On a recent quick trip to Melbourne I spent a couple of nights at the newly-refurbished Mercure Treasury Gardens, formerly known as the Mercure Spring Street, and which used to be the Sheraton Vista.
Having stayed previously at the Mercure Sydney Potts Point -- a similarly central city hotel -- I was interested to see how the two compared.
Location & Impressions
The Mercure sits on Spring Street between Flinders and Collins at the eastern end of Melbourne's CBD Grid, overlooking the leafy Treasury Gardens.
The building itself isn't much of a looker from the outside, and the lobby is a little under-loved, especially the section leading up to the elevators:
Helpful and friendly staff had me quickly checked in, though, and heading upstairs to my room.
As expected, the Mercure room was compact and basic, but I was impressed by the effort of a bit of flair: screen-printed headboard with arty Melbourne photograph, cheerful striped rug, and bright accents.
The remarkably comfortable bed took up most of the room, with a corner chair and TV table/desk comprising the rest of the furniture.
A luggage rack was a useful touch, although you wouldn't want to try to out a front-opening hardshell suitcase on it and then try to squeeze past.
Top marks for an iHome iPhone/iPod dock, plus power points on each side of the bed, but marks off for only one free power point at the desk.
With a Spring Street-side "garden view" room on a high floor, I appreciated the view over leafy Treasury Gardens and wasn't bothered by any traffic noise. If you're after a 'crash and dash' overnight, a "city view" room will be fine.
I was pleasantly surprised by the bathroom, which was a reasonable size and with a walk-in shower rather than a shower-over-tub.
Toiletries were the usual Mercure own-brand tubes -- fine but unremarkable.
The desk in the room is mostly taken up by the large flatscreen TV, which means that working in the room is a bit of a squeeze unless you push the TV off to one side.
If you travel frequently to hotels that use this awful system, my recommendation continues to be to pick up a mifi-style pocket 3G-wifi device instead of using Reivernet.
Lime restaurant sits on the ground floor and is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, plus room service.
For lunch in Lime I had a fairly average salad, while the room service club sandwich (ever a classic option for the business traveller) was good with especially moreish fries.
If you're travelling during peak office party seasons like Christmas, you may find it booked out for dinner, though. The front desk staff let me know that Lime wasn't open for dinner one evening of my stay when I checked in, so I knew I needed to head out for an alternative.
The breakfast buffet was decent enough, with a praiseworthy range of options and notably good eggs, but coffee was from a fairly insipid machine.
Although there's a corner chair on the far side of the bed, it's not an especially comfortable one -- I ended up propped on the bed watching a film.
But Treasury Gardens is just across the road, all of Melbourne's CBD sits within a short walk and the hotel is particularly well-served by the city's tram network.
For a crash-and-dash quick overnight stay, the Mercure Treasury Gardens is more than sufficient, with comfortable and stylish rooms plus a decent bathroom and shower.
While this is one of the better mid-level hotels around -- and it's hard to beat the location for convenience -- the lack of full desk is a drawback for business travellers hoping to get much work done in their room.
About John Walton
Aviation journalist and travel columnist John took his first long-haul flight when he was eight weeks old and hasn't looked back since. Well, except when facing rearwards in business class.