Melbourne has a large range of hotels and accommodations but nice hotels can sometimes charge some pretty scary prices.
If you are on a limited budget or you simply want to find a good value hotel, then you may want to do a little bit of research before booking your accommodation.
Over the years during my exploration of Melbourne and Australia, I have found some good tips about how to find cheap hotels and accommodations in Melbourne.
There are plenty of websites which are doing online accommodation booking.
You may already be familiar with Wotif.com given it is a huge worldwide booking website.
But if you are not, you should definitively try it for your next gateway.
Why I like using Wotif?
1) Wotif has probably the largest choice of hotels with around 260,000 bookings per month. Most of the hotels will be listed on Wotif even some small B&B.
2) There are some amazing deals on Wotif. Espcially if you can offer yourself to travel during the week or off peak period. Up to 60% sometimes even on some high end hotels.
Do not miss the Wot Hotel? Mystery deal. You can have a 5 stars hotel in the CBD for $160 or an en-suite room for less than $90. If the fact you do not know the exact location of hotel before the booking is a concern for you. Believe me Melbourne CBD is quite small most of the hotels in the CBD or at the city fringes are well located.
3) I love the map functionality. It could be time consuming to find a hotel at the perfect location. Wotif will show all the accommodations on the map and you can zoom in to find the one that suits your needs.
4) Wotif has a simple and robust online booking system.
Some websites present some great deals but you cannot book online. Others have a very clunky booking system.
Wotif works, just works! I never had an issue with them. They charge $5 for each booking but because you can have a good deal it is usually worthy it.
If you like dinning out, movie, travel and you are planning to live in Melbourne for some time, then the Entrainment Book is probably the best guide you can have to great offers on what you like.
The book contains hundreds of valuable 'up to 50% off' and '2-for-1' offers from many of the restaurants, hotel accommodation, travel and much more!
There is one book for each major city of Australia and it is distributed exclusively through a number of fund-raising and community groups in your local area such as schools, sport centres. Most of medium, large size companies will sale it as well.
The book costs you $65 each year but believe me it will make you so much savings.
For example if you dine out with your partner you will save easily $30 with the 50% off offer or '2 for 1' offer.
It is great for restaurants because not only you will get a great discount for the restaurants you like but you can also discover plenty of new restaurants in Melbourne by following the book.
Where I got the most of savings with this book is for travel. Travel and accommodation offers are usually valid for whole Australia and New Zealand.
For example, I had more than $200 discount when I booked the motorhome for a week in Northern Territory.
There is a online booking system for accommodations on their website. This is always where I go first when I need to travel.
You will find some cheap hotels as well as great deals for some nice hotels.
With the Entertainment card you can make the booking without paying the full price in advance.
Like every big city in the world Melbourne has plenty of hostels or backpackers.
They are usually the cheapest option you can find if you travel alone. A bed in a dorm room shared with 6 to 8 people will be charged around $35 per night. Toilet, showers and kitchen are also shared.
Most of young people travelling around Australia are familiar with these accommodations. They are not only for young people.
I personally think if you travel alone or if you pay only for yourself Hostel is probably one of the cheapest options you can get.
You can also have a double room in most of the hostels. They are very simple double rooms with just one bed. Some of them are ensuite with a simple shower but most of them will ask you to use the shared bathroom. You can expect to buy around $60 for a double room. If you are a couple you may want to do some research as I said before you can find some good ensuite cheap hotel room for less than $90.
And if you travel with family or with more than 2 people you can definitively find other great cheap accommodation options. So, Hostels are not the cheapest option for any type of travellers.
Unfortunately some of them are not very well managed. So if "party all night and get drunk" is not your only goal then you need to avoid some of these hostels.
Do not get me wrong, I have been to many Hostels around the world. And I love the atmosphere in some of the well managed Hostels. Sharing the Kitcken is a great way to meet people. Some of the cheap activities organised by the hostel are great values.
Some of hostels you can find in Melbourne and surrounding are outstanding.
Do not want to share a dorm room with others? Prefer some kind of comfort when you travel?
Especially if you travel with family or friends. You can find a nice one bedroom apartment sleeping up to 4 for $150 per night. Do the maths yourself: This is less than $38 per person.
The serviced apartment or holiday rental house are often home away from home. They usually come with a full equipped kitchen (fridge, microwave, oven and dishwasher), BBQ and TV.
They are also a great option if you want to reduce your travel cost because you can buy some food in the local shops and cook your meals yourself.
The website which has the most complete list of Holiday Rental Accommodation properties online in Australia is www.Stayz.com
This website has a huge list of properties but there is no online booking system. So you need to contact the owner through their forms. Unfortunately some owners do not update the availability calendar on the website and they can take a long time to come back to you.
I personally prefer finding the holiday rental apartment or house through word of mounth. See some of Serviced Apartments or Holiday Rental Accommodation tried by me or others.
There are some great Holiday Parks within an easy drive from Melbourne city centre.
They propose usually a large range of cabin sleeping up to 6 or 7 people from luxury ~$200 to budget ~$100.
You can also come with your own caravan or get one of the powered or unpowered sites for camping.
These parks are usually a great option for family with sometime swimming pool and BBQ area.
Because they are a little bit away from the city you may be able to enjoy the wildlife and natural attractions of a bush park.
Some of them are accessible via public transport but you may need to rent a car to get to most of them.
You will find plenty of holiday parks if you go exploring the gorgeous regional Victoria.
Holiday Parks are cheap accommodation options around Melbourne.
Here is one example of these holiday parks around Melbourne. There is plenty of others.