Top hotels reviewed by the experts
Treasury on Collins
The 95-room Treasury on Collins is quite, well, an underrated treasure. It’s located inside a historic 19th-century building with a near perfect location right on bustling Collins Street, Melbourne’s premier Central Business District avenue. A pleasant and affordable surprise, it somehow manages to avoid the pitfalls inherent to apartment hotels with an adequately-staffed reception and spacious and well-appointed rooms.
Crown Melbourne dominates the south bank of the Yarra. And the 482-room Crown Towers itself, once touted as Australia’s first six-star hotel, is still a dominant feature of the Southbank skyline. Whatever you think of James Packer (and opinions are diverse), Crown founder, owner and sometime amateur pugilist, knows how to create and operate a sophisticated hotel. Some of Crown Towers’ original and alleged six stars may have lost a little of their glitter but it still ranks as one of Australia’s best hotel experiences.
The Langham Melbourne must sometimes feel like a goldfish beached next to a whale, located as it near to the gargantuan Crown casino complex that dominates the Southbank precinct beside the Yarra River. But The Langham consistently dominates TripAdvisor’s coveted No.1 or 2 (mostly No.1) hotel spot.
If your tastes in hotels revolves around assured classic five-star luxury digs with a grand, big-city feel than you’ll be well and truly in the pink at The Langham Melbourne.
Docklands is on the western fringe of Melbourne’s CBD and it’s still a work in progress: Peppers is the area’s first five-star hotel, right beside Etihad Stadium. Just step outside and you’re on the stadium’s concourse.
This hotel was built for the events market – fans attending footy games and the biggest international concerts are within its sights. However, owing to its generous sleeping arrangements, it should also prove attractive to double daters and larger families who don’t want to split up.
Roy Slaven and H.G. Nelson’s wonderfully hyperbolic maxim that “too much sport is never enough” is nowhere more manifest than at this sleek new Melbourne apartment hotel. It is, after all, located right on the periphery of the Victorian capital’s sporting and major events precinct in the diminutive inner-city suburb of Cremorne, adjacent to the more familiar Richmond.
But, as you will see the plethora of sport is not the only enticement for prospective guests. It’s a worthy alternative to a conventional hotel, especially if you’re attending a sporting event, and let’s savour it while it lasts. It’s also a smart address if you hunger for a taste of Melbourne’s inner-city good life from a less predictable perspective.
Fittingly perhaps for our most European-style city, Hotel Lindrum, which opened in 1999 as one of Melbourne’s first genuine boutique hotels, can feel like the sort of quietly cool, understated hotel one encounters in the likes of London and Lisbon. It’s commendably understated, eschewing the gimmickry of other hotels in its class, with a friendly, professional and sartorial front-of-house team who handily double as baristas and bartenders.
Located on Flinder Street on the edge of the CBD, Hotel Lindrum is perfectly located for sporting and cultural events, with some of Melbourne’s leading venues and institutions within walking distance.
The Olsen, South Yarra
The 224-room Olsen opened in 2010 and is located on Chapel Street, in the fashionable inner-city suburb of South Yarra, four kilometres from Melbourne’s CBD. The walls of the rooms feature a selection of Olsen prints and well-thumbed coffee table books on the artist’s life and work. In a nation obsessed with sporting stars, it’s a pleasure to stay at a hotel that salutes some of our cultural heroes.
Four Points by Sheraton, Melbourne
Set behind the Newquay promenade, beside Harbour Town shopping centre, the four-star Four Points overlooks the Yarra River and the Bolte Bridge, which lights up for a surprisingly lovely night view. Step out onto the quay for a pleasant waterfront walk past intriguing sculptures, a few moored luxury craft and the occasional kayaker. It’s less than 10 minutes’ walk to Etihad Stadium, and the hotel is well served by the free city-bound trams that stop at the front door.
Jazz Corner Hotel
Oh, yes, it’s easy to mock a hotel such as this one, what with its unapologetic jazz theme. And the female staff at the front desk actually do wear (red) berets and fetching they look, too. But the owners of the 150-room Jazz Corner Hotel, deserve recognition for their imagination in creating a themed-hotel in what still can be a grey, predictable old world of Australian accommodation.
The owners and developers deserve a round of applause for what is a clever ensemble of music, food, and accommodation. Although you certainly don’t have to be a jazz fan to stay here, those who do count themselves in such company will find The Jazz Corner Hotel a pleasurable place to build a weekend’s stay around.