Accommodation Review – The Oval Motel, Bendigo

Yes time at last for another Accommodation Review. It’s nice to have been somewhere that I could review to be honest! Back in late April I had an overnight stay with my wife in the Victorian country town of Bendigo. Bendigo is a small city I guess that was big in the gold rush days of the mid-1800s, and today stands as I think the biggest city in Victoria outside of Melbourne, Ballarat and Geelong, with a population of just under 120,000.

Anyways, we were there for a celebration of my Nan’s 100th birthday. As I have mentioned before. And we needed a place to stay, as it’s a 2.5 hour drive from Melbourne, or in this case a 4 hour drive as there were incidents on the freeway and we did a rather large detour around Ballarat on the way there.

The Oval across the road

I booked through Hotels.com (not a plug!) which was actually pretty good because thanks to my earlier trip to Hobart I had amassed enough nights on it to gain a free night to the value of the average of the last ten I had booked through the website. That was only around $75, and the Oval Motel was $99, so I had to fork out $24 for the night but that’s still a bargain in anyone’s language. I was also lucky that due to the pandemic Hotels.com froze the expiration dates for hotel credits as I think they only last a single year.

I decided to go with something a bit cheaper as I just spent plenty of money on Hobart and somehow it feels like all my bills come in in April and May. Plus we would be arriving in the evening and checking out the next morning, so as long as we were warm and comfortable, that’s all that really mattered.

It’s been quite a while since I stayed at a Motel. From my understanding, a ‘mo’tel is a hotel for drivers. IE it has a good car park I guess. They are big in Australia, and the USA, and I’m not sure where else. They especially cater, in Australia, for those doing long road trips who need to stop overnight before moving on the next day. That means they can be rather basic I guess, although not like they used to be back in the 1980s when we would stay at them driving up to Queensland or New South Wales.

One element that used to excite me was the breakfast delivery. Motels often had a small door with a bench on the inside and the staff would open it up and slide the breakfast tray in for you. And the Oval Motel had one of those!

It really is a thing in Australia once you are out of the cities that accommodations only have receptions staffed until early evening. The Oval Motel for example was only staffed until 7pm, and that meant we would arrive after there was anyone there. We were sent an SMS of the code to the safe to grab our room key. Despite bookending through a second-party site, I received a call from the owner the day before our stay to run through a few things.

We arrived at 745pm and were able to get the keys no issues. It looked like a reasonably old building, dating back to maybe the 1950s, in fact it was two buildings, one L-shaped around the back of the other one, which is where our room was on the first floor. Big windows on the front, fairly spacious bedroom with a bench, medium-sized TV on the wall, two double beds, a microwave, bar-fridge, milk and tea and coffee kettle, it was pretty well supplied.

The bedroom looked clean and appeared to have been remodelled in the last few years. The linen looked clean and fresh. The bathroom was at the back, and it kept considerably cooler than the bedroom. It was cold. It was tiled in a bit of dated design, and the shower had a thick wall around it with no curtain. If it had a simple glass shield, it would have left a lot more space in the bathroom which felt really quite cramped.

However – the shower was hot with great pressure, it was a surprisingly good shower. A nice selection of toiletries was given free of charge including soap, shampoo and toothbrush kits. And I had made sure to bring all of my toiletries because last time in Hobart they were sadly lacking!

The beds were comfortable, although my felt a little short. I got a pretty decent night’s sleep. It’s on the main road there, Barnard Street, and so there was a bit of traffic noise in the early evening but soon that dissipated.

I ordered my breakfast by SMS and it arrived on time with a rap on the door. That was pretty cool. The manager kindly let us check out an hour later at 11am, which was very nice. Oh, and it you’re wondering, there is an oval opposite the motel, hence the name I guess. And in the morning on a Saturday there was a footy match.

The parking was somewhat tricky under the separate building, a tight fit and spot 28 was even crossing the driveway so in the evening it was tricky to get in. Otherwise I was actually pretty happy all round with the stay. It was pretty full so I don’t think the prices were Covid-affected, so I would have to say it was pretty good value for money too!

Andy’s Ratings:

Value for Money: 4/5

Location: 4/5

Noise: 3/5

Cleanliness: 3.5/5

Service: 3.5/5

Total: 18/25 [72/100)

Thanks for popping by – May the Journey Never End!

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