The Brady Hotel Jones Lane: Stay ‘business class’ in Melbourne for under $200 a night.

Brady Hotels Jones Lane lives down Little Lonsdale Street.

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Brady Hotels Jones Lane lives down Little Lonsdale Street.

For a Melbourne mini-break you’d be hard-pressed to find a better offering than the Brady Hotel Jones Lane. Location? Tick. Really good value and rooms with a nice design edge? Double tick. And warm welcome to boot. So let’s spend a night at the Brady…

The place

It’s called the Brady Hotel Jones Lane though really it’s on Little Lonsdale Street, one of Melbourne’s more well-known lanes. Which drops you in prime position for exploring the city. It starts right on your doorstep: we enjoyed the newly developed Wesley Place ‘urban park’ next door, built around the heritage Wesley Church which dates back to the 1850s.

The old Caretaker’s Cottage is now a cool late-night bar to hang out in, The Manse is one of the area’s two superb cafés, plus there’s green space and a lovely historical narrative to dive into as you wander around (deep archaeology on the site. has offered up over 100,000 artefacts that tell the story of Melbourne’s growth). All that and you’re still only 50 meters from your hotel.

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The beds are fabulously comfortable.

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The beds are fabulously comfortable.

The space

Self-rated at 4.5 stars, and while that might be half a star on the optimistic side, I wouldn’t quibble with our Aussie in-laws. The vibe in the public areas is minimalist which I liked. Who wants to pay extra for a grand lobby and other superfluous bells and whistles? Not me.

The front desk staff work quickly and efficiently from small pods to get you checked in, so you’re stretched out on the hotel’s extra comfy king beds in no time. It’s not completely no frills though, there’s still a gym and a guest laundry.

The room

Ours was a Business King room and really nailed what you want in a flying visit: super well-thought-out layout, with an actually useful desk (USB plugs in the wall, excellent!), cleverly compact bathrooms and designer furniture and fittings. Oh and that big comfy bed, with quality linen (no, I didn’t count the threads!).

Bathrooms feature designer fittings.

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Bathrooms feature designer fittings.

The amenities

All rooms have large flat-screen TVs, bar fridge, iron, safe and strong high-speed wi-fi. Nice products in the bathroom by Australian brand Urban Skincare Co.

The food

In keeping with its pared-back ethos, the Brady outsources to local restaurants using Deliveroo. So you jump on the hotel website for the menus, call reception with your order and they take care of the rest (payment is added to your room bill).

Worth stepping out for

If you’re in town for a show, this hotel is pure box office being right by the theater district. While business travelers will jump at the location, for the leisure set it’s a great springboard into all Melbourne has to offer: Chinatown and the Melbourne Museum are nearby, and there’s any number of cafés and restaurants to make a beeline for.

The property is self-rated at 4.5 stars.

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The property is self-rated at 4.5 stars.

Worth staying in for

One thing that bugs me is hotel rooms where the TV is out of scale, often too small, stuck in a corner or so high up the wall you feel like an inmate. So top marks to the Brady for the generous 40-inch Smart TV at just the right height directly opposite the bed, so you can really kick back after a hard day’s touristing and enjoy a bit of telly.

The highlight

Has to be the Brady’s Hypnos ‘Dreamer’ bed. It was fabulously comfortable. Apparently Queen Elizabeth II has this brand installed in her palaces, so if it gets the well-manicured thumbs up from royalty, it’s most likely good enough for lowly subjects like us.

The lowlight

There is construction going on in Little Lonsdale Street at the moment but it didn’t impact our in-room experience because our room faced the other way (might pay to check when you book). The room was spotlessly clean, though the outside of the windows could use a wash. That said, it is a 20-storey tall building so maybe they don’t get around to it that often!

The verdict

For the price, the Brady really delivers. I see on their info they are a locally-owned operation, with three other hotels in Melbourne and they’ve obviously put a lot of thought into what works for this destination. Hats off.

Essentials

Book a few weeks ahead and King and Twin Rooms currently start from around A$179 (NZ$198) a night booking direct on the hotel website (with their ‘Mates Rates’), while Business Rooms are from approx $189 a night. See: bradyhotels.com.au/jones-lane

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