Melbourne Pan Pacific Hotel Family Review

If you’re visiting Melbourne and looking for a luxury hotel that is also family-friendly, we’ve found a great one – the Hilton South Wharf Hotel…

Yarra River Hilton View

We’ve just visited Melbourne, sampling the local cuisine and checking out some great family attractions. Our accommodation of choice for this trip was the Hilton Melbourne South Wharf Hotel (now rebranded as Pan Pacific Melbourne) – located right in the city of Melbourne! So lets have a closer look at this great Melbourne accommodation option…

Superior service

The Hilton South Wharf elegant Lobby

The Hilton South Wharf elegant Lobby

We arrived at the hotel early in the morning with a whole free day on our hands – excellent – but what to do?

As our room wasn’t ready until the afternoon, we left our bags with the very helpful Hilton Concierge, Lachlan. He also quickly sorted us out with lots of great ideas on what to do with our free day in the city.

This excellent service proved to be a continuing theme throughout our stay at the Hilton Melbourne South Wharf hotel – the staff were fabulous. No matter where we were or what we were doing in the hotel, the children and I were always beautifully looked after.

Lachlan the Hilton Concierge

Lachlan the Hilton Concierge

So now that we were armed with a marked-out map and an abundance of insider-knowledge on what would be fun to do with kids in Melbourne, we set off for what turned out to be a great day of family fun! (more about that in my next post about what to do with the kids in Melbourne!).

Great Location

The Hilton Melbourne South Wharf - location - location - location!

The Hilton Melbourne South Wharf – location – location – location!

If you are attending an event at the Melbourne Convention (or Exhibition) Centre, choosing the Hilton Melbourne South Wharf hotel for your Melbourne accommodation is a no-brainer. The hotel is located right next door – and is even directly connected through the first floor – it’s just so quick and convenient. Just another minute’s stroll along the river side you’ll find the huge Crown Casino complex, with its family-friendly eateries.

This hotel also happens to be very handy to the city centre – getting around Melbourne is easy from the Hilton South Wharf. We only had to walk across the Yarra River footbridge and one block over to hop on the free City Circle tourist tram – around 5 minutes walk in all. We did this frequently throughout our stay. Not only are trams in Melbourne’s city centre all free, we found that using trams to get around was actually faster than catching taxis.

Executive rooms

Our Executive Room night view - spectacular!

Our Executive Room night view – spectacular!

After our big day out, we returned to the hotel to have a rest before dinner. We checked in without hassle. Hotel security is excellent, with the hotel lifts only operating for the correct room cards.

Our Executive Room was stylish and modern

Our Executive Room was stylish and modern with enough room for a fold-out bed

Our Executive Room was just what I was after for our stay – well-appointed, fully serviced and elegant. An entrance hall lined with storage (one cupboard containing a valuables safe, ironing board, iron and laundry service bag, plus one clothes wardrobe containing two bath robes) led to the room-proper, containing a comfortable queen bed with an additional fold-out bed added at its foot for my second child. The room was dominated by floor-to-ceiling windows displaying panoramic views of the city and the Yarra River.

Some of the mini bar goodies available in-room

Some of the mini bar goodies available in-room

There was a flat screen TV, cabinet drawers and bar fridge stocked with a wide range of mini bar options, as well as tea and coffee facilities and a hot water jug. A fast, effective climate control system kept us comfortable in the swinging Melbourne temperatures during our stay.

The elegant Executive Room bathroom

The elegant Executive Room bathroom

Executive rooms feature a spacious bathroom with a double shower (great for getting two children clean at once!) and standard sized bathtub. There were ample towels and great-quality bathroom accessories too – the three of us we were never going to run short of anything during our stay! Joy-of-joys, there was also a decent hairdryer! This is a rare find, no matter where we stay. As we had flown down to Melbourne, I didn’t want to carry one from home.

Just some of the luxury bathroom accessories!

Just some of the luxury bathroom accessories!

One of the main features of our Executive room would have to be the amazing views. The floor to ceiling windows (complete with electric blinds) revealed an astounding river view which stretched for miles, and took in several iconic bridges, the city skyline and the nearby Crown Casino.

We were to discover that this dynamic view would be the source of continual entertainment for us throughout our stay. With the sunrise each morning, we were greeted with the serene beauty of numerous hot air balloons drifting across the skyline. One evening we were treated to a fireworks display, and each night at 10pm, 11pm and 12pm, the Crown Casino gas-flame spectacle was a sight to behold. I allowed the children to stay up for the first display, and the following two were something I couldn’t resist watching either – it turned out to be an unexpected hotel bonus! You can see my video of the Crown Casino gas-flame display here.

There was a connecting door from our room, leaving the potential for larger families to book two Executive rooms together. There are also Family Suites available at the Hilton Melbourne South Wharf.

Executive rooms also come with a Housekeeping turn-down service, complete with chocolates on your pillow of course – the kids loved getting back to the room each day for their chocolates – I didn’t get much of a look-in!

The Executive Lounge

The Hilton Melbourne South Wharf Executive Lounge

The Hilton Melbourne South Wharf Executive Lounge

Another brilliant advantage of booking an Executive Room is access to the complimentary Executive Lounge.

Located on the 4th floor, this expansive, room-card accessible lounge has a lot to offer the weary business person – or harassed parent!

The Executive Lounge terrace has beautiful river views

The Executive Lounge terrace has beautiful river views

As the name implies, there are business services here, such as computers and printers, but don’t be put off by the name – children are welcome here, and were even given gorgeous little lolly bags one morning from a friendly staff member, which was a lovely touch! The Executive Lounge staff were always outstandingly facilitating, yet unobtrusive.

Some of the delicious pre-dinner canapes

Some of the delicious pre-dinner canapes

Open all day, there’s plenty of room to relax, catch up on the news and have a complimentary coffee, tea or soft drink. An outdoor terrace overlooks the river (and a helicopter landing pad, much to the kids delight!).

Delicious afternoon teas with yummy pastries and nibbles are served in the Executive Lounge each day, plus pre-dinner evening drinks with delectable canapés.

Here you can also have your continental buffet breakfast each morning, again, complimentary. The choices of different breakfast foods is expansive, and includes a Gluten Free selection.

The Executive Lounge also offers a continental breakfast each morning

The Executive Lounge also offers a continental breakfast each morning

Hilton South Wharf Hotel useful info

Rating: five-stars
Address: 2 Convention Centre Place
South Wharf, VIC Australia 3006
Tel: +61-3-9027-2000
You can find out more at the official Hlton Melbourne Hotel website here

Getting there

From the Melbourne Tullamarine airport (25kms, around 30-45 mins)
Taxi: around $60-70 in peak. $55 other times.
Airport shuttle bus: around $30 per person
Limo: around $95
Hotel parking: valet and covered car parking are available (fee)

Hotel facilities

In-house facilities: On site restaurant, bar and cafe. Function rooms. In-room dining, in-room spa services, On-site gym and Executive Lounge
Wifi: join the free Hilton HHonors points program to also access free wifi during your stay
Food: Executive lounge for teas, snacks and pre-dinner canapes for Executive Room bookings. Room service (in-room dining) is available. Restaurant on ground floor. Many surrounding riverside cafes. Crown Casino 5 mins walk along the river with several reasonably priced family restaurants. City centre restaurants 10-15 mins walk or tram ride.

Access to sights and services

The Melbourne Convention Centre is directly accessible from the Hilton, and the the Exhibition Centre is next door to the Convention Centre.
The Crown Casino is five minutes walk along the river front
Melbourne free City Circle tram line is a 5 minute walk across the outside river footbridge.The Melbourne city centre and Federation Square are a 5 minute (free) tram ride.
The Melbourne Star Ferris Wheel is a (free) 10 minute tram ride away at Harbour Town.
Melbourne Gaol and Museum are both a (free) 10-15 minute tram ride.
Bike hire is available 1 minute away, across the river footbridge.
Shopping – a DFO brands outlet is next door. The famous Bourke Street Mall (home of the Myer Christmas Windows) is a 10-15 minute stroll along the river or 5 minute (free) tram ride.

*All prices are correct as at December 2015

Have you ever visited Melbourne on a family holiday? What did you enjoy doing there? Tell us in the comments below…

One Response so far.

  1. LetsGoMum says:

    Hi John,

    We’ll have to agree to disagree on this one. I, and I think many parents wouldn’t dream of letting their children behave that way. I think that you’ve been rather unlucky. That said, anyone paying for a room on the executive floor at the Melbourne Hilton (or other hotels with business areas) has a right to the same privileges as other guests. Children are paying guests. Perhaps consider – what if you worked and had your children with you on trips, such as I do? Should these people then be excluded from the Executive Lounge? In addition, there were always quite noisy (more power to them, it’s not a library) adults chatting, snacking, watching the two large-screen tvs or talking on their phones inside and out on the balcony. Luckily, there was a huge amount of space for everyone to do their thing at the Hilton. I think the only place to achieve your quiet environment is perhaps back in your room – luckily, they are super-room and comfy! All the best, and Merry Christmas!

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About LetsGoMum

Hi, I'm Barbara, mum of the Let's Go Mum blog. We'd love to hear from you! You can contact me anytime with ideas on where you think we should go or what you think we should try...just drop me a line at!