Dripping in old-world charm and the glamour of a bygone era, this grand dame is really something special. The hotel opened its doors in 1883 and has welcomed guests such as Lauren Bacall, Katharine Hepburn, Vivien Leigh, Gregory Peck, Anthony Hopkins, Malcolm Fraser, Gough Whitlam, Robert Menzies and Metallica.
The décor here is understated and refined, with tasteful furnishings, soaring ceilings and pretty leadlight accents rather than the cold and tacky flashiness of some 'luxury' hotels. The staff are warm and attentive, happy to help with everything from nearby bar recommendations to forgotten toothbrushes.
The rooms themselves are elegant, with marble bathrooms and soft linens and towels. If you really want to splash out, the 122-square-metre Victorian Suite is grand and elegant, with a dining room, separate lounge and second bedroom. Huge windows on both sides make the suite feel more like an upper class 19th-century pied-â-terre than a hotel room. Modern amenities like two LCD televisions, excellent water pressure and luxury bath products don't interfere with the 19th-century vibe, but they will make your stay extremely comfortable.
Located in a prime position on Spring Street, the Windsor is in a perfect location to visit state parliament, Melbourne Museum, the Old Treasury Building or the Princess, Comedy or Her Majesty's theatres.
Time Out tip: Even if you don't want to stay at the Windsor, do make sure you drop in for afternoon tea, which is served every day of the week. It's $69 Monday-Friday (or $89 if you want to upgrade your single glass of French sparkling wine to one of Louis Roederer Brut Premier Champagne) and $20 more on Saturdays and Sundays. Our tip is to pay the extra, as the Windsor's dessert buffet is only available on weekends and is a highlight of the whole experience. Think all-you-can eat cakes, mousses, tarts and other goodies, topped off by dark and milk free-flowing chocolate fountains.
Cassidy Knowlton stayed as a guest of the Hotel Windsor.