Signature checks in to… QT Melbourne
Traveller: Gwen O’Toole
Room: QT Executive King
Address: 133 Russell Street, Melbourne, VIC
Date: November 2016
Best for: A sophisticated stay in the heart of Melbourne with an abundance of dining, shopping and entertainment options. It’s perfect for an indulgent weekend getaway.
Well groomed and smartly accessorised, QT Melbourne is the ideal spot for a ‘stay and play’ getaway. With an industrial and stylish décor, this property is hip, sexy, sophisticated and quirky in all the right ways. Located in the ‘Paris end’ of the inner-city, virtually everything you could wish for in terms of shopping, dining and entertainment is right at your doorstep.
The Signature factor
The only way to describe QT Melbourne is fashionably industrial glam: it’s moody, dark and reminiscent of a New York runway. The common areas are artsy, sexy and sophisticated and it has one of the best rooftop bars in Melbourne. It’s the perfect place to indulge in a cocktail and soak up the surrounds.
Each of the QT Hotels siblings has a signature style reflective of the location. QT Melbourne offers 188 designer guest rooms and plenty of public space that are reflective of the area’s historical rag trade affiliation.
Newly opened in September, the landmark building has been designed by admired architect, Angelo Candalepas, and features an abundance of cutting-edge art installations including video artwork curated by Amanda Love of LOVEART. Inside, QT Melbourne has been beautifully accessorised by a powerhouse design duo of interior designer, Nic Graham, and architectural design specialist, Shelley Indyk. Each detail has been well thought out, right down to the music in the common areas and the staff uniforms designed by Broadway costume designer Janet Hine who, rumour has it, has even made costumes for Dame Edna.
Greeted at the door by a very well groomed doorlady, we’re welcomed in to a grand staircase and a lobby area that’s full of designer furnishing and modern artwork everywhere. It’s very boutique, quirky and feels like a mix between a hotel lobby and modern art museum. On your left, the QT Melbourne in-house Cake Shop serves up coffee and sweet/savoury pastries and treats. QT Hotels are recognised for their quirky nature and strange little surprises during your stay and the Melbourne one certainly doesn’t disappoint. Heading up to the room, don’t be surprised (in fact, expect it) if your lift talks to you as you exit. We got quips along the lines of “If you walk out that door, don’t come back!” and “Hey, I forgot to get your number!” and, depending on which lift you use, the accents are international too!
The QT Executive King Room is spacious and smart with an industrial feel; think concrete ceilings with bold metal lighting fixtures, wooden floors over carpeting and leather upholstered wardrobes. With the bed in the centre of the room, you’ll have plenty of space to move about. The bathroom doors and the wall behind the double sinks are Japanese-style sliding partitions, which some may find far less private, but the free-standing bath and wet room-style rain shower is bliss. Bathroom amenities are (MALIN+GOETZ) and there’s a plush robe in black rather than the traditional white. You’ll also find a Nespresso machine and Tippity tea for a caffeine hit.
Rooms are decorated with modern artworks on the walls and the television, rather than your standard hotel greeting when you arrive into the room, is a video artwork that can leave you staring at your television for longer than you might expect. A Bose music system and copies of fashion magazines are on hand to help you unwind.
The Loft Room is much like the Executive King, but located on the top floor of QT Melbourne and the Corner Room is also much like the Executive King with the exception of the standalone bath being located on a raised, window-front platform where you can relax and soak up the city views.
On my plate
QT Melbourne has dedicated an entire floor to its in-house restaurant Pascale Bar & Grill and, even though we stayed on a weeknight, the restaurant was certainly hopping. The menu is Euro-bistro inspired and the giant open kitchen allows you to have a bit of a peek at the magic taking place.
The menu is divine and the wine list solid, and wherever possible fresh ingredients are farmed by the QT Melbourne kitchen team from the rooftop garden. There’s also a rooftop beehive. If you’re looking for a casual bite, the laneway bar Hot Sauce is also a great spot for a bite between 4.30pm and 2am Monday to Saturday. The bar menu here is Korean- and Japanese-inspired and it’s the ideal spot to duck into for a drink, some great tunes and a casual dining experience.
On the ground floor, The Cake Shop is a patisserie serving up coffee, sweets and treats all day long into the evening in case you need a sugar hit or have an evening sugar craving.
Highlights from the mini-bar
The mini bar at QT is likely one of the most elaborate you’re likely to find anywhere. It’s like your own little gift shop full of premium liquor, soft drinks as well as plenty of the expected treats like chocolate bars, salty snacks and the like. There’s also a decent range of smaller sized gifts that are easy to take home in case you need a quick souvenir. You’ll find everything from books about Melbourne’s street art to travel-sized games, puzzles, gourmet locally made treats, a fold-up tote bag, even a very hipster beard-grooming kit.
I wish I could take home…
The plush bathrobes are so soft and having them in black is a nice touch too. Additionally, the tiny décor touches like figurines, ceramic bowls and beautiful drinking glasses in the room are exactly the type of things you’ll want to put in your own home.
QT offers a range of great dining options from Pascale Bar & Grill to the downstairs laneway bar Hot Sauce to the patisserie on the ground level. On the rooftop you’ll also find a bar with city views and a lively vibe where you can enjoy the surrounds and a cocktail or two.
For something a little different, QT Melbourne also is home to a high-end Japanese knife shop called Tanto. Tanto sells crafted Suisin knives sourced by 10th-generation sword makers from Sakai, which is the heart of traditional Japanese knife making. So while it’s the place to buy top-quality knives, it’s also where you’ll find Melbourne’s top chefs sharpening theirs.
Guest rooms offer free Wi-Fi and free in-house movies so it’s the perfect way to catch up on a bit of work if you’re a business traveller or catch up on the latest films if you’re kicking back and relaxing.
Staying at QT Melbourne means you’re located in the very best spot in the city to really enjoy all the CBD has to offer. You’re in the heart of the shopping district so everything from high-end retail to major national labels and boutiques are a short walk away. Popular pedestrian-only Bourke Street Mall is close by as are the enormous shopping centres of Emporium and Melbourne Central.
Theatregoers aren’t far from the city’s major theatres, so if you’re in the mood for a show, you’re in the right spot and you’re also centrally located to an incredibly large number of restaurants and bars, all within walking distance.
Members of the Priority Guest Rewards programme get 10 per cent off rates and up to 20 per cent off dining.
Light sleepers might find the audible ticking of the bedside alarm clock a bit tedious.