Time Out says
Spend the night in this design-driven hotel with risqué minibar options and a classy wine bar inside
It’s fair to say Zagame’s Downtowner, a plain, somewhat daggy city-fringe hotel that has been hanging around the corner of Lygon and Queensberry streets since 2003, has had quite the glow up. Opened in May 2019 after an $18 million renovation, Zagame’s House is a chic addition to Melbourne’s boutique hotel scene and features all the plusses that make a staycation worth it: plush king-sized beds, velour armchairs, a rainfall shower, a decked-out minibar and minimalist Scandi furnishings that seem straight out of a Pinterest collection.
If you dig a little deeper, you’ll realise it’s the small touches that make this place A grade. Rooms feature organic bath products from UK brand Cowshed, Marshall speakers you can connect to via Bluetooth and custom-lit bathroom mirrors that have different illumination settings for the perfect selfie. The hotel is wheelchair-accessible, and the late-night room service menu is all fancy toasties (think truffle cheese, meatballs or harissa chicken).
Zagame’s has probably one of the best-stocked minibars in town, by the way. There’s Espresso Martini in a can, beers from locals like Moon Dog Brewery, sodas from Bickford and Sons and hand-selected Everleigh Bottling Co, cocktails. If you're hungry, you can buy a selection of house-made sweet and savoury treats like gummy bears, raspberry twists and chocolate pretzels. Bored? There’s a pack of Uno cards on the menu, too, as well as a “lover’s kit”, which has condoms, lube and even a battery-operated vibrator. If you're looking to get closer to your companion (and you will, with a not-so-solid bathroom door that doesn't leave much to the imagination), Zagame's is the place.
Plus, there’s the chic wine bar Lord Lygon right there on the ground floor. Executive chef Chris Bonello (from Berwick’s MPD Steak Kitchen) is serving up small bites like Coffin Bay oysters, popcorn chicken and duck san choy bau beside a nice selection of cheese and freshly cut salumi from the huge mechanical meat slicer. Feel free to consult the encyclopedic knowledge of resident sommelier and bar manager Marcus Radney (formerly at the Royal Mail Hotel), who heroes mostly organic wines from some of Australia’s smaller, independent producers.
Time Out tip: There are 97 rooms available at Zagame’s, but we’d opt for the Neon Suite if it’s available. It includes complimentary movies, a coffee pod machine, a cocktail-making station, free parking and even complimentary breakfast at in-house café 1851. The coffee is strong at 1851 (it comes from Mansfield Coffee Merchants), and the menu features breakfast ramen, sweet corn fritters and a hemp seed hotcake.
The writer stayed as a guest of Zagame’s House.