Whether you are looking for a buzzing city hotel or a discrete neighbourhood hideaway, Melbourne’s best hotels have you covered.
By Ute Junker
With so many tempting options to choose from, selecting a hotel in Melbourne can be a challenge. Do you opt for a hotel in a leafy backstreet in a happening neighbourhood, or one that is close to the city’s ever-lively laneways? Do you choose a hotel with fantastic in-house restaurants, or one with a buzzing rooftop bar? Do you go for cutting-edge interiors, or picture-perfect views? Whichever one of these inviting hotels you pick, you are guaranteed a memorable stay.
A winning combination of quirky design and playful approach has made QT Hotels Australia’s favourite boutique hotel group, and the Melbourne outpost is one of the best. In addition to the typical QT touches that regulars have come to love – from striking art installations to lifts that flirt with guests as they are transported to their rooms – the rooms are full of clever design details, such as graffiti-inspired rugs and Japanese-style sliding doors that let you close off the open bathroom for privacy. The rooftop bar and the fabulous in-house restaurant, Pascale, are as popular with locals as with guests.
133 Russell Street, Melbourne CBD
Understated elegance is the name of the game at Lyall Hotel and Spa, an intimate property which nonetheless offers all the services you would expect from a grand hotel, right down to a three-level spa. In fact, the Lyall is so inviting that, despite its close proximity to the shops and restaurants of Chapel Street and Toorak Road, you may decide to treat yourself to a night in. Start the evening with a drink in the Champagne bar, or perhaps on your private terrace, before settling in with a movie chosen from the extensive library. There’s no rush about ordering dinner, either – room service is available 24 hours a day.
16 Murphy Street, South Yarra
For big-city glamour, Crown Towers remains the property to beat. Its luxurious rooms tick all the boxes with their front-and-centre views of the city and the river, their sink-into beds and their oversized bathrooms. Arguably the hotel’s biggest attraction, however, is the extraordinary array of restaurants located within the Crown complex, helmed by top chefs such as Heston Blumenthal, Neil Perry, Guillaume Brahimi and Nobu. Throw in an indulgent spa, and there are plenty of reasons to stay put. If you do decide to head out, however, the city centre is an easy stroll away.
8 Whiteman Street, Southbank, Melbourne CBD
For anyone interested in Australian art, The Olsen and any of its sister hotels in the Art Series collection, offer a unique opportunity to wake up with some of the country’s best loved artists or, at least, with their works. The Olsen, located amid the cafés and boutiques of fashionable Chapel Street, showcases the works of landscape artist John Olsen, celebrated for his fluid lines and wash of colour. In addition to the mural in the lobby, each room includes a museum-quality Olsen print. Best of all, Olsen himself stays at the hotel whenever he visits Melbourne, so you may even bump into him at breakfast.
Most hotels know their clientele, pitching themselves either at the business traveller or the holiday crowd. At Ovolo Laneways, they like a bit of both. The central city location and the apartment-style rooms are designed to attract business trippers, but the playful design touches – including the silver spheres scattered across the lobby – will appeal to holidaymakers, too. Ovolo’s no-frills approach means that there are no hot breakfasts and no swimming pool, but most guests agree that the free mini-bar more than makes up for it.
19 Little Bourke Street, Melbourne CBD
“Effortlessly hip” is the best way to describe this quirky boutique bolthole in the seaside Melbourne suburb of St Kilda. It's home to one of the best spas in the city, the indulgent Aurora Spa, and also offers a stunning restaurant, more casual bar venue and a live music venue. The airy rooms, all white walls and dark timber, are lovely rather than lavish, but with the many delights of St Kilda so close, you aren’t going to be spending a lot of time in your room. However, we do recommend a visit to the hotel’s seriously stylish pool area, known as The Deck.
2 Acland Street, St Kilda
Yes, the Adelphi is a dessert-themed hotel, but no, it’s not as kooky as it sounds. In fact, this inner-city hotel will please design fans as well as those with a sweet tooth, with its velvety chocolate decor and its stools inspired by colourful liquorice allsorts, teamed with geometric carpets and brushed steel bathrooms. The in-house dessert bar, Om Nom, is justly famous, but there are a lot of other reasons to stay at the Adelphi, from the generously sized rooms to free mini-bar. Oh, it also has the most famous rooftop pool in town.
187 Flinders Lane, Melbourne CBD