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Mantra on the Park located on Melbourne's Exhibition Street offers self-contained apartments conveniently located close to parks and museums.The 2-bedroom family apartments are popular with families, as is the heated indoor swimming pool.
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I am not sure how many people would ‘holiday' within a 5 minute walk of where they work, but when a special deal came up at Melbourne's Mantra on the Park, I could not resist.
Mantra on the Park is located at the northern end of the CBD, diagonally opposite the Carlton Gardens. In fact, our room had a beautiful view of the dome of the Royal Exhibition Building – particularly spectacular lit up at night.
With a Wotif special deal of $189 for a two-bedroom apartment, we spent the first weekend of the school holidays in the city.
It is strange how places can change depending on your situation –it was actually nice to be a tourist in my home town, as opposed to a commuter.
We dropped off the car at the hotel (on-site parking is available for an additional cost) before our check-in and made our way to my son's much anticipated visit to Federation Square and the ACMI Game Masters Exhibition.
Returning later in the afternoon, we checked in and were impressed with our apartment, which included a decent size kitchen, dining table and lounge area with enough comfy seating for a family of four.
The main bedroom was quite roomy and had its own ensuite.
The second bedroom featured two single beds and the main bathroom was a decent size with a bath, and importantly for any family away for an extended period of time, a washing machine and dryer.
With updated decor as part of a recent major refurbishment, the apartment was also clean and comfortable (although I felt the bathrooms could probably do with a re-grout to complete the picture).
The apartment also had a small balcony. Although I am not a fan of balconies with children, mine are a bit older now. And what I liked about our apartment on level 6 is that there was a mezzanine garden not far below, so I did not feel nervous at all.
It can be hard to find hotels suited to families in the CBD, but with its own indoor swimming pool, which was of course well-used by my husband and children, and the lovely Carlton Gardens and playground just a short walk away, Mantra on the Park is a good option.
Other attractions within a short walking distance include the Museum of Victoria and the Old Melbourne Gaol. It is also close to the free city circle tram.
There are also a variety of food options close by, including Chinatown and Carlton's Lygon Street. For those wanting to self-cater, there is a large Safeway supermarket in the QV retail precinct.
Note: This accommodation was independently booked and fully paid for. Views are my own.