The controversial quarantine hotel housing Novak Djokovic this weekend

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  • Novak Djokovic
    Novak Djokovic
    Serbian tennis player
Novak Djokovic is being detained at a quarantine hotel in Melbourne (Adam Davy/PA) (PA Archive)
Novak Djokovic is being detained at a quarantine hotel in Melbourne (Adam Davy/PA) (PA Archive)

World number one Novak Djokovic is being temporarily held at the Park Hotel in the Carlton suburb of Melbourne after being refused a visa upon his arrival into Australia this week.

Here the PA news agency takes a look at a quarantine hotel which has gained notoriety in recent months for how asylum seekers have allegedly been treated.

Hotel

People stand outside a quarantine facility where Novak Djokovic is staying at (Hamish Blair/AP) (AP)
People stand outside a quarantine facility where Novak Djokovic is staying at (Hamish Blair/AP) (AP)

Describing itself as “luxurious” and “4.5 stars” on its website, the hotel situated in a “prime location” has the usual amenities provided to guests, with 107 “fully equipped, air-conditioned bedrooms” on offer. A smoke-free property there are a variety of “complimentary” internet options that could be used by Djokovic. However, the nine-time Australian Open champion will presumably not have access to its outdoor swimming pool. Also likely to be out of bounds are beauty services, including body and facial treatments, and “rejuvenating” massages.

Controversy

Disturbing recent reports in Australia have centred on the sustenance provided to refugees in the hotel, with alleged instances of maggots and mould found in some of the meals. Mustafa Salah, an Iraqi asylum seeker being detained at the property, told SBS News last week: “I was just shocked. The food they’ve been delivering is putting people in danger. Even an animal cannot eat this type of food.” Djokovic has a well-renowned gluten tolerance and follows a gluten-free and dairy-free diet, aiming to eliminate as much sugar as possible, too.

Reviews

A Novak Djokovic supporter waves a Serbian flag outside the Park Hotel in Melbourne (Najma Sambul)
A Novak Djokovic supporter waves a Serbian flag outside the Park Hotel in Melbourne (Najma Sambul)

Some of the more recent reviews on TripAdvisor have brought attention to the alleged plight of the refugees and asylum seekers within the facility. The most recent review by someone who seems to have stayed there came in December 2020 with a description of the property as “really seedy” in a one-star review. Nevertheless, of the 718 appraisals left by various customers, more than half (476) have given four or five-star reviews, with 37 one-star assessments – the lowest possible rating.

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