Home at the Mansion is a great place to stay as a first stop in Australia…it’s big enough to be spacious, but small enough that you can meet people pretty easily, whether in the kitchen, garden or lounge areas.
I stayed in a 6 bed mixed dorm and it was plenty big enough. The beds were ridiculously comfortable, there were more than enough lockers (bring your own lock) and there was even a flat screen tv up on the wall, in a position so that every person in the room can see it from their bed. For this I paid AU$32 per night which, while it may be a bit more expensive than some of the other hostels in the city, was a pretty good deal considering I was there over the Christmas period.
The hostel has a pretty huge and well equipped kitchen and dining area, with a few large fridges and enough space to store all your food for the week (or however long you are staying)…just make sure you try no to cook at the same time as everyone else it can get a little crowded at times. There is also a tv area with big bean bags and, at the other end of the building, another tv all set up with a playstation for anyone to use.
One of the best things about the hostel though was the big garden, with plenty of tables, benches and chairs to lounge around in when the sun comes out. There’s also a ping pong table and a big BBQ that any guest can use (as long as you clean it afterwards). The atmosphere in this place is excellent, there’s a really chilled out vibe, as a lot of the guests are on Working Holiday Visas and have been there for a while, so it really does feel like home.
The location is also a bonus, right next to a tram stop and within walking distance to all of Melbourne’s main attractions and shopping areas. They have hundreds of leaflets and maps available and are always willing to lend a helping hand when it comes to deciding what to do for the day. In the lobby/reception area there are 4 computers available to use, and there is WiFi throughout the building…however, and this is my only negative point…the internet is not free – they charge $4 for an hour, either for WiFi or on the computers.
Internet costs aside, Home @ The Mansion is definitely a place I would stay again, and I highly recommend it.
Dates stayed: 22 – 28 Dec 2011
Value for Money: 85%