Sometimes a corporate hotel is just a corporate hotel. Other times, it’s like the Element Melbourne Richmond: a sophisticated, pet-friendly paradise packed with all the amenities.
When Marriott International announced the opening of the new Element Melbourne Richmond, the brand knew it would need key points of difference to stand out from the state’s already saturated hotel market. Turns out, it delivered.
Element Melbourne Richmond
588 Swan Street, Richmond, Melbourne
As a Melburnian, I thought I knew every nook and cranny of Richmond’s bustling Swan Street. However, nestled within the new Botanicca Corporate Park is the Element Melbourne Richmond, in all its grand and vibrant glory.
The location itself was a little further away from the action than I was expecting, but in such an interconnected city, there are plenty of means to get you there in a flash. And hey, who doesn’t like a whole lot of privacy?
The property itself has all the trimmings of a luxe, new build, featuring an abundance of natural light and boutique furnishings. Designed by local architecture firm, Rothelowman, the curved façade is beautifully modern, integrating well with the surrounding industrial landscape.
Check-in was seamless, and the lobby felt both busy and connected, while still retaining an air of relaxation – a combination that is challenging to nail.
One of the drawcards of the Element Melbourne Richmond, aside from the obvious brand recognition and competitive price point is that your furry friends are welcome, too. It’s one of the only pet-friendly hotels in the area, and the property goes above and beyond to welcome your favourite travelling companions.
The room was good. Nice. Nothing out of the ordinary here. It was generous in size with a big, comfy bed – a detail that doesn’t go unnoticed. However, the real drawcard of my Balcony King Room was the massive outdoor terrace.
I’d go as far as to say it’s the biggest balcony I’ve encountered in any hotel room. There were sweeping views of Melbourne’s city skyline, alongside a table and chairs that were begging for a sunset Champagne.
If you are in the mood for a little in-room beverage, there is one small catch. The minibar facilities are located in the lobby, meaning you’ll have to venture downstairs if the mood strikes you. This isn’t a super surprising contingency to come across in a new hotel. In fact, a lot of properties have made the decision to cut the minibar altogether. Firstly, they take up space that could be otherwise utilised; secondly, they generate a mere fraction of hotel revenue, cost time and money to monitor inventory and are often just not worth the bother.
The Mint Lane Restaurant and Bar serves contemporary Australian food for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The space integrates seamlessly with the rest of the hotel: it’s clean and sophisticated, while the food is also up to scratch. I definitely enjoyed the buffet breakfast, but would probably advocate for shopping around the area for lunch and dinner if time permits.
The amenities are the real star of the Element Melbourne Richmond show. For starters, there’s free Wi-Fi for all guests, which is always a nice touch. There’s also a 24-hour fitness centre, as well as bike hire for you to explore the banks of the surrounding Yarra River. Corporate travellers can take advantage of the 280 square-metre event space, alongside catering and expert planning services, which are on offer, too.
Oh, and there’s also an on-site laundry, electric car charging points and car rental.
A recognised industry leader in the longer-stay eco space, it made sense for the hotel brand to lean into its already sustainably conscious ethos with this property. And that is precisely what they did.
Oversized windows provided an abundance of natural light, alongside a number of other eco-conscious touches. The property utilised energy-saving LED lighting, CO2 sensors monitoring air quality as well as water-saving taps in the bathrooms.
The Element Melbourne Richmond did very few things wrong during my stay. Everyone I encountered was super friendly and accommodating, while the pet-friendly inclusion really helped to boost brand loyalty for me. Very few complaints.
You’d be surprised how much a good robe influences my purchasing decisions – and this one was a doozy. I also loved the scale of the outdoor terrace and the plushness of the bed. It felt like they paid attention to my Zen, and made an effort to ensure that, even if you’re there on business, your room is a place to relax.
While the bathroom does provide the classic hotel toiletries, the shower was another story, merely offering a 2-in-1 shampoo/conditioner. This is a disastrous outcome for many travellers. I’d love to see traditionally corporate hotels veer away from catering to an (often male) unfussy, low-maintenance guest, to one that is considered and sophisticated with its bathroom amenities.