Australian Traveller’s pick of the best places to stay on Melbourne’s St Kilda Road

Like a classic ’80s mullet, Melbourne’s St Kilda Rd is business at the front, party at the back. A good base for mid-week business meetings, it’s also a short stroll or tram ride to the entertaining precincts of St Kilda and South Yarra, not to mention the CBD. Here’s AT’s pick of the area . . .

The Prince

Rival with the Lindrum for the best boutique hotel in Melbourne, The Prince is the original cool place to stay for a weekend of shopping, eating and drinking. Famous for its designer mix of Jacobsen and Eames chairs, Bose stereos in minimalist rooms and AESOP products. Be careful: although they say a single room is designed for one but can accommodate two, they are small rooms. The Prince’s Circa is a two-hat restaurant of real class. From $190, 2 Acland St, St Kilda, (03) 9536 1111, www.theprince.com.au

The Hatton

Okay, not strictly on St Kilda Rd but within spitting distance, the Hatton is the pick of the area’s boutique hotels. Minutes from the cafe strip on The Domain overlooking the Botanic Gardens, the Hatton is a 1902 “Italianate” purpose-built hotel. It’s been restored and stuffed with eclectic and astonishing antiques. The rooms are spacious, the bathrooms have baths and L’Occitane products. From $195, 65 Park St, South Yarra, (03) 9868 4800, www.hatton.com.au

Hotel Charsfield

A real contrast to the other buildings on St Kilda Rd, the Hotel Charsfield is a converted and renovated classic Victorian residence. Designed by the same architect as the grand Hotel Windsor, the rooms are surprisingly large with modern furniture. A great quality four star option on a limited budget. From $145, 478 St Kilda Rd, (03) 9866 5511, www.charsfield.com

Urban St Kilda

Not the best reputation as the Marque Hotel, things are looking better under new ownership and a new name. A soft refurb has seen the beds replaced, Bose has been installed in all the rooms, and the new management’s attention to the smaller details will work. (Amazing what fresh weekly flowers can do.) The restaurant is also getting a work-over with a new exec chef and refurb of the entire room. From $160, 35-37 Fitzroy St, St Kilda, (03) 8530 8888, www.urbanstkilda.com.au

Medina Executive St Kilda

The best of the Medina properties in Melbourne (although they’re all very good), the larger apartments in the Executive on Fitzroy St are properly massive. The rooms in the towers towards the back used to be a bit dodgy, but have been refurbed and are now up to speed with the rest of the building. Gym: small. Location: superb. Balconies: great for people watching on Fitzroy. Parking: challenging, narrow and below ground. From $170, 157 Fitzroy St, St Kilda, (03) 9536 0000, www.medina.com.au

Hotel Tolarno

Supporting local artists, the Hotel Tolarno’s vibrant décor is decorated with hanging artwork that extends from the lobby to each of the rooms. Conveniently located five minutes away from all of Fitzroy St’s nightlife of cafés, bars and clubs, this also means it can get a little noisy come the weekends – but keeping the balcony doors closed should alleviate this somewhat. DVDs are available for rent from reception for guests who just want a good night in. From $145, 42 Fitzroy St, St Kilda, (03) 9537 0200, www.tolarnohotel.com.au

Quest on St Kilda Rd

Just renovated, the self-contained apartments of the Quest on St Kilda Rd are a new-and-improved home away from home, each installed with fully equipped kitchens, laundry facilities and separate lounge and dining areas with plenty of privacy from the private courtyard or balcony. Security parking, sauna and gym facilities are also available to guests. But if there’s any trouble, see the very attentive staff who’ll be more than happy to help. From $139, 1A St Kilda Rd, St Kilda, (03) 9537 3000, www.questonstkildaroad.com.au

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