Hotel Review: Gateway Suites in Melbourne


Our three member crew had been traveling for an entire year in this beautiful land of Australia and upon arriving in Melbourne our inquisitive nature was again rejuvenated. We had started our 2002 world tour in the islands of Hawaii, spending a glorious month. We then flew to New Zealand, arriving in Auckland and completing our eight week tour of the two islands, we left the geographically prehistoric land of New Zealand to fly the ten hours to the most isolated city in the world…Perth, Australia. Located on the far west coast, the city is a phenomenal blending of architecture, heritage, glorious bays, countless tourism attractions, affordable accommodations and extremely friendly people. This country, rightfully so, is nick named ¨The Land Down Under and was to take us to the very peak of visual fantasy. This land of the kangaroos is raw in nature and was to stimulate to the utmost our sense of adventure. Being virtually untouched for vast distances its cities were scattered across great distances and where civilization had left its mark…it was with balance and empowerment. Our goal was to try and tour this huge continent from coast to coast and allocated only ten months in which to complete our journals, filming and writing reviews on the best tourism destinations…we soon discovered it would take a lifetime.

After touring the city of Perth and the rich land along the coast we boarded a luxury train appropriately named the Indian Pacific as it transcends the country from the Indian Ocean to the Pacific. The five day ride on the rails exposed the great red deserts of the outback as they stretched out in endless isolation. I embraced this raw diverse land as the place that time forgot. Australia gives you memories to last a lifetime…I assure you.

In continuance of our tour in the months to follow, we hiked through giant rain forests in the north, swam the beaches of countless tropical islands in the east, climbed massive rock formations dotting the wild and jagged coasts all the way to the northern city of Darwin and each kilometer was more impressive than the last. As we left the north, we flew back to the magnificent city of Sydney and eyed the spectacular cliffs of the southern coast and enjoyed the splendor of the first class city as we savored its boundless amenities.

Throughout Australia we participated in hundreds of wild and adrenalin pumping adventures…it is truly the Disney World of nature. A fairy tale land made up of special people, the Aboriginals, the stolid men and women of the outback and the gracious people of the cities, towns and seaports. Australia is more than a just place.. It’s an adventure! The things I experienced and the things I saw gave clarity to their very popular phase…No Worries Mate.

After touring from Perth to Cooktown and everywhere in between we settled in the magnificent city of Sydney for several months and were in no hurry to leave, but our office had other plans. I guess they were concerned that we may be having too much fun in Sydney, so after some friendly persuasions, from our company, we boarded a train to Melbourne. I really had no concept of the twin city to Sydney and like a reckless child…I was anxious to explore it. The twelve hour trip gave us some additional reprieve and we managed to catch up with our editorials and reviews. The one thing I did know about Melbourne was that it was a stylish city built along the coast of the Tasmanian Sea.

The train chugged its way up and down the hills and through the crests of a golden valleys and parted the beautiful Blue Mountains. The time spent on the train was spent shooting a few hundred photos, shot from an opened train window, a dozen cups of coffee from the snack bar, reading our journals, discussing in great detail our journal and a few hands of cards later…we stepped off the train into the afternoon air of Melbourne. Our company appreciated the many months of our long and sometimes tedious journey and as a means of showing their appreciation…they arranged for us to stay at the absolutely best hotel in the city…The Gateway Park Plaza Suites. The word Suites in the name says it all…this hotel didn’t have simple rooms, they offer exquisite, stylish, large, safe, and comfortable suites. With service extraordinaire, a fully functioning kitchen, large inviting bedrooms, a view of the river and the port and with eye opening sunsets it was difficult to venture from the suite. Of course, the city and the area had tremendous tourism hot spots and we quite pleasingly, toured them all…near and far, including an entire day visit to the southern most coast where stayed the day in total awe at the marvelous the Twelve Apostles, anchored just off shore they have withstood the swell of the ocean and countless centuries. A treasure of natures abilities to create the unimaginable.

We spent three weeks enjoying the region and especially the Gateway Park Plaza and and as usually, we were received countless emails from our Hawaiian office to continue our tour. Soon we would be in Singapore, but leaving was not easy. During our stay we made many friends and among them were the staff at the hotel, including the gentleman known as Mr. Robert Wilhelm…Director of Sales.

The Gateway Park Plaza offers a prime location location, close to everything, including the beautiful Yarra River and a few minutes walk across the bridge to the Casino and the shopping bonanza along the river walk! Fine dining is definitely found at the hotel where they offer varied specially prepared gourmet selections prepared by their expert chief, fine wines and deserts to entice the most selective of diners. And if you do venture out to dine, there are many exquisite restaurants along the river.

We have had countless adventures around this beautiful world and we have stayed at every possible type of accommodation, from camping on deserted beaches, to sleeping under trees on trail rides…or cooking up home made stew in a mountain cabin…from packing in a twelve person room at a youth hostel and most fortunately have wined & dined with the rich & famous, but our stay at The Gateway Park Plaza Suites will be remembered as one of the best.

The Gateway Park Plaza Suites was entirely renovated in 1998. It’s finely decorated suites with their huge windows open to your private balcony and give you the view to the city. Their fully equipped kitchens allow you to cook up a few treats between your dining experiences in the lobby and their is always a fresh source of morning caffeine, tea or blended coffee. When you retire into separate and secluded bedrooms and with your own TV you can unwind in private. With their large bathrooms, in house movies, a mini bar, air conditioning, room service affordability…you will enjoy your stay…at the Gateway..

Visit their website at

The skyline of downtown Melbourne.

The skyline of downtown Melbourne.


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Michael Smith was the touring editor for Traveler’s Digest. His journeys took him across the world and on a series of unforgettable adventures!