Take a look at the best value hotels in Australia.
This small, independently-owned motel punches above its weight with clean, well-equipped rooms that come with kitchenettes and first-class service. Free Wi-Fi, daily housekeeping, a small saltwater swimming pool, and free bike rental are other amenities that make the Lazy Lizard Motor Inn excellent value. Those hoping to be in the heart of the action may be frustrated by its out-of-the-way location, but some might consider this a plus.
Cairns Coconut Holiday Resort is a sprawling resort that provides an affordable, all-in-one holiday destination for families, with a huge number of kids' amenities and some decent features for adults, too. There are two big outdoor pools and a water park that the kids will love, while adults might appreciate the fitness center and tennis court. A wide range of no-frills accommodation choices, from basic campsites to well-appointed villas, makes it easy to tailor a stay here to your specific needs and budget. However, those looking for urban thrills may wish they were closer to downtown Cairns.
As the name suggests, the mid-range Ashmore Palms Holiday Village is more like a village (or at least a small neighborhood) than a typical hotel, with 88 cabins and houses to choose from. All come with home-like amenities such as kitchens and living rooms, and many are designed with families in mind, offering bunk beds for kids. Facilities are aimed at those with children and include two small lagoon pools, two playgrounds, and regular kids' activities, often under the leadership of the hotel's costumed parrot mascot. Note that travelers should be ready to prepare their own meals, or drive to a nearby restaurant. Families who don't want to cook should consider Mantra on View Hotel instead, which has a cafeteria and is close to lots of restaurants.
The 50-room Alto Hotel on Bourke is a pleasant upper-middle-range property located in the heart of Melbourne’s CBD, offering easy access to dining, shopping, attractions, and public transport. It offers a variety of room types, ranging from compact queen rooms with flat-screen TVs, mini-fridges, kettles, and free Wi-Fi, to three-bedroom duplex apartments with full kitchens. Decor is simple and functional rather than sleek, but all rooms are comfortable, clean, and well-soundproofed. The lounge serves a tasty breakfast spread for a fee, while the library is a cozy spot with a fireplace, free coffee and candy, and comfy seating. There is little else in the way of amenities, but on-site parking is convenient, and electric cars can be charged for free. Business travelers may want to compare rates at the Pegasus Apart’hotel, which features a small gym, full restaurant, and rooftop terrace.
The Radisson on Flagstaff Gardens is a simple, upscale hotel by a pretty public park in the northwestern corner of the Central Business District. Spacious rooms have understated modern decor and free Wi-Fi, but only Premium rooms and above come with French presses, iPod docks, and bathrobes. A well-regarded restaurant and decent fitness facilities add to the hotel's appeal. Its quiet location contributes to a peaceful atmosphere, although it is a bit removed from area attractions. Those who prefer to be more central may want to compare rates with Citadines on Bourke or the Rydges Melbourne.
This 42-room upper-middle-range hotel may be small but it’s big on spunk and personality. There aren’t many features to speak of, and instead the hotel focuses on freebies (minibar drinks, welcome snacks, breakfast, Wi-Fi) and rooms that have high style and good technology. But some bathrooms are small (and they all have tiny sinks), and guests have complained about the noise from the garbage trucks. For an eclectic boutique that has more features and is more centrally located, consider the Adelphi Hotel, though you may pay a bit more; if you want to explore outside the CBD (in Melbourne’s hipper neighborhoods), the Art Series hotels bring the funk and more features for a price similar to Ovolo Laneways.
Popular with backpackers, the Sydney Harbour YHA is a budget-friendly hostel with both dorms and private rooms. Each clean room or dorm has its own bathroom with a modern walk-in shower, and guests get access to extensive facilities including an enormous kitchen, coin-operated laundry room, theater with selection of DVDs, and rooftop terrace with lounge chairs and regular, inexpensive barbecues. It's in a central -- but expensive -- area, so guests on strict budgets may prefer to cook their meals on-site. Wi-Fi, while not free, is cheap. For a hostel, this property is clean, inviting, and has a touch of style that other hostels seriously lack.
With striking prints by Australian artist Charles Blackman and minimalist decor throughout, the sleekly upscale 209-room Blackman feels more like a downtown art gallery than a high-end hotel. The spacious, up-to-date rooms, all with balconies and designer furnishings, are comfortable and include inspired artwork, but the bathrooms are small. About a 40-minute walk from the Central Business District, or CBD, the hotel has two restaurants -- Depot de Pain, a French-style cafe, and Classico, an Italian style restaurant that also serves as a bar.
The four-pearl Artique Surfers Paradise houses 176 air-conditioned self-catering one- to three-bedroom modern apartments with fully equipped kitchens that include ovens, dishwashers, and plenty of cookware. This giant high-rise is within walking distance of the beach and Surfer’s Paradise shopping center, with its many shops and restaurants, and there's a tram stop nearby. All units have balconies and floor-to-ceiling windows, and some have wraparound corner windows and ocean views. Hotel facilities include a heated outdoor pool and barbecue area, a modest fitness center and spa with a sauna and steam room, a theater room for watching movies, and a virtual golf area open to golf club members. Be aware that Wi-Fi comes with a fee, and when we visited, some of the rooms had unpleasant drain odors.
The three-and-a-half-pearl Paradise Links Resort is a self-catering hotel on the outskirts of Port Douglas, a 10-minute walk from Four Mile Beach. The resort’s 68 attractive, contemporary units range from standard hotel rooms to sprawling four-bedroom villas. It’s worth noting that while most have fully equipped kitchens, living rooms, and dining tables, the Links Hotel Rooms don't have cooking facilities. Although there are no dining options on-site, many are within a 10-minute drive. The resort does have two attractive, shady pools set in the grounds, with adjacent barbecue grills for guest use, as well as a tennis court. The resort is a bus ride away from Port Douglas proper, so travelers looking to stay closer to the center of town may want to try the Peppers Beach Club Port Douglas.
Maldives Resort is a three-and-a-half-pearl hotel located in Main Beach that offers apartment-style accommodations within a short walk of the coast. Its 25 units are tidy and modern, though a bit antiseptic, with no details to make them feel cozy. Still, they're pleasant spaces, and all apartments feature full kitchens, washer/dryers, separate living rooms, and balconies, and some have ocean views. Amenities are limited -- there's no on-site restaurant or gym, and Wi-Fi isn't free -- but there's an outdoor pool with a whirlpool hot tub, and a grill for barbecuing. Most guests here are older couples, and the hotel doesn't offer much for families. Travelers looking for a property with more kid appeal may wish to consider Paradise Resort Gold Coast.
The Moorings on Cavill Avenue offers mid-range apartments overlooking the Nerang River, three blocks from Surfers Paradise's main drag. The property maintains clean, somewhat outdated and mismatched rooms that vary in decor from one unit to the next, but it's a particularly good deal for families in the low season. Rooms are generally bright and are cleaned once a week. All have washers and dryers along with full kitchens. On-site amenities include an outdoor saltwater pool with a barbecue area, a hot tub, and a kids' pool. The more upscale apartments at Q1 Resort and Spa sometimes aren't too much pricier and are also worth considering.
This three-pearl, 49-room hotel is located on the edge of Hobart's CBD. There are plenty of shops, bars, and restaurants within walking distance, and the Salamanca Wharf area is a 15-minute walk away. It's a solid value option, offering simple lodgings and basic facilities. Rooms are clean and equipped with flat-screen TVs, air-conditioning, minibars, and free Wi-Fi. Spacious four-bedroom, off-site apartments are available for families or large groups, adding kitchenettes and extra living space. There are no leisure or fitness facilities, but the hotel has a reasonably-priced restaurant serving breakfast and dinner in a casual setting. There's also free on-site parking, coin-operated laundry facilities, and a tour desk. As an alternative, travelers might like to consider rates at the Salamanca Inn, which adds an indoor swimming pool and hot tub.