Lifehacker’s Formule1 Hotel Survival Guide

Lifehacker’s Formule1 Hotel Survival Guide

Formule1 hotels are cheap and often conveniently located — but you don’t get a kettle, a wardrobe, or much of a bathroom. Here’s Lifehacker’s simple survival tips for making the most of a Formule1 stay, in video form.

Some of these ideas (such as always taking along a plug) will be familiar to longtime Lifehacker readers, and many of them apply to any basic hotel. Others are more Formule1 specific (it’s one of the few hotels that don’t give you a bedside table, for example). Enjoy my trademark wobbly camera work, and share your own bargain hotel improvement tips in the comments.


  • When staying in budget accommodation:
    I bring a stainless steel cup (light and indestructible) and a plastic spoon. If I know/suspect coffee & tea will not be provided I bring my own.
    For hot drinks I have a one cup heating element.
    Breakfast – powdered milk and muesli in a plastic bag. Pour into cup, add water, eat with spoon. Lot cheaper than a cafe and a lot quicker.

    Love your idea for keeping the power on.

  • Just looked up F1 Brisbane… $99 per night!

    I did a wotif search for Brisbane and found 22 four star hotels with availability for under $99 per night.

    Personally I prefer the aircon, ensuite, tv with foxtel channels, kettle with tea and coffee and milk, and pool and spa if I’m staying there during summer.

    • Technically, F1s have an ensuite 🙂 — and they do have aircon. Brisbane doesn’t have great locations though, I agree — even the airport one isn’t very handy. (And you can get rooms around $69 if you’re organised — that’s what I paid in Melbourne when this was filmed.)

      But absolutely, if you can get better for the money on the date, I wouldn’t stay there for the sake of it!

  • Drying clothes: Rig up a coat hanger with your socks and jocks or shirt, and wedge it up into the air conditioning return duct. This ensures a good flow of air over the clothes, speeding the drying process.

    More towels: normally there is an open room on every floor where you can help yourself to more towels and toiletries, even bedding at times.

    I’ve also used a Trangia fuel burning stove on the window bay of a etap in Calais to heat some water for tea and soup. But not something you have with you most times; we had it with us because we were also camping during the trip.

    And take your own teabags – the ones they supply are usually not great.

  • Great tips, however the one issue I have is that hot tap water generally should not be used for cooking/drinking especially in older building as it likely to contain contaminants which may be harmful.

    Quite simply, contaminants (and other things like lead used to join water pipes) dissolve readily in hot water and may pose a small health risk if consumed.

  • I had to stay at the F1 in Brisbane for a wedding years ago. Got up to shave and half way through they turned the hot water off (the cold still ran). With half a face of lather I went down to the front desk to ask them what was up, apparently there were “workmen digging up the main”. I asked if it was only the hot water main since the cold was still on. 5 minutes arguing and not leaving the desk finally he went and got me a serving bowl of hot water from the coffee machine when I told him that the shaving cream was starting to burn. When we left I made a point of asking the shop next door if their water was off too but amazingly it seemed to have only been the hot water main to the F1 that was being worked on.

  • One thing that has always put me off staying at Formule1 was a report from my wife’s aunt who used to be a housekeeper/cleaner at a local F1 hotel; who had apparently said that it’s company policy not to replace linen if it looked to be unused.

    Heresy, I know, but the idea of sleeping on sheets a complete stranger used the night before, because the previous occupants made the bed before they left; really puts me off staying at an F1.

  • Stayed at two Formule1’s. Both are doing renovations. Frist motel starts 7am with drilling etc from 7:30am. The other motel is still going and it is getting on for 6pm. There’s nothing on the site to say they are doing renovations and the price is the same as usual. You’d think they’d at least make it cheaper for the poor suckers who book not even knowing they are going to have to put up with this noise on top of the usual traffic etc.

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