How to choose the perfect boutique hotel in Melbourne
Make the most of a visit to the culture capital of Australia by staying in a property that best suits your interests. We find five of the most unique boutique hotels in Melbourne.
Australia’s quirky, enigmatic and often glamorous ‘capital of cool’, Melbourne is famously home to some of the country’s best art, music and dining experiences. And when you’re heading to the culture capital of Australia, it’s important to choose the hotel to match.
As such, we encourage you to ditch the standard chain and instead embrace a hotel that is unique and boutique with a touch of chic on your next Victorian getaway.
For art: Art Series – The Chen
Head a little outside the CBD and you’ll find The Chen, a luxury boutique hotel owing its name (and quirky design cues) to celebrated Australian abstract artist, Zhong Chen. You’ll find an art library in each of the 100 open-plan suites, often accompanied by art books and a deluxe mini-bar. Highlights of the hotel include its heated rooftop pool and sundeck, boasting impressive views to the city skyline, and the Golden Lily Chinese Restaurant, which serves a diverse menu featuring traditional Cantonese, Shanghai and Sichuan cuisines.
For authenticity: Tolarno Hotel
This hotel has been called the ‘Original Art Hotel’, the heritage building once an art gallery and private residence of French-born Melbourne artist, Mirka Mora, who has been acknowledged as a notable influencer in the development of contemporary art in Australia today. You’ll find a striking selection of artworks and a team proud of its knowledge of Melbourne’s must-try dining and bar venues, offering an entry point to an authentic experience of local culture. Spacious, well-appointed suites still offer comfortable living quarters with lots of natural light and premium amenities, and prize-winning (yet sometimes daring) artworks are on display throughout the hotel.
For wellness: The Lyall Hotel & Spa
Proudly abstaining from the ‘big brand’ mentality, The Lyall Hotel offers a tailor-made experience in the bustling, upscale suburb of South Yarra. A concierge team and room service that operate 24 hours is just the beginning of the attentive services guests can expect here, with same-day laundry and dry cleaning, valet parking and an Owner’s Guide to Local Dining ready to help make the most of your Melbourne visit. However, The Lyall’s true magnetism comes from its three-level spa, with eight treatment rooms offering everything from professional makeup and manicures to hydrotherapy.
For history: Royce Hotel
With red velvet walls and ornate gold trim, this decadent five-star hotel was once renowned as Australia’s most glamorous automobile showroom. Its history dates back over 100 years, with an enviable location next to the Royal Botanic Gardens and within easy reach of Melbourne’s distinguished shopping and restaurant precinct, Toorak Road. Its restaurant, The Dish, has been awarded two chefs’ hats by the Gault&Millau Restaurant Guide and has earned recognition as one of the district’s most popular dining destinations.
For space: 381 Cremorne
The boutique serviced apartments at 381 Cremorne offer contemporary accommodation refreshingly devoid of that ‘hotel feeling’. Perfect for travellers who prefer space to spread out, the apartments are light and airy, ranging from one to three bedrooms and offering kitchen and laundry facilities. Each is distinctly modern, with open-plan living and many boasting private terraces or courtyards. Nearby, Melbourne’s entertainment precinct is easily accessible, including the MCG, Rod Laver Arena and AAMI Park.