Experience Bella Apartment Hotel review - Southbank, Melbourne, Australia

25 January 2018

Hi kawans(friends)! On my first Australia travelogue posting (READ HERE) I mentioned that I'll review the places I stayed at during my Aussie trip individually right? So let's keep this part short so you could quickly start reading my review on Experience Bella Hotel Apartments located at Southbank, Melbourne.

Here's the hotel apartment's exterior. I didn't notice the photo was this bad T_T but I found a better photo from Bella Apartment's website so I'll throw it in below haha! For those whom are driving like us, I've listed a few parking options below as well.

Since we're traveling as a family of four, we booked their Deluxe Two-Bedroom Apartment. A few reasons why we chose to stay here was mainly because of it's convenient location, reasonable pricing, and decent online rating. Now allow me to feed you with more details and photos.

1. Great location
2. Spacious & clean rooms
3. Affordable
4. Friendly staff
5. Nice view (subject to availability)

1. May experience minor room defects if you're unlucky
2. Might encounter some irresponsible guests
3. Long wait for lift during check-out hour (only one lift was working when I was there)
4. Limited parking lots available in their carpark (Alternatives will be listed below!!)

01 - The location
One of Experience Bella Hotel Apartments' best selling point would be it's location. For those planning to check out Crown Casino and Crown entertainment complex, Bella Apartment would be a good choice to stay if you don't wish to burn a hole in your pocket on accommodation. The place is literally only 5 minutes walk to Crown Casino with 90% of the route covered. So no worries for Melbourne's rainy weather.

Best part of staying next to a casino is that you don't have to worry about food. A wide variety of food is available 24 hours at Crown. Apart from fancy fine dining, their food court & fast food selections are also pretty good. On the opposite of the hotel, there's also a mini Asian Supermarket. Whenever we're traveling, we kinda have a thing for instant noodle supper. So if you're like us, this Asian Supermarket has quite a variety of instant noodles & snacks to choose from.

For those whom booked their rooms with breakfast included, breakfast is served at Cafe Bella. It's right at the entrance so you definitely won't miss it. For more details you can check out their website. Our booking did not come with breakfast so unfortunately I won't be able to share my two cents on their food haha.

02 - The Apartment
Our deluxe two-bedroom unit comes with 2 bedrooms, one toilet, a kitchen, and a living hall area. Here's what you see after entering the apartment. (minus the bags and coats la of course haha) We browsed through travel booking websites and most of the hotels/apartments similar to Bella Apartments' rates looked a little old and shabby haha ^^" So it was great that Bella Hotel Apartments turned out to be pretty spacious, clean and modern :D

The kitchen has pretty much everything you need from a stove, oven, microwave, kettle, fridge, and utensils.

mirror selfie #01

This is the master bedroom. If you're sleeping in this room, you get to sleep facing the city view. The door you see in the picture connects to washroom.

The master bedroom also has a TV

mirror selfie #02

Bathroom amenities.

Open the door, and you get the washroom. Inside that cupboard you could find a washing machine + dryer. Hair dryer is also available.

Shower area

So we stayed at Bella Apartment for two non-consecutive nights (meaning we stayed one night at Bella, went to great ocean road for a night, and went back to Bella for another night hahaha) and my overall stay was quite pleasant. The only drawback with the first night's room was the faulty toilet door that refused to close properly so we placed the bin there for support haha.

mirror selfie #03. Swear this is the last okkk

Here's the second bedroom. On the right is a full mirror wardrobe. (not in pic)

Noticed how the previous photo has 2 sleeping pillows but the one above has 4? Yeah. So it's the same second bedroom but during my 2nd night stay in a different unit haha. The toilet door closes and locks fine in this unit. In fact this unit was actually in perfect condition! So I guess one thing Bella Apartments should improve on is their consistency but I guess even for big hotels minor defects are bound to happen.

03 - Affordable
When we made our booking, we paid an average of RM620-RM680 per night (weekday nights). As the neighbouring more luxurious accommodations were going for about RM1k+ per night, compared to that Bella Apartment was already considered a much affordable choice. And although there are a super small selection of slightly cheaper options compared to Bella, we preferred Bella's minimalist modern concept.

A trick is to always book your hotel a few months in advance. Remember to set a reminder on your phone before the free cancellation date just in case you've decided to make last minute changes.

04 - Friendly staff
Not quite sure if this was something to highlight since in general most people in Australia were very friendly. But simply said, the hotel staffs here were pretty friendly.

I mentioned above that the city view is subjected to availability. Lucky for us, during our two nights stay at Bella, both rooms we got had the city view. But since we were out most of the time we never really got to appreciate this view enough :')

05 - Parking Options?
Lastly, since we rented a rental car for our trip, we obviously needed a carpark. So for travelers like us whom rented a rental car for our trip, here are a few parking options you could consider.

1. The Bella hotel apartment's covered carpark (parking lots are very limited)
2. Park at Crown Multi-level carpark.
3. Outdoor space under the bridge next to Experience Bella. (very limited parking lots + I don't recommend this but a staff suggested this so I'mma just throw it in)

After weighing the pros and cons on the two other options, we chose to park at Crown Casino's multi-level carpark. Since the apartment's carpark is super limited, we didn't want to bet on our luck. Moreover, we only found out that they had a covered carpark after we asked the staff if there are any other parking options other than Crown's Multi level carpark. While we were at the topic, a staff told us that we could park at the outdoor space under the bridge next to Bella Apartments, I was glad that we didn't opt for this cause I just read someone's tripadvisor review about getting a ticket when they parked there lol. Seriously, the last thing you want is getting fined in AUD when you're earning MYR.

But hey, Crown's Multi-level carpark's pretty convenient. The multi-level carpark to Experience Bella was only a short 5 minutes walk and luckily the carpark lift was the same lift near the exit closest to Experience Bella Apartments. All we had to do was drag our bags to the lift, head down to Ground floor (if I did not recall wrongly), you'll see an arcade, exit through the door on the right, turn right, keep walking straight towards the main road and you'll see Bella Hotel Apartment on your right.

Parking rates for Crown Multi-level carpark:

Multi-Level Parking - Standard Rates
0-5 Hours - $6.00
5-7 Hours - $9.00
7-24 Hours - $16.00
Daily Maximum - $16.00
Lost Ticket - $50.00

Multi-Level Parking - Peak Rates
Friday and Saturday, 11am - midnight: Flat Rate - $20.00*
Peak event days, public holiday eves and public holidays - $20.00

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Final Verdict: 7.5/10

Overall I really enjoyed my stay at Bella and kinda wished the rooms in the other hotels and service apartments we stayed in Aussie were as new and modern like Bella's. Apart from the toilet door defect, one major downside was finding out that some irresponsible guest was having a party upstairs and threw glass down from their balcony. Can you imagine we were few minutes away from getting hit by glass?? Talk about first impressions. Good thing was the staff took actions swiftly, the police officers came by quickly to settle the situation upstairs, and no one got hurt.

Though to be honest, I have to put this in a fairer point of view. If you're staying right next to an entertainment complex, there's always a chance where you'll encounter irresponsible guests, it's all luck. Even if you were to pick a super expensive hotel, there's always that 1% chance where you'll run into such a situation if there's a balcony/large enough window. (now I know why most hotels' windows cannot open ahahaha) So the best advice I can give is just stay alert at all times.

Putting it that way, I believe that it all comes down to luck and despite that, I would still recommend Bella Hotel Apartments if you're looking for a place to stay for a fair price simply because the rooms are great, and the location is fantastic. Just be careful when ya walk la, you stay apartment also got people throw rubbish down right?

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Experience Bella Apartments
 250 City Rd, Southbank VIC 3006, Australia
+61 3 9667 0466

Crown Multi-level Parking
 8 Whiteman St, Southbank VIC 3006, Australia

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