Melbourne, Australia

Ovolo Laneways

Rates from (ex tax)$205.19

Price information

If you haven’t entered any dates, the rate shown is provided directly by the hotel and represents the cheapest double room (including tax) available in the next 21 days.

Prices have been converted from the hotel’s local currency (AUD299.00), via openexchangerates.org, using today’s exchange rate.

Style

Graphic luxe

Setting

Stylish side of the CBD

Easy living is the mantra at Ovolo Laneways, a super-central modern design den with all the extras you'll need thrown in – from free WiFi to minibar treats and Apple TV. The Penthouse Suite even has a pinball machine and open-air Jacuzzi tub. Spacious rooms and bespoke street art give the interiors attitude; outdoors, the city's laneway secrets beckon, with stylish wining and dining just a stroll away.

Smith Extra

Get this when you book through us:

Daily breakfast for two

Facilities

Photos Ovolo Laneways facilities

Need to know

Rooms

43, including 27 suites.

Check–Out

11am; check-in, 2pm, but both flexible subject to availability.

Rates

Double rooms from $205.19 (AU$272), excluding tax at 10 per cent.

Price information

If you haven’t entered any dates, the rate shown is provided directly by the hotel and represents the cheapest double room (including tax) available in the next 21 days.

Prices have been converted from the hotel’s local currency (AUD299.00), via openexchangerates.org, using today’s exchange rate.

More details

Rates include minibar drinks and snacks, bottled water, Apple TV and local calls. Rates exclude breakfast (AU$15 a person) and a credit-card surcharge for Visa, Mastercard, Amex and Diners Club payments.

Also

Each floor sports its own laneway-inspired street art; we like the primary-hued doors, colour-coded for each room type, too. Guests can use Genesis gym, a three-minute walk from the hotel, for free (open 6am–9pm from Monday to Thursday, 6am–8pm on Fridays, 8am–12 noon on Saturdays and closed on Sundays).

At the hotel

Free WiFi throughout, lobby with newspapers for guests to nab. In rooms: flatscreen TV with Foxtel satellite channels and Apple TV, DVD and CD players, radio, minibar (or fridge in upper-tier rooms), tableware, Biology bath products. One-bedroom Suites come with a microwave and bar fridge; Terrace and Penthouse suites offer dining areas and terraces.

Our favourite rooms

For a separate lounge aim for a One-bedroom Suite – ideal for leisure trips or travelling with kids. To lord it over the CBD, we love the fifth-floor Terrace Suites and Penthouse, which feature city-view terraces. One of the Terrace Suites (OMG3) sports a punch bag and boxing gloves; the Penthouse stars a Pinball machine and outdoor Jacuzzi.

Packing tips

No need to bring an adaptor; all rooms come with a universal one, making charge-ups a breeze. If you've bagged the Terrace or Penthouse rooms, a sun-hat and shades are our top tips for alfresco lounging (pack a swimsuit for the Penthouse Jacuzzi).

Also

There's no smoking, but you can spark up on Terrace or Penthouse terraces.

Pet‐friendly

Pets are not permitted. See more pet-friendly hotels in Melbourne.

Children

Welcome. Ideally, book a boudoir with a second bedroom for additional space.

Overview

This urban bolthole works well for children or teenagers, although it doesn't offer specific family-friendly activities or services.

Best for

Any age, but older kids and teens might get the most out of a stay in the funky CBD.

Recommended rooms

Opt for a One-Bedroom Suite, which comes with a separate lounge, closed off from your boudoir by a sliding door, where kids can bunk on the sofa. Any of the two-bed rooms work well for families, too.

Activities

In-room entertainment to distract the smalls spans Apple TV, Foxtel satellite channels, a DVD player and iPod dock. Beyond the hotel, take the kids for a stroll or picnic in nearby Treasury and Fitzroy Gardens; wander to the Melbourne Museum in Carlton Gardens for family-friendly exhibits on the city, natural history and indigenous culture; or head to Victoria Market (www.qvm.com.au) for gourmet grazing. The free City Circle Tram that circumnavigates the CBD can whisk you to must-see sites, including the Melbourne Aquarium (www.melbourneaquarium.com.au). For more creature features, you're just a 10-minute taxi ride to Melbourne Zoo (www.zoo.org.au/melbourne).

Swimming pool

There's no splashing at the hotel, but you're only a 10-minute tram ride from the charming, open-air Fitzroy Pool, at 160 Alexandra Parade, for affordable aqua play.

Meals

Ovolo doesn't have a restaurant, but kids will love the help-yourself lobby spread, filled with pastries, muffins, fruit and juice for breakfasts or snacks and chewing-gum in the day. Minibar contents are free, too, and come with carbonated fruit drinks and water. The little paper Lootbag in rooms will also appeal; open it to reveal a more-ish mix of cookies, sweets, nuts, crisps and mints.

Babysitting

Available on request, price on application.

No need to pack

Baby cots, which can be added to all room types.

Also

Ovolo can't provide rollaway beds in rooms, but is happy to supply extra bedding for free so kids can kip on the copious sofas. Ideally, aim for rooms above Studio size, so you'll have space to play with.

Food and Drink

Photos Ovolo Laneways food and drink

Top Table

Outdoors on your view-blessed terrace table if you've bagged the Penthouse. The huge indoor table in the kitchen/lounge is pretty convivial, too.

Dress Code

Gals bring your best black frock and Converse trainers; guys, think skinny jeans and facial hair, perfect for chiming in with the graffiti-chic going down here.

Hotel restaurant

Ovolo doesn't have a restaurant, but with so many rated local dining spots, you ain't going to starve. The softly lit, seating-lined lobby acts as a sociable space for informal grazing though, offering a 'Grab n Go' breakfast (AU$25 a person, each day) of pastries, muffins, fruit and juice; you're welcome to make yourself a T2 tea or fill a cup from the coffee machine all day, too. Need a sugar hit? There are free candy bars and cookies, too.

Hotel bar

There's no bar at Ovolo, but swing by the lobby between 6pm and 7pm to join in the relaxed 'happy hour' or tuck into your free minibar drinks (Peroni and wine are both chilling in there). The latter includes beer, wine and sparkling wine with bar snacks. Guests in the Penthouse can also buy wine from the Ovolo team, which you can cool in the massive fridge.

Room service

Ovolo hopes to offer room service, via a local restaurant. Until then content yourself with the generous minibar, replenished daily, boasting beer, wine, water, fizzy fruit drinks and a Lootbag of crisps, cookies, nuts, mints and sweets.

Location

Photos Ovolo Laneways location
Address
Ovolo Laneways
19 Little Bourke Street
3000
Melbourne
Australia

Planes

Fly into Melbourne Airport (www.melbourneairport.com.au), 22 kilometres north-west of the centre at Tullamarine, which receives domestic and international flights. From the airport rank you can catch a metered taxi to Ovolo, or take the Skybus (www.skybus.com.au) shuttle service to Southern Cross Station in the CBD for AU$20 for a single, then bag a cab from there. The hotel offers roundtrip transfers for AU$60–80.

Trains

Melbourne’s main railway hub is Flinders Street Station in the CBD, just one stop away from Southern Cross Station where V/Line (www.vline.com.au) trains depart for rural Victoria and interstate destinations. Ovolo's nearest station is Parliament, just a minute's walk away, which connects around the city loop and to metropolitan destinations further afield.

Automobiles

Arriving with your own wheels? The Ovolo's partner car park (Wilson Parking, 55 Bourke Street) is about 500 metres from the hotel, costing AU$16 for 24 hours or per exit for hotel guests (call in to Ovolo first if you need directions). To reach the hotel, enter Little Bourke Street from Spring Street, and you'll spy it after about 30 metres on the left.

Other

Melbourne's iconic trams are one of the best ways to get about town; buy a Myki travel card (www.myki.com.au) online or from a train station to use on trams, buses or metropolitan trains. You can top it up at tram stops or select retail outlets, such as 7-Eleven stores. The nearest tram stops to Ovolo are on Spring Street, Bourke Street or Collins.

Worth getting out of bed for

You're handy for the Princess Theatre, just round the corner on Spring Street, if you want to take in a show, Chinatown for food, and the MCG for sporting events. It's also a short walk to Southbank for riverside rambles, Federation Square and St Kilda Road for the NGV art galleries or Fitzroy for edgier stores (make for Gertrude, Smith, Brunswick and Johnston streets). If you want to stock up for a picnic in nearby Treasury or Fitzroy Gardens, swing by Spring St Grocer (+61 (0)3 9639 0335) at 157 Spring Street, a dreamy deli which boasts a cheese room, charcuterie, gelateria, coffees and takeaway dishes by chef Ian Curley (from the European). For more seasonal produce, Queen Victoria Market is only a walk or tram ride west.

For a designer shopping hit, the CBD is your oyster. Make for the major department stores Myer, David Jones and H&M, the giant Swedish retailer occupying the site of the former GPO. Flinders Lane is a good bet for independent galleries, stores, bars and restaurants; Degraves Street is a one-stop foodie fix. 

Local restaurants

A quartet of respected restaurants are all within a wander of Ovolo. Head to Longrain (+61 (0)3 9671 3151), across the road at 44 Little Bourke Street, for gorgeous Thai fare in Scandi-sleek surrounds. Just a couple of laneways away, Gingerboy (+61 (0)3 9662 4200), at 27–29 Crossley Street, is a must for Asian hawker market-inspired dishes, with sharing plates served in a modern space. For elegant Euro treats in an intimate setting, stroll to the European (+61 (0) 9654 0811) at 161 Spring Street, open from breakfast to dinner daily. For sophisticated Italian, make for Grossi Florentino (+61 (0)3 9662 1811), at 80 Bourke Street, which sports a more formal Restaurant and Grill, and a more casual enoteca, the Cellar Bar, ideal for a nibble over a glass of white.

If you can handle the queue, Mexican du jour Mamasita (+61 (0)3 9650 3821) serves tasty cerviches, tacos and quesadillas at Level 1, 11 Collins Street. For Vietnamese rice paper rolls, dumplings and pancakes, pop to casually cool Miss Chu at 297 Exhibition Street. For grazing right beside Ovolo, try Italian restaurant Mezzo (+61 (0)3 9650 0988) at 35 Little Bourke Street.

Local cafés

Right opposite Ovolo, your nearest caffeine hit is Le Petite Bourke (+61 (0)3 9663 4484), at 24 Little Bourke Street, a retro-cute Turkish café serving muffins, tarts, filo-pastry filled with feta and spinach, Turkish delight and more, with quaint, traditional interiors. For heart-starting espresso all day (or a stomach-filling plate of pasta at lunch), commandeer a bar stool at iconic Melbourne café Pellegrini's (+66 (0)3 9662 1885) at 66 Bourke Street, opposite Von Haus. Old-school cool rules, along with an older clientele who've been patronising the joint for years. Also nearby, hip café Self-Preservation (+61 (0)3 9650 0523), at 70 Bourke Street, offers lip-smacking coffee, wine and seasonal food, backdropped by art and jewellery. Another minimal port of call is The Mess Hall (+61 (0)3 9654 6800), at 51 Bourke Street; bag a table by the window for pizza, pasta and top people-watching at lunch.

Local bars

Aim for the skies at two of Melbourne's best rooftop bars. Siglo, the chic terrace bar above the European on Spring Street, is ideal for quaffing fine wine with views over Parliament House. The crowd can be a tad conservative, so dress up a dash. Kookier and kitscher, Madame Brussels (+61 (0) 9662 2775), at Level 3, 59–63 Bourke Street, is all about necking Pimm's in a faux-garden party rooftop pad, with wait staff togged up in Fred Perry tennis whites (take the lift to the left of ground-floor Spaghetti Tree). If you'd prefer to stay on terra firma, you won't go wrong at stylish City Wine Shop (+61 (0)3 9654 6657), at 159 Spring Street beside Siglo, which offers a smart edit of Australian and European wines, cheese, olives and light bites, with romantic seats inside and airy ones spilling onto the pavement. For a true insider laneway tip, check out secretive combo Double Happiness and New Gold Mountain (+61 (0)3 9650 4488), a pair of seductive sister cocktail bars squirreled away at 21 Liverpool Street (look for the bike mounted on the façade).

Reviews

Photos Ovolo Laneways reviews

Anonymous review

Fancy mixing business with pleasure? Melbourne has to be one of the best places for a bleisure trip, so Mr Smith decides to join me at the end of a work foray, leaving our two-year-old with Granny Smith. We’re after a weekend doing what parents of a toddler can usually only dream about – bar- and restaurant-hopping around the city, as well as spending quality time together with lots of the S-word. Sleep. We soon discover that Ovolo Laneways makes a great base for both sides of that equation, with its playful, modern mood and a location that allows us to pack in as much foodie action as possible.

Tucked away at the Parliament House end of Little Bourke Street, Ovolo is in a prime position to enjoy the fab CBD drinking and dining spots around every corner, and Chinatown with its dumpling houses is just down the road. We step into the shiny new foyer, with its space-age silver eggs migrating across the walls and ceiling, and instantly feel like we’ve found our ideal city pad. Dapper, smiling young staff sit with laptops at the reception desk and check us into our room. Happy hour, when guests gather around the lobby’s leather banquettes to take advantage of free beer and wine, is about to start.

Petite but perfectly formed, our room is up on level four behind one of the primary-coloured doors. We note the cheery blackboard greeting and spot the goodie bag of complimentary snacks. We’re just about to tuck in (Mr Smith) and hit the shower (Mrs), when a call comes through from reception with a confession – there’s been a mix-up with two similarly named guests checking in on the same day, and if we’d like to move we can have the room we actually booked, our more spacious One-bedroom Suite. So it’s back past the astro-turfed benches and backlit artworks to our level two boudoir, which comes complete with a separate king-size bedroom, roomy lounge with chaise sofa and a beanbag, plus a kitchenette. The bathroom is slick, with subway-tiled walls and a rainshower, and the hair dryer passes my all-important test, firing on all cylinders rather than the standard hotel-issue variety lacking in puff. Even the Malin+Goetz bath products imported from NYC are fitting for a foodie getaway, with ingredients including cilantro, peppermint and rum.

Snacks, showers, free beer and sav blanc (ready to go in single-serve glasses) from the minibar follow swiftly, then it’s out into the balmy evening for a pre-dinner drink. It’s so warm that we opt for one of the two rooftop bars within easy strolling distance. We head around the corner to Spring Street’s Siglo, above Melboume Supper Club, but while the waft of orange zest in the air promises a killer negroni, the queue proves too long. Instead, we opt for the fun and flirty Madame Brussels, where we look out over the many parasols and jugs of pink drinks to leafy Bourke Street. When the squawk of hen parties becomes overwhelming, we escape to Flinders Street and take our pick from some of the alluring dining hot spots – Cumulus Inc, Coda and Chin Chin. The winner tonight is Cumulus’ new bar Up, and our sole regret is that we order only one of the duck waffles to share. We weave our way back through the laneways, and on the home stretch discover that the Melbourne branch of glam Thai eatery Longrain is just across the road from the hotel. Perfect for a final cocktail and dessert at the bar.

Morning brings the ultimate luxury, a 10am sleep-in, easy to do in our all-white king bed and peaceful room set away from the street. By the time we emerge, we’ve missed Ovolo’s complimentary Grab’n’Go breakfast of pastries and muffins, but no matter, our most ambitious plan for the day is brunch. We power up at the super-sized Nespresso machine, which is available for all-day refuelling, then hop aboard the number 96 tram at the end of the street. It takes us to East Brunswick’s legendary Pope Joan for Cuban sandwiches and heirloom tomato salad among chef Matt Wilkinson’s produce garden, with a Bloody Mary for good measure, then back to Fitzroy’s Gertude Street for some of Melbourne’s most eclectic and inspiring homewares and clothes shopping. I plan to continue shopping back in the city, but the heat and promise of an afternoon nap in our cool suite convince me otherwise.

Evening brings a repeat of the night before, this time with friends as we start with a pinot grigio and bar snacks at Grossi Florentino’s offshoot bar Ombra on Bourke, then cross town and continents for Japanese at the intimate Hihou. In typical Melbourne fashion, as we near home we stumble across New Gold Mountain, our favourite hidden bar discovered on our first trip to the city together. It’s been just metres away from Ovolo all along, and one last cocktail completes the circle on a weekend of easy indulgence.

The Guestbook

Whenever you book a stay at a Smith Hotel with us, we’ll invite you to review it when you get back. Read what other Smith members had to say in Ovolo Laneways’s Guestbook below.

We loved

The spacious room, the helpful and lovely staff and the brilliant central location. And the free drinks and great breakfasts.

Don’t expect

Only criticism was the size of the washbasin in the bathroom. About A4, literally, the smallest I've ever seen! My husband found it so small, it was impossible to use without splashing.

Rating

Stayed on 8 Jan 2017

We loved

The proximity to the city and parks. Punch Lane next door was great.

Don’t expect

To be able to use the mini bar for free.

Rating

Stayed on 12 Dec 2016

We loved

Spacious rooms, modern decor and amenities. Free wifi and included mini bar. Rooftop bar Cookie isn't too far from the hotel.

Rating

Stayed on 11 Oct 2016

We loved

The free minibar, happy hour drinks, lobby breakfast and lolly bar.

Don’t expect

A window. But do you really need one?

Rating

Stayed on 20 Feb 2016

We loved

The location in what our Melbourne friend called the 'Paris end of the downtown' is great; there are interesting walking routes to great areas like Fitzroy. The 'grab go' breakfast hits the spot and is enough to get you out the door and on your way.

Don’t expect

A swimming pool, not that we would have used it. So much to see in Melbourne in the three days we were there.

Rating

Stayed on 8 Feb 2016

We loved

Friendly reception, free WiFi, minibar, happy hour, lolly jar.

Don’t expect

I felt that the lift needs replacing, and the sink in the bathroom was badly designed.

Rating

Stayed on 5 Feb 2016

We loved

Very friendly staff! Loved the loot bag in room and free mini bar. Happy hour drinks were also great and breakfast in the foyer was very good. Bed very comfortable too!

Don’t expect

Tiny room with no window.

Rating

Stayed on 19 Jan 2016

We loved

Central location, quirky interiors, service.

Don’t expect

Sit-down breakfast or spacious reception.

Rating

Stayed on 1 Dec 2015

We loved

All the freebies make you feel like you are being pampered: wine, minibar, lollies, nice coffee and tea etc. The rooms feel full of luxury too. It is a great place for a romantic weekend away.

Don’t expect

There was some noise from the street in the night over the weekend. This disrupted my girlfriend who sleeps lightly, but didn't affect me much. Breakfast is very nice, but limited. We ate in the hotel some days but went out too, for a bit more variety.

Rating

Stayed on 6 Nov 2015

We loved

What a cool, funky little hotel! The all-inclusive minibar is a real winner, as is the location, smack in the middle of the CBD.

Don’t expect

Lots of in-house facilities for dining, etc. But you don't need them, with plenty of choice at the doorstep.

Rating

Stayed on 30 Oct 2015

We loved

The free mini-bar, sweets at reception and the grab'n'go breakfast. The room was a studio but had nicely defined sleeping and lounging areas, so we had a lazy hour or two chilling on the couch and bean bag between shopping and dinner time. Awesome rainfall shower in the small but equipped bathroom. Recommend hitting up Shanghai Village down the road in Chinatown for cheap and delicious dumplings, especially if you are looking for a late dinner after check-in (just remember that it's cash only).

Don’t expect

Sweeping city views or completely soundproof rooms. We could hear that the room next door was having a little party but it wasn't late and it didn't stop us from sleeping. Also you face out to a brick wall, but I actually think it suits the city laneway charm.

Rating

Stayed on 16 Oct 2015

We loved

Location, location, location! Friendly staff Quirky little things that make a difference like happy hour, great continental style, on the go breakfast and welcome pack of snacks. I travelled with a 4 mth old baby – they had all the gear we needed.

Don’t expect

Blissful quiet.

Rating

Stayed on 18 Sep 2015

We loved

Being near chinatown and trams. I didn't expect all the free mini bars and happy hour.

Rating

Stayed on 18 Aug 2015

We loved

Everything. Superb location, brilliant room, reasonable prices, generous bar and happy hour, excellent staff, interesting breakfast. We had our 17 year old daughter with us and she loved the coolness of the place.

Don’t expect

A full fried breakfast.

Rating

Stayed on 17 Aug 2015

We loved

Great, comfortable hotel. Fantastic location - easy to walk around the city. Nice modern clean rooms, with great inclusions such as free mini-bar and the grab-n-go breakfast. Luckily was upgraded on check-in to a Terrace suite - very nice. This was the second time I've stayed here and will definitely be back again. The Smith bonus of late check-out was handy too.

Don’t expect

A view - but not important as the room is very comfortable anyway.

Rating

Stayed on 14 Aug 2015

We loved

The danishes and the coffee. Staff were very friendly and helpful.

Don’t expect

Robes, slippers which are needed for Melbourne temperatures as the rooms only have timber flooring. Mini bar is not as good as other Ovolos we have stayed at.

Rating

Stayed on 1 Aug 2015

We loved

The location, the inclusions (free mini bar and lobby snacks!) and the no fuss atmosphere. A room upgrade on a one-night stay was a nice surprise.

Rating

Stayed on 28 Jul 2015

We loved

Loved the location - inner cbd but quiet side street. Loved the inclusions that most hotels charge extra for, i.e. mini-bar, happy hour, breakfast. Loved that we were upgraded on check-in, a big thank you to the hotel for that. And we appreciated the Mr and Mrs Smith bonus of late checkout as it enabled more browsing Melbourne's shops.

Don’t expect

A view from your room. Our room had obscure glass blocks for the windows, and another room we walked past when the door was open had an outlook directly onto a neighbouring wall. At least we had some natural light. The room's walls were themselves a dark colour, but as we were only in for brief periods in daylight and then to sleep at night it wasn't a problem for us.

Rating

Stayed on 4 Jul 2015

We loved

Everything about the hotel we have stayed here before and will definitely visit again!

Rating

Stayed on 3 Jul 2015

We loved

All the freebies - mini bar, welcome packs, endless coffees and 'on the go' breakfast.

Don’t expect

Big style hotel, this is a little boutique property, hidden away from the glitz of big brand name hotels.

Rating

Stayed on 24 Jun 2015

We loved

Location, home like service such as complimentary breakfast, mini bar, drinks and coffee.

Don’t expect

luxury

Rating

Stayed on 7 Jun 2015

We loved

Good service and location, high quality fit out. The complimentary and high quality mini bar, and the lobby happy hour, were nice touches.

Rating

Stayed on 9 May 2015

We loved

The location was perfect, very centric and convenient.

Don’t expect

The rooms are not sound proof.

Rating

Stayed on 31 Jan 2015

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