The last few weeks have been busier than normal for us. We’ve been working tirelessly on our caravan renovation whenever we can, pretty much spending all weekends and nights after work out in our garage. So last weekend we thought we’d have a little staycation in Melbourne, get out of our house and have a break from our normal routine.
If you haven’t heard of Notel before it’s an incredible concept and an amazing space. On the roof top of a car park, in the middle of Melbourne’s city is where you will find Notel, where you get to check into a vintage airstream van for the night that has been beautifully remodelled as the ultimate overnight stay.
Definitely created for people who like a sense of adventure and exploring something new, Notel is the ultimate hidden hot spot right in the middle of the city. If you didn’t know it was there it’s incredibly easy to miss. Sitting three stories tall it’s just out of your eye-line if you’re walking past on the sidewalk below, making it easy to unknowingly pass by if you’re not looking out for it.
Notel claims that it is ‘like no hotel you have ever been to’, and they’re absolutely right about that.
Checking in to Notel
There is no concierge at Notel, no one checking you in for the night or making sure you find the place okay. Everything you need to know about your stay is clearly communicated with you before you arrive and then it’s up to you to figure it out. We loved the extra sense of secrecy and adventure for our staycation.
Fry’s Fast car park directly below the hotel offers you free valet car parking during your stay, and we pulled into the car park about 5 minutes before it closed for the day. Once we were parked our car was locked away for the night and we were left to explore the city on foot and public transport like we would any other city we visit around the world!
Next to the car park you’ll see a pink and white spray painted door that says NO ENTRY. Notel lies just behind this door – and up a few flights of stairs! A couple of days before we arrived our virtual key was sent to us via the JustIN mobile app, so we were able to let ourselves in and find out all the information we needed for our stay.
The rooftop space that Notel has created is just absolutely beautiful. There are six airstream vans perched up on the roof, surrounded by palm trees, cacti and bright pink carpet. The wall behind the vans was spray painted all different shades of pink and white, and each van had their own little decking space with an outdoor setting so that you could soak up the late afternoon sun and chill.
Inside the airstreams are completely decked out. They have a super comfy double bed, heaps of space to stand up and move around, and they are even equipped with their own (very spacious) bathroom with a shower and toilet.
Each airstream also comes with a stocked fridge of complimentary beer, wine and snacks for your stay, as well as free wifi, an iPad pro to use as entertainment for the evening with Netflix already loaded and even a HP Sprocket photo printer, so you can print off some of your photos from your experience straight away!
If you’re feeling a little bit extra and want that above and beyond experience, Notel has one extra special van called the airstream with benefits that has it’s own spa, private decking area and beautiful views over the city.
We absolutely loved our little van home for the night, it made us want to get our own van reno done ASAP so we can hit the road!
Exploring Melbourne like a local
One of the best things about staying at Notel is that it encourages you to get out and explore more of Melbourne during your stay. Without our car we spent the night walking around the city, checking out some of the cities favourite spots and generally just seeing so much more than we do when we drive around the city.
In case you don’t know where to start, Notel even have you covered with a few complimentary offers to get you started –
Head to Holey Moley Golf Club for a very unique mini golf experience, where you have 9 free holes as a Notel guest. Holey Moley is known for it’s crazy holes and even crazier cocktail concoctions, which can be pretty elaborate with lollies, flowers and chocolates pouring out of them.
Also included is a 1/2 hour game card for B.Lucky & Sons, Melbourne’s newest adults-only arcade and cocktail bar. Hit the cocktails while you take on your mates in all kinds of games for something a little bit different.
Most of Melbourne is within walking distance of Notel, so you can explore heaps of the city during your stay. We headed to Holey Moley to kick off our night for a friendly game of mini-golf, before checking out the Winter Village at Federation Square and then finding somewhere to grab dinner for the night.
The city of Melbourne is also a free tram zone, which means you can jump on and off the trams without a ticket at all in the middle of the city. The tram stations will let you know if it is part of the free zone or not and it just makes it so much easier to get around the city.
Without any of life’s normal distractions we were actually able to fully check out and disconnect from all our to-do lists and all the things going at home and immerse ourselves in our staycation. It’s not something that we get to do very often and it was such a great way to recharge and find a little more love for our home city. We had such a great time exploring and getting to know more of our own city, the way we do when we’re exploring a new one.
Booking your own Staycation
The best part about deciding to take a staycation is that it doesn’t matter where in the world you live. It’s just about getting out of your house, changing up your environment and taking some time to yourself to relax and unwind.
We booked our staycation only about five days in advance and Hotels.com gave us a great range of properties and different options to check out when we were trying to choose somewhere to stay. Their booking process is so easy to use and understand, and they make finding the perfect place to stay so simple.
As you’re scrolling through their list of properties you can see so much information about each property in your chosen city. It shows you a photo, the price for your stay, the address, star rating, how far away it is from the city centre, whether you get any rewards from your booking and even some of the booking terms (like where you get free cancellation on your reservation). To help you narrow down your choices there are also heaps of options to filter by, so you don’t have to scroll through too many different options!
If you’re looking for the ultimate staycation spot in Melbourne, definitely check out Notel. The urban oasis they have created out of such a wasted space is truly amazing and it’s just one of those unique little gems that keeps visitors flocking to Melbourne each year.
This post was written in partnership with Hotels.com
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