We all have different preferences when it comes to hotels – perhaps you're a fan of staying right in the middle of the action; maybe you're happy to chill out in a boutique hotel in a cute neighbourhood. Whatever kind of vacation (or staycation) you're after, we've got you covered. While you're splurging, why not keep the good times rolling in one of Melbourne's best cocktail bars or Flinders Lane restaurants?
Boutique hotels in Melbourne
If you want to be somewhere central, Flinders Lane is about as perfect as it gets – and the recently-refurbished Adelphi is a delight of inner-city luxury. Think rich, chocolatey tones – as befits a hotel that also houses the Om Nom Dessert Restaurant and Bar – and 34 rooms that are more like swingin’ '60s bachelor pads than hotel suites. It also boasts a rooftop pool up on the eighth storey, which is cool as hell in itself.
Understated elegance is the philosophy here – polished wood, sleek lines, big comfy beds. They also boast 24-hour room service, which sounds like a nice touch until that time when you really need it, when it becomes amazing. And it’s especially useful given that the Lindrum is in prime staggering distance from a bunch of Melbourne’s best cocktail bars on and around Flinders Street – and the hotel’s restaurant, Felt, is no slouch either.
OK, let’s be clear: the Lyall is pricy. It’s also gorgeous, and conveniently close to the exquisite shopping of Toorak Road and Chapel Street (and if you’re popping over to do some South Yarra shopping, you can probably afford to spoil yourself a bit on digs). The Champagne Bar is intimate and charming, and they boast an award-winning day spa as well, if you’re really in a pampering mood.
We’re not going to make assumptions about the sorts of people who read Time Out – other than that they’re urbane, sophisticated and incredibly good-looking, obviously – but we feel we’d remiss in not mentioning that the Ovolo has a free minibar in every room. Yep, you read that correctly. Free. Mini. Bar.
Like the abovementioned Cullen and the Olsen, this South Kilda Road gem is part of the Art Series Hotel Group, this time based around the work of Charles Blackman. The rooms are lovely, sure, but the bar downstairs is amazing and it even has its own very swanky bakery. But the art’s the focus, and rightly so.
It’s a Melbourne institution. For over two decades it’s been the grande dame of Chapel Street, with stylish rooms (even the studio suites have Japanese gardens) and if it could do with a bit of a facelift, it also has an effortless, undeniable charm. And it’s also a haunt for celebrities (Channel Ten is next door, so it’s the obvious place for the network to plonk visiting VIPs) – especially since it boasts the jacuzzi’n’grand piano’n’private terrace Como Suite. Now that is fancy.
Adam Cullen is no longer with us, but his legacy lives on in this designer hotel built around 450-odd pieces of his work. It’s in Prahran, right in the market district, with restaurants, bars and cafés left and right – and there are two important bits of advice to offer. One is that you should request a balcony room, since they don’t all have them and they’re pretty damn awesome, and two is that the food downstairs at Huton is superb (do not miss their dumplings).
The Olsen is not just a hotel: it’s a living showcase of its titular artist. John Olsen’s work adorns every room, which explains why the decorations are otherwise on the clean, stylish and white side – they’re never going to compete with the works on display. The rooms are large and beautiful and the South Yarra location oh-so-chic. If you’ve ever wanted to stay in a luxury art gallery, this is as close as the dream gets.
It’s a pub! It’s a venue! It’s a hotel! It’s a bar! It’s a restaurant! It’s basically the most versatile building in St Kilda, given that it encompasses most of the block and contains the Prince of Wales Hotel, Circa, the Aurora Spa Retreat and the Prince Bandroom. See, developers, we can all get along. It also manages to straddle that cool, inner-city vibe with luxury suites – and the Deck has gorgeous views across Port Phillip Bay.
There’s a sweeping staircase in the lobby and a quiet, understated elegance to this hotel on the outskirts of the CBD. Colours are muted, marble is shiny and the mezzanine rooms especially nicely appointed. It’s a perfect morning stroll to the Royal Botanic Gardens, and its in-house restaurant Dish has become quite the destination in its own right.