5 Reasons to Stay at Mantra Southbank – Family Accommodation in Melbourne

It was cider time. On a Sunday. In Federation Square. With old friends.

Had it been 17 years ago, when we lived in London together it would have been snakebites. We’re a bit tamer now as we all have kids in tow, but we still had too much to drink to be able to drive back to our tent in the caravan park in Point Lonsdale, 2 hours from Melbourne.

By 9pm, we decided we better book in somewhere. We were at the Transport Hotel and just across the Yarra River was Mantra Southbank. It was a no-brainer. We phoned, they had vacancies and at a great price.

No hassles about getting there, as it was only a 5-minute walk. We walked it a lot when we stayed there for 5 nights in January.

We checked in at 9:30pm and when we opened the door to our 2-bed apartment, it felt like we’d returned home. It was a welcome break from the tent.

Mantra apartments are one of our favourite chains in Australia. We stay at them often and even had my 40th celebration and our big road trip farewell party at Mantra Ettalong Beach in our home town.

We’ve also stayed at Mantra Mooloolaba on the Sunshine Coast and Mantra on Salt Beach in Kingscliff.

This is what we loved about the Melbourne property.

5 reasons to stay at Mantra Southbank

1. Apartments rock for families

A hotel room with a kitchen
Living room and kitchen

Most big-city hotel rooms were not built for families with young kids. They usually have no refrigerator or microwave, floor space is at a premium, and neighbours can hear every tantrum. But with an apartment you get more space, thicker walls, a kitchen, a washing machine, and separate bedrooms.

These extra facilities on a long stay can make your trip so much more enjoyable, and our 2-bed apartment was bright and roomy.

hotel bedroom
Master bedroom
Savannah chillin on the couch
Savannah chillin on the couch

2. Eating out is Expensive

woman standing in a kitchen
Caz doing her thing

Melbourne’s cafe and restaurant scene is second to none in Australia. It’s just one of the reasons we love this city, but eating out three times a day as a family of four is expensive.

If it was just a weekend stay we’d probably eat out all the time, but as we were staying for 5 nights having a fully-equipped kitchen and being able to self-cater on several meals plus store snacks and bottled water was priceless.

3. Indoor heated pool & spa

hotel indoor swimming pool
Mantras indoor pool

Melbourne might be famous for its culinary scene, but it’s also famous for its unpredictable weather and cold winters. No fear, Mantra Southbank has an indoor pool and spa that will keep you, and especially your kiddies, happy no matter what’s happening outside.

4. City Views

Mantra, Southbank - Melbourne, Australia
Mantra on Southbank City Views

If you stay in a 2 bedroom deluxe apartment like ours, you get a private balcony with city views. We overlooked the Victorian Arts Centre, the MCG, and the Southbank precinct.

5. Location, Location, LOCATION

We love being able to walk to as many attractions and places to eat and drink from our accommodation, and Mantra Southbank is central to many of Melbourne’s highlights.

Places we could easily walk to with our 6 and 2-year-old daughters included:


city buildings next to a river
Craig & Kalyra overlooking the Yarra & Southbank

We were literally a 60-second walk to Southbank Promenade and Southgate Restaurant and Shopping Precinct on the Yarra River.

City Centre and Flinders Street Station

girl standing on a bridge
Savannah on the pedestrian bridge over the Yarra

A five-minute walk across the Yarra took us to Swanston street (Melbourne’s main thoroughfare) and Flinders Street Station where we could catch a train or tram to anywhere in and around Melbourne.

Flinders Street Station, Melbourne, Australia
Flinders Street Station

Rod Laver Arena and the MCG

Roger Federer at the Australian Tennis Open
Roger Federer in action

We ticked off one of our bucket list items on our visit to Melbourne and attended the Australian Tennis Open. Caz even got to see the great Roger Federer play. Staying at Mantra Southbank it was just a 20 minute stroll along the Yarra to the tennis centre.

Federation Square

Federation Square, Melbourne, Australia
Caz and the kids enjoying Federation Square

Also a five-minute walk was Federation Square, one of our favourite locations in Melbourne. Especially when there is a sporting event on as they play the matches on the big screen.

Degraves Street and Centre Place

A little girl walking on a city street
Savannah in Centre Place

Walk five minutes over the Yarra and you get to Degraves Street and Centre Place, two of our favourite laneways for coffee and graffitied walls. (Don’t forget Hosier Lane too!)

Yarra River Walks

It was also perfect for our afternoon Yarra River walks or bike rides. A welcome activity in any busy city.

A tree next to a body of water with a city in the background
Yarra River Walk

Eureka Tower & Skydeck

Literally across the road from the Mantra is the Eureka Tower. Make sure you experience ‘The Edge’ – a glass cube which projects 3 metres out from the building 300 metres above the ground – freaky!

The Edge, Eureka Skytower, Melbourne, Australia
The Edge

But that’s not all, you can easily walk to these locations:

  • Royal Botanic Gardens – 5-minute walk
  • Melbourne Aquarium – 10-minute walk
  • Crown Casino – 10-minute walk
  • Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre – 10-minute walk
  • Southern Cross Station – 15-minute walk
  • Albert Park Grand Prix Circuit – 20-minute walk
  • Etihad Stadium – 25-minute walk

If you’re looking for family friendly accommodation in the heart of Melbourne, Mantra Southbank offers so much at reasonable rates. And after staying there twice now, it really feels like our home away from home.

Mantra Southbank, Melbourne, Australia

The Facts

Room types & Facilities

  • One and two bedroom apartments
  • 24-hour reception
  • Restaurant and Cocktail Bar
  • Undercover parking (limited availability fees apply)

Location: Mantra Southbank is located adjacent to the Victorian Arts Centre at 31 City Road, Southbank.

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6 thoughts on “5 Reasons to Stay at Mantra Southbank – Family Accommodation in Melbourne”

  1. I’ve walked past this place many times but never tried it. Maybe I should. You make it sound like a great place.

    When I was in Melbourne a couple of weeks ago I was in The Grand (corner of Flinders and Spencer St). That is an apartment setting too with a little kitchen. I totally agree with you that having this facility can save you a fortune.

    Melbourne is a fabulous city with many great places to eat. Yet if I choose the South Bank every night it’ll cost a small fortune.

    Ah, Fed Square. Always a good spot to meet up and have a drink or two. Snake bites, now you bring back memories!

    1. Yeah, no need to eat in Southbank at all, but being located in such a central position was awesome. We ate all over the place as we could either walk to different spots, or jump on a tram!

      We ate in Chinatown, Richmond, Carlton, Fitzroy, St Kilda, but our fave was the night markets at Queen Victoria Market on a Wednesday!

  2. That’s quite the setup in Melbourne, and I’m loving that pool! Kitchen is great as Aussie is expensive for eating out alone, never mind a family!

  3. hey!
    I am loving this..its really nice.I want to spend my days here,i also spend few days in Australia at studio apartments cairns. you can also visit here.

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