Small Town Syndrome

This is a review for Hotel Urban, St Kilda. All opinions are my own.

In case you didn’t know, I live in a REALLY small town. A town of maybe 2000 people or so, one traffic light and a little supermarket. There is also a small strip of shops down the main street.

That’s kind of it. Anywhere of significance is at least an hour’s drive away.

Most of the time I love it. Sometimes though, I get what I like to call, Small Town Syndrome. It comes on gradually and the symptoms increase in intensity over time. The symptoms include, but are not limited to:

* The realisation that my child is attached to me ALL the time and there is nothing for him to do around here.

* The sudden need to want things that are completely unfindable in this town.

* Complete annoyance at the lack of anonymity.

* Restlessness

* Snappiness

I am a busy person. I like being busy and being out and about (most of the time), so you would think this town wouldn’t suit me. But it has its perks. However, survival is crucial upon making sure that we get out sometimes!

A few weeks ago I was heading to St Kilda for a LeapFrog event to check out their new Leap Reader, and the thought of being in the hustle and bustle of St Kilda excited me so much. At the time I was suffering from SERIOUS Small Town Syndrome. So when the day turned into staying the night at Hotel Urban on Fitzroy St I was over the moon, to say the least. I could already envision the multiculturalism, beach, good music and hearty breakfasts!

Hotel Urban was the perfect spot for us. It really ticked all the boxes. After enjoying a delicious afternoon tea and an introduction to the new Leap Reader we checked into Hotel Urban which was just a few doors down. When I got there the first thing I noticed was how much space there was in the room. Perfect for a toddler who needed some room to move. A trundle bed was all set up for the little guy too. I threw down some toys while my husband went to source out an easy dinner. Being on Fitzroy St that wasn’t going to be hard to do.

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He was gone for ages though…as it turns out, one must have a drink or two at The Prince of Wales, a couple of doors down, while in Fitzroy St! To his credit he returned with some delicious La Porchetta’s and some champers which we enjoyed!

Also to his credit, he let me sneak out with a friend of mine for a few drinks while he curled up with a sleeping toddler and watched the footy from the comfort of the hotel room. We headed to Prince of Wales too, and it felt good to be out, and anonymous, and toddler free, but to still know he was close by.

It was a bit too loud for a couple of friends who hadn’t caught up in ages though. We needed to goss! So we headed to Mavis Brown’s Bar – adjoining Hotel Urban. I can’t say anything bad about that place. The music was completely up my alley and so was the wine. The acoustic duo, who we were told play there every Friday night were fantastic. It had a nice warm atmosphere and their enormous goblets of wine did not disappointment me in the slightest. It wasn’t long before I was lost in the music, singing and laughing. My husband, who I had told ‘I won’t be long’ sent through a text, saying he didn’t want me to come home or anything but just checking I was OK. Cute. Very cute.

When I got back, I was expecting to be able to hear all the racket going on below us. Surprisingly, we heard no noise coming from the bar, or other people coming and going during our night’s stay there, and the bed was soft, comfy and spacious.

The next morning we were up bright and early and hanging for a good breakfast (that we didn’t cook). It was the only time I felt a little bit uneasy being with a toddler at the hotel. While nobody complained, I sensed a few of the patrons were not very welcoming towards a hyperactive, hungry toddler while they tried to have their breakfast and bury their heads into ipads.

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Nonetheless, breakfast was awesome. I did tell Steve that it was the best hollandaise I had tasted. Tom was so into it too. He nearly finished an adult sized breakfast. The boy is a machine.

After that we decided to soak up all that was St Kilda by walking down the beach. Tom ran. We walked. We then headed to Luna Park but it wasn’t open yet. I couldn’t wait for Tom to just see all the magic there. Even if he was too young to jump on the rides. While we were waiting we walked down Acland St. A street I know well. Tom was out like a light, exhausted from our walk, so we were able to enjoy it in peace. Oh the clothes, homewares and BOOKS. I couldn’t remember the last time I got to sit on the floor of a bookstore. It’s all the little things when you live an hour and a half away from anything.


We then headed back to Luna Park. Except Tom was still asleep and didn’t seem to be waking up anytime soon. Despite all the crazy noises and lights and smells, he slept on and on, much to the entertainment of people passing by, who smiled knowingly at us. Oh well. Next time Tom.

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We headed back to the hotel and checked out then made one last trek for me to breathe in all the culture, food and delights that I can’t get at home – We headed to Victoria Market for an entire wrap-up of all that is mentioned above.

Despite Tom getting cranky pretty quick, I had my fix. I was cured of my Small Town Syndrome…for now.

We then made the LONG journey home. I was sad but I felt invigorated at having stayed somewhere so close to EVERYTHING. The city life is not for me. Or us. But the occasional holiday for my fix? Yes Please. I’d go back to Hotel Urban to get it anytime.

Hotel Urban is located at 35-37 Fitzroy St and is in the heart of Melbourne’s St Kilda. To book, visit Hotel Urban’s website.

Do you get Small Town Syndrome or do you escape to the country?

4 thoughts on “Small Town Syndrome

  • My brother lives in St Kilda and I love it. Being in Tassie, it’s always a treat to head to Melbourne for a weekend. I enjoy being in the hustle and bustle for a while.
    I totally “get it”!! 🙂
    The accommodation looks fantastic too, by the way.

  • I know what you mean, even though not so small townish! I used to work in the big smoke on St Kilda Road but always loved the drive home to my smaller town — away from the hustle and bustle of the city. I always felt I had the best of both worlds.

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