The news may have come a couple of weeks too late for Australian Open tennis players’ liking, but W Hotels has just unveiled its second hotel in Australia – the much anticipated W Melbourne. W Melbourne aims to add to Melbourne’s buzzing cultural, fashion and foodie scene and has today, the 4th of February 2021, opened its doors to the public.
Part of Marriott International, the hotel is Melbourne’s first luxury lifestyle hotel. Located at 408 Flinders Lane – in the heart of an eclectic dining and edgy fashion district – W-Melbourne intends to bring the community’s “iconic laneway culture and emerging music scene” to life.
Though time (and Instagram hashtags) will tell if that will happen, the hotel certainly has the amenities to back up that claim (or at least help guests have a luxurious experience, regardless of what they find outside the establishment’s walls).
W Hotels worked with Australian architecture and interior design firm Hachem to bring W Melbourne to life, something which guests should experience thusly, W Hotels describes: “Drawing on the city’s diverse and contrasting character, W Melbourne’s design inspiration is translated into vignettes of Melbourne’s streetscapes, letting guests uncover the dynamic city’s past from behind the scenes. Upon arrival at W Melbourne, guests are introduced to the neighbourhood’s iconic laneways, famous for their graffiti street art and offbeat, eclectic characters.”
“Victorian bluestone tiles connect the Living Room to the laneway, blurring the line between the exterior and interior, where the Welcome Desk stands ready to greet guests. A vast lenticular art installation by local painter and digital artist Rus Kitchin immerses viewers into a canopy of Australian flora and fauna growing above the famed Hosier Lane. The illuminated glass and wood of the Flinders Lane entrance is juxtaposed against the shadows of the hotel’s foyer.”
W Melbourne has 294 stylish guest rooms and 29 suites. The hotel’s Wonderful, Fabulous and Mega category rooms are inspired by the neighbouring street-level newspaper kiosks that back to the 1960s. Each room features floor-to-ceiling windows with skyline views.
The Marvelous rooms feature an eye-catching wall graphic of a fairy wren, a bird native to Australia, pulling back a layer of fabric to reveal a colourful Melbourne scene. The graphic pays homage to the city’s roots as a fashion hub, with Flinders Lane at the centre of its textile trade. The 175-square-metre Extreme Wow Suite (W Hotels’ modern interpretation of the traditional presidential suite), is on the hotel’s highest floor at Level 15, and features a large balcony with expansive views of the Yarra River and an interactive music station – a fresh take on an old-school jukebox.
W Melbourne’s restaurants and bars are set up to riff off Melbourne’s dining landscape. Each puts an innovative spin on the city’s multicultural cuisines. All-day dining restaurant Lollo, under the culinary creative direction of celebrated chef Adam D’Sylva, offers a menu that’s designed to be shared and celebrates the chef’s mixed heritage. Then, the heart of the hotel is cocktail bar Curious, which beckons guests into a cocoon-like space formed by its overhead timber beams.
Japanese restaurant WARABI focuses on the freshest seasonal produce with seating for only 30 diners and a private dining room for ten. A cafe/wine bar known as Culprit then channels Melbourne’s café culture into an original bar concept.
There is also 830 square metres of ultra-modern conference space to play with, providing businesses with a locale for spectacular events with fully adaptable conference equipment, world-class audio-visual facilities and contemporary cuisine from the expert in-house catering team.
What more could a hotel possibly contain? W Melbourne also has a pillarless ballroom of 426 square metres called the Great Room, which has an abundance of natural light and 4×5-metre LED wall. And if you pull a muscle dancing there’s always FIT and WET on Level 14 which will inspire the W ‘Detox.Retox.Repeat’ brand signature wellness philosophy, offering spectacular views alongside an ultramodern fitness facility, gold-roofed indoor pool, poolside bar and DJ booth.
“W Hotels is a perfect fit for Melbourne with its 24/7 energy and design, music and fashion in the brand’s DNA,” says Damon Page, General Manager. “I am so excited to be part of the fab team responsible for bringing this iconic brand to one of the world’s great cities. We will showcase everything from our Whatever/Whenever service promise, our four vibrant bars and restaurants to epic music programming and next level happenings”.
“It was a natural choice for us to launch our second W hotel in Australia in one of the world’s most culturally diverse cities,” said Sean Hunt, Area Vice President, Marriott International. “With its bold style, energizing nightlife and great appetite for what’s new and next, Melbourne is a brilliant new addition to our luxury portfolio, and solidifies our confidence in the travel recovery here in Australia.”
Though the international travel industry continues to recover from the pandemic at a glacial rate, domestically the stage is be better set than you might think for luxury businesses. Though the tide of backpackers and overseas arrivals (and the dollars they bring) has been stemmed, as Traveller reported this morning, “Luxury properties [are] booming as wealthy Australians holiday at home.”
Stick that in your cigar and smoke it.