No time for a big holiday but still need a break? We had a great family inner-city Melbourne getaway with our girls by booking last minute accommodation with Airbnb!
Inner City Melbourne Getaway
With no annual leave available but school holidays approaching, we decided on a mini weekend Melbourne getaway. I booked our accommodation with Airbnb and found a gorgeous apartment right in the heart of the city.
Booking through Airbnb
This was my first time booking through Airbnb. I found it an easy way to find and book our holiday and would definitely use it again for future accommodation bookings.
There is a bit of a process, although quite efficient, in registering with requirements of proving identity. I was happy to do this understanding that you are staying in other people’s home or properties and a good level of security is best for all parties.
1. Variety of Accommodation
There is a wide variety of accommodation on offer all over the world, to suit a variety of tastes, numbers of people, budgets and facilities.
2. Value for money
I thought our apartment was great value for money, costing less than two rooms or an equivalent twin share room in a hotel, but with the added facilities of an apartment with a complete kitchen, two bathrooms and living and dining area. It was styled and comforted with quality. Added touches like pantry and fridge essentials offered extra benefits.
3. Last minute
We were able to book this lovely apartment less than 2 weeks out from the start of school holidays.
4. Booking process easy
Once registered with Airbnb, you can communicate directly with the host and pay online. I found it to be a very easy booking process.
5. Review system
Unlike some other review systems, Airbnb encourages honesty by only publishing reviews once both the host and guest have submitted their comments. This enables you to read previous reviews and have some confidence that they are true and meaningful, to help in your decision to find the most suitable accommodation.
Good communication with the host is essential
Communication between the tenant and host really is the key to the success of Airbnb accommodation.
Overall, communication with my host was excellent and very timely.
I requested the possibility of an early check-in and this was kindly accommodated. Although the apartment was not quite ready with the cleaner still there, we were able to leave our bags in the apartment and head out to enjoy the day a little earlier.
If you are requiring car parking however, I would send a message to the host to confirm that it is available before booking, to avoid disappointment.
Our Airbnb Melbourne Apartment
We loved our two bedroom, two bathroom apartment in inner city Melbourne.
Ruth’s place is a gorgeous inner city apartment fitted stylishly with everything you need for some comfy time out. It’s in a great location to either walk or tram anywhere around inner city Melbourne to explore the sites and great restaurants on offer.
Brought our bathers to swim in the new 25m lap pool but instead, we got caught up in our apartment’s own bouldering area! Access to this unique spot with purpose built climbing walls, was a super feature of our accommodation!
Action in Melbourne
There are so many things to do in Melbourne! But with only a couple of days, we focused on those inner city attractions which we had not experienced together as a family before. Here are some highlights:
3. Melbourne Laneway Walk
We pretty much followed the City of Melbourne’s Arcades and Lanes walk which took you down the inner city restaurant and cafe-lined laneways, through to cute little shopping arcades dotted around inner city Melbourne. If you love to walk, there’s plenty to see and lots of yummy places to stop along the way for coffee or a bite to eat!
2. Other laneways of interest
There was graffiti art along the way on the laneway walk, but there are also other streets lined with wall art. One of the most popular spots is Hosier Lane which seems to undergo change whenever a new artist feels inclined. So take a pic if you like what you see, it might not be there next time!
3. Melbourne Food and Wine Festival
The annual Melbourne Food and Wine Festival was on during our mini Melbourne getaway. We extended our city walk to the Yarra Promenade where the River Graze hosted food and wine stalls.
Our girls particularly liked Sweet Alley where they devoured some holiday treats. The highlight was the Koko Black chocolate ice cream special! Sorry guys, it was gone before I had a chance to take a photo! But I did get a shot of the Dragon’s Breath (shown below). I wasn’t really sure about this one but our youngest seemed to like it. I think it was some sort of cereal puff served with liquid nitrogen so you would breath “smoke” from your nose and mouth while eating it! Very entertaining!
4. Escape Room
One of the highlights of our trip was the escape room experience at Orz Escape.
Whilst a minimalist operation, it was run by very friendly and helpful staff and we had such a great time! After reading about the rooms online, we chose the Vanished Carnivale escape challenge as it had the most success rate, albeit only 52%!
Being first-time escapees, I have to admit we were a bit slow off the mark as we really did not know what we were supposed to do and what was OK and not OK. Wouldn’t want to cheat! It was definitely a huge challenge for all of us, and we needed a bit of help. But in the end, we did manage to escape the room. Yay!!
Requiring teamwork, this was a fun family activity. But I would recommend that kids at least of teenage years, would enjoy it most.
We would love to do it again, although the two remaining rooms look seriously tough! The Endless Dream has only a 26% success rate and the Secret Invitation only 5%!!
TOP TIP: I purchased our tickets through Groupon which offered a significant discount to the normal ticket fee.
5. DFO Outlet shopping
And for the mandatory shopping during holidays, we headed to DFO South Wharf for some serious bargains! My eldest was super happy with her new Nike spikes at 50% RRP and my youngest added to her ever building Adidas collection!
Again, we walked there and back from our apartment but you can tram part of the way if you like.
Food in Melbourne
Melbourne is very well renown for its great coffee and food. We were so lucky to be staying so close to some amazing restaurants and cafes, all within walking distance from our apartment or a quick tram ride within the free city zone.
We had dumplings at Din Tai Fung and burgers at the Grand Trailer Park Taverna. But the two key highlights during our mini Melbourne getaway were a brekky/brunch we had at Higher Ground Melbourne and a dinner at MoVida Aqui.
Higher Ground Melbourne
Definitely worth a visit but be prepared to wait around 20-30 minutes for a table.
Happy to say that it was worth the wait as all our meals were delicious!
- Kale and Cauliflower Salad, Miso, Almond Hummus, Avocado, Poached Egg, Salted Seeds
- Slow cooked beans, Green Sauce of Pea and Spinach, Poached Eggs, Goats Feta, Crouton and Pine Nut
- Lamb Sauage Roll, Cucumber Pickle, Garlic, Anchovy Mayonnaise
- Spiced Cauliflower, Scrambled Eggs, Curry Leaf, Roasted Chilli, Housemade Flat Bread
If you like Spanish food, MoVida Aqui offers a wide variety of dishes. We especially loved the Spanish ham and chorizo! (Sorry, once again devoured before the camera!)
Benefits of weekend getaways
So if you don’t have time for a huge holiday, I can highly recommend a weekend getaway for some time out! We had such a great time on our mini Melbourne getaway. It really is worth just taking a couple of days out from your normal routine and a change of scenery.
And with Airbnb, I can honestly say that the options are wide and there is value on offer. I would definitely use it again to book our next trip.
This blog post was NOT sponsored by Airbnb. Airbnb did, however, sponsor an Instagram campaign of our mini Melbourne getaway. All comments and views expressed in this article are my own. For further information please refer to the Active + Nourished Disclosure Policy and Disclosure Statement.