You guys know I love a YHA, especially when I’m in Australia. So naturally when in Melbourne last month I chose to stay at the Melbourne Central YHA.
In terms of location this hostel is pretty ideal. It’s bang in the middle of the CBD, walking distance to Federation Square, just over the river from South Bank and has the free Circle Tram right on it’s doorstep. You can’t really ask for more.
I stayed in a double room at the Melbourne Central YHA but to be honest the room itself was nothing to write home about. It was pretty basic with nothing but a bed and a fan in the room and a small ensuite. It does the job, you know? But not fancy like the Sydney Harbour YHA I reviewed a couple weeks ago.
But the common areas I thought were pretty special. They’re decorated quite industrial with open brickwork and it feels very ‘Melbourne’ if that makes sense. There’s also free WiFi on the Ground Floor and a mixture of different places to hang out – high bar stalls to drink your coffee at, tables for going on your laptop and cosy little sofas to chill out on.
It’s quite a sociable hostel for a YHA actually, with daily activities scheduled both in the hostel and in Melbourne. We stuck around for a bit of the ping pong tournament which was fun, and everyone there was friendly and up for a laugh.
I also felt there was an emphasis on advising guests on what to do and where to go in Melbourne, which I really liked. The ‘Staff Picks’ boards weren’t the bog-standard tourist hot spots that most of us had already read about. They were niche little places that the staff had recommended because they know the city best.
Also, I asked a staff member for a restaurant recommendation and she went out of her way to draw out several different places on a map so we had some options depending on what we fancied that night. This was definitely a highlight for me, I thought the staff were really great.
There’s also a rooftop area but to be honest this was pretty deserted with just a small seating area and the rest of the space dedicated to a laundry area and additional rooms. I imagine it would be more popular when it’s hotter though!
I didn’t use the kitchen area during my stay but it looked clean and tidy and to the standard I’ve come to expect from YHA hostels. Also, there’s no luggage storage area like most hostels, but instead full-size lockers for storing luggage. The drawback is that you have to pay to use these but is obviously a lot more secure than a luggage storage room that anyone can access.
One main disadvantage the hostel had for me was that there was no parking available, and being in the middle of the CBD I had a total nightmare trying to park. But that’s only because I had come straight from Adelaide on my Great Ocean Road campervan adventure and isn’t something I normally consider. But it’s worth noting that if you’re driving to the Melbourne Central YHA you should definitely scout out the best place to park before you set out.
Overall I liked the location and sociable nature of the Melbourne Central YHA. Although the room was quite basic, it was clean and felt safe and the staff recommendations were spot-on. I’d definitely recommend a stay if you want to stay in Melbourne’s CBD.
Have you stayed at the Melbourne Central YHA? What did you think? Let me know in the comments below or tweet me @HeelsInBackpack!
Total Blogger Transparency: I accepted complimentary accommodation at Melbourne Central YHA but all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own. I wouldn’t play you like that, shorty.