Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Melbourne Day 2 and Mantra on the Park

Mantra on the Park 

I have stayed in Melbourne 3 times now and the first two times I went for the weekend I stayed at the Jasper Hotel which was quite nice but for our girls trip I wanted to try something a bit different. We booked in advance and we wanted to pay on arrival instead of upfront. We also wanted to have a hotel room that would accommodate everyone as we had a group of 4 and wanted 4 single beds if we could get them. We were also after a place that had good parking facilities as I was scared of parking in Melbourne. 

We scanned the website for a few weeks on websites such as Hotels Combined and Trivago and we also researched using the ever handy Google for good hotels in the CBD of Melbourne. I only knew a few streets in Melbourne as previous trips I was with my husband so we didn't spend a crazy amount of time shopping so I also had to do some research on the best shopping lanes and centres and tried to book a hotel that was also close to these places so we could get everywhere on foot or tram. 

After a while we settled on Mantra on the Park which was located on Exhibition Street and from the pictures had a wonderful view of the park which I remembered visiting the last time I went on holiday there. 
The Hotel View

Mantra on the Park was a wonderful hotel. The staff were very friendly and helpful. We booked a 2 bedroom apartment which had one room with a double bed and the second room had two single beds. The room was made up to accommodate a family which I thought was great. It was very handy having two bathrooms and the kitchen was stocked with everything you needed to cook at the hotel and not worry about going out for dinner etc every night. 
Living Area
Living Area
The balcony view of the park and city was gorgeous and the main bathroom included a washing machine and dryer for your own use. 

The only things I can say that were disappointing were the room service (even that wasn't terrible) and that we had to pay an extra $25 a day to have wifi in the room. They came in to make the beds etc but they didn't take rubbish or neaten up the room like other hotels do. There was a dishwasher in the kitchen but we didn't know how to work it. Staff didn't clean any of them they were just left for us as well. 

Apart from that the room was great the service was friendly and helpful and the indoor pool was a decent size. We didn't have much time so we didn't try out the pool and sauna or the gym but we did have a look and they seemed quite good. 

Overall I would give them an 8/10 

Day 2 Adventures

After the big drive on the Thursday up to Melbourne we were all exhausted and slept very well that night so when we woke up on Day 2 we were up early and ready to just have some fun shopping. We decided not to have breakfast at the hotel as it wasn't included in our stay. So first up we walked out onto the street and walked into a little cafe about three shops down to grab a coffee and brekky and to read the map of Melbourne. The cafe was very cute and staff were nice. I chose poached eggs on toast with some avocado and bacon with a coffee.

From there we walked down to Emporium Melbourne which was HUGE and we found soooooo many of our favourite shops including Nike, Adidas, T2, Victoria's Secret, TopShop, Armani, Chanel and so so so much more. Even though they were all our favourite shops we were mainly shopping for bargains so we didn't buy a lot from there. 

Next stop was to H&M which we had heard was really good from a friend. This place was absolute madness and I couldn't stand it. Think of those news reports you see on TV of thousands and thousands of shoppers all fighting to look at items and attempting to manoeuvre prams and children through the crowds......it was horrible and I hated the experience. I couldn't enjoy any of the clothes because by the time you got to look at it you were already exhausted from the trek of 5 steps dodging shoppers. The other girls managed to buy a few bits but I just didn't even want to stand in the huge line to the checkout. 

In the morning when we originally planned our day, we had planned to catch a tram after H&M to take us to the DFO but after the H&M disaster I just wanted lots and lots of fresh air so we decided to walk it and if we got too tired we would grab a tram. The walk was actually not that bad and it was nice to look around and check out the city as we walked. 

We arrived at the DFO with sore legs and super tired BUT when we walked into the doors and discovered the amazingly huge factory outlet we were given the boost we needed to carry on. The DFO was more than I imagined it would be. There were so so so many stores all with huge sales on.

This was were we managed to get all the bargains on our holiday. I picked up an awesome faux fur lined jacket from Forever New that was originally $150 but I grabbed it for just $70 on a faulty rack because it was missing one button on the shoulder. That was one of the happiest moments of my life......no joke! In Calvin Klein we decided to grab some underwear for our partners back home and they had 90% off!! It was insane, obviously the line was HUGE but it was worth it and if you joined their mailing list on the day you gt an extra 5% off. So the one underwear for $50 was just $4.50!! I was waiting for someone to say that I read the signs wrong but no! haha

Other stores we loved in the DFO were, Authentic Factory Outlet, Adidas, Nike, Factorie, Peter Alexander, TopShop, Vans, Jay Jays and more.

As we left the venue we realised just how long we had been shopping for because it was night time and all the bars and clubs were starting to fill with the nightlife coming into action. We started the walk back with all our shopping but we were so exhausted that we grabbed a taxi from outside the Casino entrance. This only ended up costing us about $16.

We rested in the hotel for a bit and then grabbed some chinese for dinner from the restaurant that we had eaten at the night before but we got takeaway so we could eat it at the hotel.

Our first shopping day was a huge success but there were still things we wanted to shop for so we agreed to do just a bit more shopping the next day on the streets.

Stay tuned tomorrow for Day 3 in Melbourne with more shopping

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