I reckon our family is at a point where it’s not easy to find appropriate accommodation when we’re visiting urbanized cities for vacations. Basically, our kids are too young to be in separate rooms from us. For our Melbourne stay, we were initially seriously considering Airbnb stays or service apartments. None of the options were going to be cheap if we wanted stays at the city center – and this was a requirement since while I’ve driven quite a bit in Australia, I didn’t want to have to pay through my nose for parking in the city center.
We got lucky though – we found a place in the city that had suites with two separate bedrooms. It was large enough for all of us, wasn’t a service apartment block as there was daily room service and the usual hotel amenities, and at a great price point of about AUD216 per night. Heck – the package was even cheaper than several of the Airbnb options I initially listed, bigger, and offered daily cleaning and room service. So, an early booking to Pegasus Apart’Hotel was made as soon as our travel dates were firmed up. The booking portal allowed for late cancellations too, which also set my mind to ease as we continued to look for better options over the in-between months – and eventually found nothing that could match up to what Pegasus was offering.
So; our comments on our stay:
Pegasus is situated along A’Beckett Street and very near Queen Victoria Market – about 5 minutes walk away. The street itself is also perhaps 7 minutes walk from Melbourne Central, and is well-lit at night. Vehicular traffic is fairly light along this street too. Interestingly, the hotel does not figure as a pick-up point for two of the three tour operators we went with (only A Tour With a Difference did and picked us up at the hotel entrance), and you’ll have to walk around the corner to the more expensive hotel – Radisson Flagstaff – just next door. It’s a short 2 minute walk though, so isn’t too bad.
The 60sqm two-bedroom suite was smaller floor-area wise than some of the places we’ve stayed – e.g. Santhiya @ Koh Phangan’s massive 110sqm – but the area was well-designed. Aside from the two bedrooms, there was a small living/common area with two sofa pieces, a dining table, and a well-equipped kitchen with sink and washing tools, toaster, microwave oven, wine glasses, lots of cookery and utensils, and a mid-sized fridge to contain all the fruits you will buy from QVM. The fridge had a freezer compartment too if you’re thinking of cooking up a royal feast. Simple complimentary beverages were also placed on the kitchen top – and in a nice touch, small fresh milk cartons for beverages were in the fridge too. Finally, there was also a safe box in one of the bedrooms.
Beds were comfortable enough, though not providing the kind of pocket spring coil support if you’re not sleeping alone on it. As in – were it not for the fact that we all slept like the dead every night, Ling would have woke me up every time she got into our out of the bed.:)
The bathroom offered the usual hotel amenities and toiletries, and was connected to the common area and not bedrooms. Convenient as it meant we could use the bathroom late night without worrying about waking up persons already sleeping. The stall produced good water shower streams, and could go up to super-hot temperatures. Useful in winter!
A single air-conditioning unit serviced the suite. It being winter, the air-con unit was probably superfluous, but I reckon it might not be sufficient in a hot summer. The suite had two standing fans, one for each bedroom. There was no radiator in the suite though, so we could not walk around the suite in T-Shirts and shorts about without freezing.
Full-glass panes on all outward facing sides of the suite. Someone on Tripadvisor remarked that some rooms might get a less than appealing view, as the Queen Victoria Market-facing side of Pegasus partially faces the back of another residential apartment block. We were lucky though. We didn’t experience this problem. Ours was a high-floor unit at 14th floor, and we had a great view of Queen Victoria Market and the north-western edges of the city.
The windows are normally closed with the handle unscrewed and kept in one of the kitchen drawers – i.e. it should be safe for kids. Still, once you check in, do make sure that the windows are indeed secure, and that the window handle is well out of the kids’ reach.
There was a roughly about 42″ wall-mounted LCD TV in the living area. We got a good spread of Aussie channels though not the international channels like BBC or CNN. TV reception is great – probably because it’s all via cable – and unlike the other hotels we’ve been to, our kids actually spent a lot of time with the two children TV channels in the evenings and mornings. The TV though was mounted a little too high on the wall – your kids’ necks might strain.
There’s a pool and gym, and laundry room all on the second floor. We didn’t use the fitness facilities – didn’t bring the appropriate attire for it – but did do laundry. The washer cost AUD5 to use and about 40 minutes to complete a cycle, and dryer usage was AUD4 and also about 40 minutes for a normal cycle too. It’s decent for a quick wash so that you don’t have to bring that many clothes.
The hotel offered complimentary WIFI throughout and also in the rooms. ID and password were easy to commit to memory and type (important for mobile phone users!). Reliability though was spotty, with the occasional disconnections. Access speed was also variable. I occasionally hit 2.5 to 3 Mb/s download speeds, but on other days, speeds could slow to far less than that. Or maybe someone in the hotel was doing heavy torrenting haha. In all, it’s about as good as what most hotels offer, though if you’re spoiled like me with 1 Gbps home Internet speeds, the hotel WIFI speed can be exasperating.
Concierge staff were polite and helpful though not what I’d call warm. I noticed that the hotel is also popular with flight-crews. On three different days, we saw flight crews checking in/out. All of them Asian airline crews too. And on another afternoon, a Singaporean tour group from what seems to be the local tour operator CTC was also checking in.
There’s a restaurant on the ground floor that serves morning breakfast if your stay package already includes that. Don’t feel compelled to include it though. There’s a nice cafe – Queen’s Kitchen – just one minute walk from the hotel entrance with a decent-sized dining area, and offers a variety of sandwiches, grilled breakfasts, and pizzas at good prices. And there are are even more cafes just a few minutes further away, especially on the Queen Victoria Market side.
Room cleaning timings were a little off. On two occasions, our rooms were serviced in the mid to late afternoon, and when we’d already returned to the hotel. There’s also room service if you’re hungry, but really – just take the lift down, walk out and get grub from a proper cafe!
The two bedrooms seem similar in size. This was ours, and facing QVM.
Full-height window panes.
Our suite’s kitchen on a typical afternoon. Fruits from QVM and other snack items from Woolsworth.
Living area, with Hannah and Pluto’s toys tossed on the sofa.
Lounging around area near the lift lobby.
Queen’s Kitchen – a very short walk from Pegasus.
All in; we weren’t expecting a five-star quality stay at Pegasus, certainly not at this price-point. But the hotel is well-located, suite was large enough for us, functional where it mattered, and there was nothing really problematic. Easy recommendation if you’re like us – looking for a place for a family of four.:)
Next is the third and last post wrapping up our Melbourne vacation.