Prime locations, superb service, immaculate design – if you’re looking for luxury in Australia’s capital of European style, these truly are the best of the best . . . and for very good reason.
Opulent, decadent, huge; this is the crème-de-la-crème of Melbourne hotels. With soaring South Bank views of the city lights and an interior big and well-equipped enough to keep you occupied for days without having to step outdoors, this is the place to pull out all the stops and splash out on an extended stay. A hangout for the rich and famous, Crown Towers is unadulterated glamour. www.crowntowers.com.au, (03) 9292 6666.
Midway through a huge renovation, the Grand Hyatt Melbourne is all glass atriums, mirrors and airy open spaces, with more intimate Art Deco-inspired bedrooms, restaurants and bars scattered throughout. Its brand new Collins Kitchen restaurant and RU-CO bar are standouts, and it also has its own two-level shopping plaza. Classy, chic and conceptual. www.melbourne.grand.hyatt.com, (03) 9657 1234.
Hilton on the Park
One for the cricket fans; the Hilton on the Park overlooks one of the most hallowed sports grounds in the world, the MCG. Catering to corporate and leisure travellers, it has a 700m2 ballroom, meeting rooms for up to 900, a full health spa and outdoor pool and several decent dining choices. The lobby area is all marble floors, gold décor and sweeping staircases, and the beds are huge. www.hilton.com, (03) 9419 2000.
The palatial Windsor, with its grand Victorian entrance, high ceilings and carved bannisters, is famed for its dining and afternoon teas, and in 2010 will undergo a $260m overhaul that will, finally, see the old girl regain its rightful position as one of Melbourne’s most beloved hotels. AT can’t wait. www.thewindsor.com.au, (03) 9633 6002.
InterCon The Rialto
Combining a 19th Century gothic façade with a contemporary interior of glass, light and steel, The Rialto’s unique heritage has been retained but accentuated by natural light streaming through a glass atrium. If you’ve an appreciation for design and architecture, you’ll love it.
With a premium location and loads of package deals, the Melbourne Marriott is the perfect place for a post-theatre stay or one-night fly-by trip to the city. The quality of service is unarguably good, and the rooms are spacious, convenient and unpretentious. www.marriott.com, (03) 9662 3900.
Park Hyatt Melbourne
Bordered by the Fitzroy gardens, the Park Hyatt’s classic entrance flows into a uniquely designed curved foyer. Solid staircases connect the different levels and grand columns and polished balustrades line corridors between the various conference facilities and ballrooms. There are courtyards and lounges to enjoy the outdoors, and the rooms have ornate beds strewn with plumped cushions. www.melbourne.park.hyatt.com, (03) 9224 1234
Sofitel Melbourne on Collins
Sleek and sexy but retaining that artsy Melbourne vibe, the Sofitel Melbourne is tiered with bars and restaurants (including the brand new No. 35), and the interior has been decorated with no expense spared. One of the hotel’s best features is its continually changing program of art exhibitions. www.sofitel.com, (03) 9653 0000.
Stamford Plaza Melbourne
Famed for Harry’s Bar with its great cocktail and wine list and European-style menu, Stamford Plaza Melbourne has generous rooms and is great value. Highlights include starlight swims in the indoor-outdoor heated pool, and a childcare service bound to make those exhaustive shopping trips a breeze. www.stamford.com.au/spm, (03) 9659 1000.
The Westin Melbourne
Ideal for a rejuvenating break, the Westin is known for its spa treatments and pampering in-room massages. The aim is to create an entire sensory experience and guests are encouraged to treat the hotel as their own private oasis of calm. The rooms are spacious, the building beautifully designed and the overall atmosphere harmonious. www.westin.com.au, (03) 9635 2222.