Melbourne's Space Hotel offers budget accommodation with a prime location

Great eating on the doorstep? Tick. Close to everywhere in Melbourne? Check. My mandatory coffee fix close by? Yep. What more could you ask for in a place to base yourself for a few nights?

I was in Melbourne for one of the many big events that bring people to the city - perhaps the Melbourne Cup, the Australian Open tennis tournament (because we like Kyrgios now), or possibly the National Gallery of Victoria's latest exhibition.

But I wasn't just there for the big ticket items. I wanted to see just what the city had to offer - and staying at the Space Hotel, which was smack bang in the heart of the city, gave me that chance.

The hotel offers top quality accommodation at an affordable price for anyone visiting Victoria's capital - from business travellers to families to romantic couples on a weekend getaway.

It is within walking distance of just about every highlight of the city's famous culture - shopping, street art and cafes - as well as Melbourne Central Station and a multitude of tram services.

After my near four-hour drive into the city, I was equal parts excited and exhausted - a confusing combination to navigate.

Thankfully, the welcoming concierges and staff at Space Hotel help optimise the arrival experience with little fuss, while the facilities across each floor and inside each room are entirely satisfactory.

Nearing dinner and with a grumbling stomach, I was on the hunt for something conveniently delicious, and fortunately, there was no shortage of options.

Just around the corner on Russell Street I found great dim sum - octopus balls, ramen and a healthy dose of sake - just what the doctor ordered.

After, the toughest decision of my two nights presented itself - dessert or another drink?

Either option was readily available, but yawning as I was, I headed down toward Lygon Street, Melbourne's Little Italy, to indulge in coffee and cake.

It's that kind of quirky, mixed eating that defines Melbourne, and makes staying centrally so great.

Within the city centre, getting where I needed all across a beautiful city was a breeze.

The hustle and bustle of trams along Swanston Street was certainly a change of pace from the quiet country roads I was used to.

But nevertheless, between trams and trains, even a country kid like me had no trouble navigating my way across Melbourne via public transport, to the Flemington Racecourse one day and Rod Laver Arena the next.

The hotel is a great location for getting out and about - but if you're weekend is more of a staycation, there's also plenty to do without leaving the complex.

One of the highlights of my stay came from simply venturing up to the rooftop, often used for social events including rooftop barbecues, twilight movie nights and cocktail parties.

This evening, though, I could stand among the towering skyscrapers and take a quiet moment to admire the warm hue of city lights.

Looking out across Melbourne's beautiful cityscape, I thought what a delight it was to live in a country with such a picturesque city.

Alas, the second morning arrived sooner than expected and it was time to leave, but not without (yet another) coffee, and a bagel from a boutique cafe - another staple to tick off the bucket list of Melbourne must-sees.

  • Richard Crabtree is a journalist with Australian Community Media, based in Horsham. He was a guest of Space Hotel during a stay in Melbourne.