Melbourne is known as the Garden City, and it’s a nickname that aptly conjures up images of al fresco fun and frolics for the whole family. Outdoor hits include a stroll through the Royal Botanic Gardens, cycling alongside the Yarra River, visiting the Melbourne Zoo or trinket-collecting and lunchtime nibbling at the handful of open-air markets adored by locals. To get stuck into all this and more in Australia’s second city, check out our handy list of the best family-friendly hotels in Melbourne – bookable via Culture Trip.
This five-star hotel on Little Collins Street is in a superb place for a family night out at the theatre. Here, in the heart of Melbourne’s East End, you’re within walking distance of the Princess Theatre, Regent Theatre and Forum Melbourne, among others. Between 5pm and 7pm, the hotel offers pre-show dining at Harry’s Restaurant. Two- and three-course set menus including a glass of wine or pot of beer, with starters such as Peking duck risotto and mains including slow-braised lamb shank. And you’ll sleep soundly – it’s an all-suite property with generous, sink-into beds and business-smart interiors.
The snazzy zig-zagging carpets and black and white colour scheme in the bedrooms wow kids and adults alike – and all of the sizeable rooms, from twins to executive suites, are big enough to accommodate at least four guests. It’s a great place to stay if you’re in town for elite sport, with the hotel sitting between two of the city’s sporting institutions. The Aussie Rules Docklands Stadium is a 10-minute drive west, the Melbourne Cricket Ground is an even shorter journey east, and the area around the Adelphi buzzes with bars and restaurants – or you can order gourmet bites with your wine at the hotel’s Om Nom watering hole.
This luxury stay overlooks Melbourne’s St Patrick’s Cathedral in a fantastic spot right by Fitzroy Gardens. In addition to the park’s spreading expanses of greenery to run around in, the hotel has stacks of family-friendly amenities. There’s an outdoor tennis court and 25m (82ft) pool for some competitive fun, while some rooms have a bath that features an inset TV – so kids can get ready for bed while watching a favourite film or programme. What’s more, the babysitting service allows parents a couple of relaxing hours in the Radii bar in the evening.
You’ll not go short of options here, with 378 rooms up for grabs, all able to accommodate at least two children. Soundproof bedrooms come with 40-inch flat-screen TVs with wifi connectivity, but if you’d rather inspire the kids to switch off and explore, request a room with a lake view of Albert Park. That also happens to be the venue of the annual Formula One Australian Grand Prix, which makes this hotel a coveted spot when the chequered flag is in town.
One way to dissipate some morning giddiness from early-rising kids is to head for the indoor heated lap pool, which is open from 6am. If mums or dads fancy a workout while the little ones are in bed, the fitness gym here is open 24 hours. The hotel’s Little Collins Street Kitchen is a great casual spot for light bites, with a high tea menu that includes pulled-lamb sandwiches, wild leek and spinach pie, and a sumptuous sweet vanilla panna cotta. Work it off in the dinky indoor lap pool – fluffy towels provided.
Whether you’re checking in for a single-night stopover or staying longer to explore Melbourne and Victoria, this airport hotel comes with a raft of top-class facilities tailored to families. The 44sqm (474sqft) family room has a king-size ergonomic bed and two singles, en-suite bathroom with separate bath and shower, high-speed wifi and cable TV. But for an entertainment option better than any television show, make sure to request a room with a view over Melbourne’s non-stop Tullamarine airport.
As the oldest park in Melbourne, Flagstaff Gardens is a popular tree-lined walking route, especially if you’re after souvenirs from the open-air Queen Victoria Market on William Street. This Radisson hotel puts you right beside both, not to mention the family-friendly Docklands area, home to the LEGO education centre, the Melbourne Star Observation Wheel and Docklands Park. The stylish rooms here include accessible options for those with limited mobility, while kids under 12 stay for free.
The rooftop lounge is a hit for all ages at this former cinema, especially on a summer’s evening when Melbourne’s twinkling starscape is more alluring than any Hollywood movie. The Secret Garden is another hotel hotspot, with music and drinks inspired by 1920s Italy and sourced from local producers. The funky room decor includes pendulum lamp shades, Japanese-inspired sliding partition doors and even a cricket-inspired wall sculpture. The rooms also come with a minibar stocked full of chocolates and sweets – so parents and kids are sorted for a sugar rush.
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