Whilst traveling around the world in the second half of 2011, we became big fans of short-term vacation rentals. They provide much better value than hotel rooms – they’re generally cheaper and you get benefits such as a kitchen and free wifi. Plus you have the chance to live like a local which is exactly what we did while in New York City.
Recently we were introduced to Roomorama and were planning on using it on a stay in New Zealand. However due to our circumstances changing recently, we instead decided to test-drive Roomorama in our home city of Melbourne.
The Booking Process
We headed over to Roomorama.com and typed in where we were going, our dates and the number of guests. The two of us chose to use Roomorama for a 1-night stay in Melbourne so that the commute for Kieron’s first day at work would be non-existent and we could enjoy some of the city’s best eats and activities such as ice-skating.
Our search resulted in 75 available properties for the greater Melbourne area and we zoomed in to the CBD to find somewhere we wanted to stay.
We decided on a studio room overlooking the Yarra River and sent off an enquiry to the hosts asking them to confirm whether the apartment was available. Just over two hours later we received a reply telling us that it was.
We went ahead with the booking and it was a smooth and easy process. So far, so good!
Checking into our room was simple as we were staying in serviced apartments in Melbourne CBD. The two of us just headed for reception, handed over the 6-digit code generated by Roomorama as well as a credit card and ID and the next thing we were up in our room on the 13th floor.
Our room had a nice modern design, although we were a little disappointed to discover a half-drunk coke bottle in our room left by the previous guests. Regardless, we had chosen this apartment because of its perfect location in Melbourne’s CBD and it provided the ideal base for the night.
We were within walking distance to Flinders Street Station, Federation Square, the Bourke Street Mall and Southbank and we spent time at all of these Melbourne attractions over the course of afternoon. After grabbing dinner at the nearby Crown Casino, we headed back to our room for a relaxing night in watching TV before Kieron’s first day of work.
One of the highlights of the apartment location was being able to watch fireballs burst out of the chimney stacks in front of Crown every hour, on the hour.
After one last viewing of the gas brigades at 10PM, the two of us headed to bed and were delighted to get a great night’s sleep. A big tick for the room on that aspect!
One Major Complaint
You’ll find that hotels or serviced apartments offer a number of the rooms available on Roomorama and the room we stayed in met this description.
After booking our room we were given the address of the hotel in which we would be staying and thought it would be interesting to compare the rate we paid via Roomorama compared to booking direct through the hotel.
Roomorama Price: $280 AUD Per Night ($249 + $31 Roomorama Fee)
Book Directly Through Hotel: $159 AUD Per Night
Essentially 1 night of accommodation booked via Roomorama was equivalent to 2 nights booked directly through the hotel. We may have been able to obtain a discounted rate through Roomorama if we had pushed but found it extremely disappointing that such a big discrepancy existed.
Roomorama do offer some great deals and are certainly worth considering. But make sure you do your research and see if you can book directly first! It would’ve saved you 43% in our example.
Disclaimer: We were given a credit to use on our short term rentals with Roomorama. As always, all thoughts and opinions are our own.