another just of photos, I got a bit carried away. This sounds and looks good and thanks for saving us from photos of the messiness. I love a hotel that gives you a proper mug. Mine didn’t, just the usual tiny thimbles. Well done Holiday Inn.

  5. Sonia Marsh/Gutsy Living October 21, 2012 at 11:16 pm - Reply


    I love the color scheme and painting on the wall.
    Good coffee is important to me and unfortunately, it’s not always the kind I like.
    With all your travel bloggers, I would love some “My Gutsy Story” tales to add to my series every Monday. Travel adventures make excellent “My Gutsy Story” (ies). Do you have one you’d like to share on

  6. Lilithia October 24, 2012 at 4:04 pm - Reply

    What a wonderful story. I will definitely consider this hotel in the future. Can’t wait to see your human brochure posts.

    • Annabel Candy November 26, 2013 at 3:07 pm - Reply

      Thanks Lilithia, I had a great time in Melbourne and Canberra – what a year :)

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