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StayInn Coburg: Inside Melbourne's worst reviewed hotel
by Rohan Smith in news.com.au.
5th November 2018


RUBBISH piles up inside rooms at a motel in Melbourne’s north and visitors rarely open their doors. When they do, they reluctantly hand over rent.

On the floor of one room is a used syringe, tucked under the bed. In another, a visitor sleeps for three days straight in a bed covered in his own waste.

The reviews are devastatingly honest.

“This place is junky city … never staying in this flea invested (sic) sh*t box they call a motel,” reviewer Kyle Windebank wrote.

“Terrible place. Police there every day. Other residents all druggies. Would not stay again,” Richard Williams wrote.

“If you would like to visit the worst hotel on the planet, here you are,” Michael Johnson wrote.
This is the StayInn Motel in Coburg, 11km north of the Melbourne CBD. In July last year, it was the site of a shooting when an argument over money spiralled out of control.

Though the StayInn still functions as a commercial motel, it also functions as crisis accommodation, offering rooms to those who need it most.

A new documentary from the team at VICE saw filmmakers spend four months at the motel exploring the reasons behind the negative reviews and the characters who call it “home” — in the truest sense of the word.

It means there are two types of clients: motel guests looking for a place to sleep while passing through and motel guests who have nowhere else to go. When the two mix, it’s often not pretty.

“Mixing two clients together doesn’t work sometimes,” manager Phil says. “People are narrow-minded. When they come across people who take drugs or prostitutes … for them it’s a reality check that they often don’t like to see.”

It means there are two types of clients: motel guests looking for a place to sleep while passing through and motel guests who have nowhere else to go. When the two mix, it’s often not pretty.

“Mixing two clients together doesn’t work sometimes,” manager Phil says. “People are narrow-minded. When they come across people who take drugs or prostitutes … for them it’s a reality check that they often don’t like to see.”

Phil is compassionate, but he’s also trying to run a business. He offers “cash back” to clients for odd jobs around the place, and often that’s the difference between eating or going hungry.

To watch the documentary, click hereThe Stay Inn will also air on SBS VICELAND later in Novembero. To read the full article click here.

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