For a taste of inner-city luxury, you can’t go past W Melbourne. The hotel, which opened in February of 2021, packs 294 guest rooms, 29 suites, a secret bar, a premium restaurant and a sexy top-floor pool into its Flinders Lane digs – and still manages to feel boutique rather than behemoth.
Every detail at the W Melbourne has been carefully considered, meticulously placed and kept affectionately local. Its design takes inspiration from Melbourne’s laneway culture, with little nods to our city throughout the venue. From the wardrobes that look remarkably like Melbourne’s streetside kiosks to the street art-style artworks of a female affectionately called “Mel” that adorn many of the hotel’s walls, you can tell this is a hotel that likes to have a bit of fun.
And with the kind of rooms the W is offering, you'll probably have a bit of fun as well. Floor-to-ceiling windows feature in every room, as do colourful fixtures, Foxtel channels and king beds that lure you into a content slumber. But it’s the bathrooms that really impress: each room is fixed with a Japanese Toto toilet (yes, the ones with a bidet and heated seats!). The remainder of the bathroom is equally as fabulous, with luxe Davines bath amenities on hand to keep you smelling delightful.
There’s a fitness centre on level 14 alongside what might be the cherry on top of this entire hotel: a gorgeous, gold-roofed indoor pool with a poolside bar and a DJ booth. The pool is pleasantly warm and accessible 24/7 (just be warned that there’s no one supervising you in the wee hours of the morning).
No, we were lying. The actual cherry on top is the W's dining venues. Lollo is the hotel’s main restaurant, and it’s under the talented tutelage of chef Adam D’Sylva, known for his work with another Flinders Lane restaurant, Coda. D’Sylva’s Italian-Indian heritage is on full display at Lollo with a menu that includes buffalo mozzarella encroutes and corn-fed chicken cotoletta beside aromatic red duck curry.
Then there’s the much-lauded secret bar. Wander down the staircase on Market Street towards Curious, a dimly lit underground haunt. The cocktail menu is divided into a couple of sections, all inspired by Melbourne’s cultural pillars: coffee, fashion and art. Try the rich and silky Degraves from the coffee menu, which includes Martell VS cognac, cascara-flavoured Mancino Rosso vermouth, banana, Pedro Ximenez and orange blossom. Or opt for the Stilleto from the fashion menu, which has Wolf Lane Davidson plum Plymouth gin, blood orange sorbet and sparkling wine and comes spritzed with “makeup aroma”.
Let’s face it, even though Melbourne is easy to get around, we often don't want to travel far for our fun. With the W Melbourne, you really can comfortably spend your evening right here – sipping on a cocktail, eating a baked lasagna, going for a late-night dip and then resting your head for another day.
Time Out tip: Head to the indoor pool before 7am for a solo swim, and you might even see hot air balloons pass by the windows.