Splashing out is easy in Melbourne, a city that seems effortlessly to include both offbeat design and conventional luxury in its varied accommodation scene. Culture Trip has rounded up the best luxury hotels for the perfect visit to Australia’s cultural capital.
Melbourne is consistently ranked as one of the most liveable cities in the world, and with its palpable creativity, vibrant dining scene and charming historical buildings, it’s easy to see why. Make the most of any stay in this bewitching Australian metropolis by splashing out on a room at one of the city’s spectacular luxury hotels, featuring rooftop pools, contemporary art and in-house fine-dining destinations – there’s something here to suit all tastes.
The Hotel Windsor
The Hotel Windsor opened its doors in 1883 | Courtesy of The Hotel Windsor / Hotels.com
Lawrence Olivier, Meryl Streep and Muhammad Ali are just some of the stars to have graced the corridors of The Hotel Windsor, a landmark heritage hotel that has been in operation near Melbourne’s theatre district since 1883. Steeped in history and even older than The Ritz in Paris and The Savoy in London, many of the hotel’s architectural details, including its Grand Ballroom, have been lovingly preserved and restored over the years. Some of the 180 guest rooms feature antique accessories and ornamental fireplaces amid the plush decor, but contemporary touches such as custom pillow menus have brought the venue firmly into the 21st century.
Overlooking Fitzroy Gardens and a stone’s throw from the imposing Parliament House, the Park Hyatt Melbourne offers stately opulence, made evident from the moment visitors arrive via its grand, tree-lined entrance and step into the palatial lobby. The hotel’s 240 rooms are spacious and include walk-in wardrobes. There’s an indoor pool and a day spa, but with the trendy neighbourhood hotspots of Collingwood, Fitzroy and Chinatown all within walking distance, you may not be staying indoors much.
For Australian hospitality with a French twist, check into the Sofitel Melbourne on Collins. Fittingly, it is located at the ‘Paris end’ of Collins Street, with the city’s most expensive boutiques on its doorstep. After shopping, retire to one of the 363 rooms, which are decorated in soothing hues and feature Bose sound systems. Alternatively, take the elevator up to the 35th floor for dinner at the No35 restaurant, or partake of a nightcap at Atrium Bar on 35.
Not only is the QT Melbourne home to one of the city’s best rooftop bars, Rooftop at QT, it also offers 188 stylish rooms decorated with a playful touch. The design is modern and eclectic with a focus on industrial fittings and colourful furnishings, but the hotel doesn’t skimp on luxury. Rooms are kitted out with gel foam mattresses and Kevin Murphy amenities, and come with free in-house movies and gym access. There is also a restaurant, Pascale Bar and Grill, and an upmarket Japanese knife shop, Tanto, on-site.
Luxury-level design with a dash of kitsch defines the Adelphi, a 34-room boutique hotel in the heart of Melbourne. Candy jars and stools that look like liquorice are just some of the quirkier features incorporated into its playful interior, and each room has a personal coffee station to make getting up in the morning easier. The Adelphi is located on Flinders Lane, dangerously close to some of Melbourne’s best restaurants and bars; also worthy of a mention is dessert haven the Om Nom Kitchen, located inside the building. If it all gets too much, you can always retreat to the cantilevered rooftop pool.
Perched on the Southbank Promenade, overlooking the Yarra River and the twinkling lights of Melbourne, is The Langham. The hotel deals in chic elegance, and its 388 rooms are decked out with discreet grandeur and feature marble bathrooms, sumptuous fabrics and city views. Dining options include the riverside restaurant Melba and the sophisticated Aria Bar and Lounge, but save some space for The Langham Afternoon Tea With Wedgwood, a signature experience that features speciality china and a tea sommelier. Burn off the calories later in the indoor swimming pool, part of the venue’s Chuan Spa.
The Crown Entertainment Complex, comprising a casino, nightclubs and eateries, is one of Melbourne’s flashiest playgrounds – and its extravagant Crown Towers hotel is a masterclass in luxury design. The rooms are lavishly decorated and feature floor-to-ceiling windows for drinking in the views, but the real draw here is the facilities: the hotel has a heated pool, day spa and multiple restaurants, including the fine-dining destinations Nobu and Dinner by Heston Blumenthal.
Located on the waterfront at South Wharf, an area brimming with discount shopping and dining options, is the Pan Pacific Melbourne – a sleek, elegant hotel that overlooks a string of refurbished 19th-century cargo sheds housing buzzy eateries and bars. Its 396 rooms boast views across the river and the city skyline, and the hotel is adjacent to the Melbourne Convention Exhibition Centre, home to various concerts, trade shows and conferences.
Tucked away in South Yarra, one of Melbourne’s most upmarket neighbourhoods, is a 12-suite “home hotel” facing the Royal Botanic Gardens. A relatively new addition to the city’s luxury accommodation scene, United Places offers minimalist design and attention to detail that includes amenities from the cult perfume brand Le Labo and blankets and towels hand-loomed in Southern Turkey. Breakfast comes from nearby restaurant Matilda 159, and room service can also be ordered from this establishment. The round-the-clock butler service means guests can have their own private table set up in their suite.
Nestled in the lively neighbourhood of Prahran is a 118-room homage to the late contemporary Australian artist Adam Cullen. His signature aesthetic inspired the hotel’s suites, which run the gamut from studio to penthouse and are decorated with artworks. The rooms feature kitchenette facilities, and for those who feel like cooking, there’s no better place to stock up on supplies than the bustling Prahran Market, located just across the street. There are two on-site restaurants, and Smart cars are available for hire on an hourly or daily basis.