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Alto Hotel on Bourke 3.5

Melbourne, Greater Melbourne, Victoria

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Review Summary

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  • In the CBD, near attractions, dining, and shopping
  • Walking distance to tram stop and Southern Cross train station
  • Comfortable units with LED TVs, kettles, and minibars 
  • Studios have kitchenettes; apartments feature full kitchens with dishwashers
  • Cozy lounge with fireplace, books, and free espresso and candy
  • Tasty buffet, a la carte, or take-out breakfast available for a fee
  • Free Wi-Fi, and free use of two computers in the lounge
  • On-site parking available for a fee; reservations required
  • Free electric car charging stations
  • Tons of eco-friendly initiatives with real impact


  • Bedrooms are compact
  • No full restaurant or gym on-site
  • Some rooms have limited views

Bottom Line

The 50-room Alto Hotel on Bourke is a pleasant upper-middle-range property located in the heart of Melbourne’s CBD, offering easy access to dining, shopping, attractions, and public transport. It offers a variety of room types, ranging from compact queen rooms with flat-screen TVs, mini-fridges, kettles, and free Wi-Fi, to three-bedroom duplex apartments with full kitchens. Decor is simple and functional rather than sleek, but all rooms are comfortable, clean, and well-soundproofed. The lounge serves a tasty breakfast spread for a fee, while the library is a cozy spot with a fireplace, free coffee and candy, and comfy seating. There is little else in the way of amenities, but on-site parking is convenient, and electric cars can be charged for free. Business travelers may want to compare rates at the Pegasus Apart’hotel, which features a small gym, full restaurant, and rooftop terrace.

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Homey, carbon-neutral property catering to business travelers, families, and couples

Housed in a late 19th-century building right on popular Bourke Street, the Alto Hotel’s claim to fame is that it was Australia’s first carbon-neutral hotel. The property goes to great lengths to offer an eco-friendly stay, with an outstanding list of environmentally conscious initiatives that includes 100-percent electricity from renewable sources; rain water used for flushing, cleaning, and gardening; and biodegradable toiletries provided in refillable containers. Instead of style or luxury, the Alto Hotel on Bourke offers functional spaces and amenities, and reasonable rates that include a number of nice freebies. With its plain wooden front desk, carpeted floors, and few ornaments, the lobby is less attractive than the facade, but other common areas have a cozier, more inviting feel. Expect comfortable seating, clean lines, and a few contemporary (if somewhat generic) touches, such as plum-colored chairs and silver vinyl benches around wooden tables in the breakfast room, and dark-wood furniture in the library. 

Despite providing a good value, amenities at the Alto Hotel on Bourke are limited, so travelers seeking a property in a similar location with perks such as a pool or gym may want to consider the Atlantis Hotel, which is also cheaper. The Langham, Melbourne is a suitable alternative for those with a bigger budget, featuring classic rooms, along with a spa, indoor pool, and great restaurant. The Como, Melbourne – MGallery Collection is a great luxury pick for travelers wanting to stay away from the hustle and bustle of the CBD. 


In the heart of the CBD, walking distance to major attractions and public transport

Alto Hotel on Bourke is located in Melbourne’s Central Business District (CBD), the heart of the action both for business and leisure travelers. Although the area is home to many corporate offices, it is also a great location for those looking to be within walking distance of all the major sights. The property is a 10-minute walk from Etihad Stadium, the Melbourne Aquarium, and the Exhibition and Convention Center, while it takes just a few more minutes on foot to reach the Bourke Street Mall, Queen Victoria Market, Eureka Skydeck 88, and Federation Square. Other popular attractions, such as the Royal Botanic Gardens, the National Gallery of Victoria, and South Yarra neighborhood can be reached by tram, which stops right outside the hotel. Alto Hotel is just down the street from Southern Cross train station, which is also where the Airport Bus stops. 


Rooms, studios, and apartments, all clean, comfortable, and well-equipped

The hotel’s 50 rooms are divided into several categories, including rooms, studios, and apartment with up to three bedrooms. Decor is contemporary, if a little bit generic, with dark-wood furniture with clean lines, dark-brown carpets, and white walls with few ornaments. Bed runners with floral patterns in beige, red, or blue hues are cute touches, and black-and-white photos add style. Bedrooms, however, are a bit compact. In-room amenities are good for the price, and include flat-screen TVs with over 100 channels, well-stocked minibars, free Wi-Fi, electric kettles, and iPod docks. Studios feature basic kitchenettes with microwaves and toasters, while apartments have full kitchens outfitted with dishwashers, cooktops, and ovens. Three-bedroom units have washing machines. Bathrooms are straightforward and clean, with glass-enclosed showers and granite counters. Certain apartments have jetted tubs. 

Views in several units are limited, as many overlook a narrow side street, but some of the larger apartments offer pretty views of Bourke Street. Double glazing keeps noise at bay. 


Cozy lounge with free coffee and board games, breakfast, and on-site parking

The hotel’s only common space is the A Lounge, a small, cozy living area located off the lobby with a handful of tables, a few board games, and cozy reading nook with a fireplace and many books that guests can borrow and exchange. Guests can get free coffee 24/7 here, as well as different types of candy and sweets. Free drinks are provided on weekday evenings. The only meal served on-site is a well-reviewed breakfast that can be added to the room on arrival or booked in a package along with the room. Breakfast options include a small but tasty buffet, and a la carte items, such as made-to-order free-range eggs. Guests with limited time can also order breakfast to-go, including pastries, bread, and hot drinks. 

A small parking lot has a few spots and electric car charging stations that guests can use at no extra fee. A con for some is the lack of a gym and full restaurant.

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636 Bourke Street, Melbourne, Victoria 3000, Australia


6 (138) 608-5500

Room Types

  • Hotel Room
  • One Bedroom Apartment
  • Studio Apartment
  • Three Bedroom Apartment
  • Two Bedroom Apartment
  • Two Bedroom Loft

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