Melbourne Travel Guide
An Australian project to build the tallest building in the Southern Hemisphere was approved last week in Melbourne, officially cutting the tape on a 1,273-foot tower called Australia 108, that will house a 288-room hotel which will become the tallest hotel in the world. The whole shebang will cost around $600 million.
The yet-to-be-named hotel will be a “six-star luxury property”, according to its designers, and will have a "hovering" lobby that spans two floors. As you can see in the photo above, it will stick out and appear to dangle midair. We're keeping our fingers crossed for a glass floor!
Thanks to Melbourne-based artist, Matthew Bird, we can now rethink the image we have in our heads as we slide our key-card into a new hotel-room's door. He's created an art installation piece at the city's Hilton on the Park called "Hotel Otherworldly" that reworks an existing hotel room into a fabulous piece of art.
Housed in a fairly non-descript, brown brick building with no balconies, or character for that matter, this artistic hotel room is tucked away amongst business travelers and tourists unknown they might be sleeping next to a piece of art. A design that is as loud as a tornado, maintains the wallflower persona by being purely art.
One of the typical Hilton king guest suites has been transformed into a space where everything installed offers a regional reference to Australia, from flora and fauna to history and culture. A gold slap in the face for the region's gold rush days, art featuring crocodiles and royal blue to signify the history as a British colony all play a significant role in creating not only an over-the-top piece of art, but a reflection of the local culture.
Last we talked about Ovolo Hotels it was all about the first Hong Kong expat property in Melbourne. Out from behind the curtain of obscurity, the hotel decided to branch out internationally and pick the cultural capital of Australia as their first outpost.
At first glance, the nondescript building in the middle of the city could have been any other office building, but little did we know what little treasures we would find inside. For a small hotel, Ovolo Melbourne sure packs a punch...in a good way.
The small lobby proved to be a tight fit with anymore than 2 different guests checking in, but a welcome espresso made the experience a bit more bearable. With a limited, but super cool design, our imagination went into overdrive for what we would experience in the room. After an efficient check-in, we were in the elevator to our one-bed room suite.
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Housed in a former billiard house and named after the champion Aussie player, William Lindrum, the hotel keeps its heritage with a back bar and pool room outfitted with an original table from the Lindrum days. The entire property has been restored to its former glory when the movers and shakers of Melbourne visited the building to relax and unwind with a game of snooker.
Hotel rooms go unused all too often, and it sometimes bugs us when we're forced to pay top dollar, knowing there are rooms unoccupied. Well, Melbourne-based Art Series Hotels has the solution: if there are no guests scheduled to check-in the next day, let the current guests extend their stay!
The Overstay Package allows guests to ring reception right before the standard 11am check-out to see if they can get a few extra hours, or even a few extra nights, in the comfort of their trendy room. So even if the next guest is set to arrive at 6pm, you could still get a few more hours of sleep or an extended bubble bath.
Best part, if you snag this deal, you can stay for free. Yep, nothing, zilch, nada. Makes sense since the room was going unreserved anyway...
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Here's something you don't hear everyday; Kim Kardashian is just a normal traveler that likes some familiarity when bouncing from hotel to hotel. Well, she's as normal as the next person that can afford a $600+ per night suite overlooking the nightly fire show on the banks of Melbourne's Yarra River.
Last week, Kim was gallivanting all over Australia promoting her weight-loss product Quick Trim and landed in Melbourne where she stayed at the super sleek Crown Metropol, the hip brother of Crown Towers. The folks over at Crown knew what to do to make her feel like she was at home and, in true Kardashian fashion, she took to Twitter to brag.
Hong Kong-based boutique hotel chain, Ovolo, has opened up its first international property in Melbourne. Located on Little Bourke Street in the heart of the CBD (aka the Central Business District), hotel guests will be in a convenient area, just steps away from boutique shopping, Parliament House, and the cultural center's hip restaurants and coffee bars.
Ovolo has used the city's famous laneways as it's primary design focus. These laneways are hidden gems filled with restaurants and boutiques typically speckled with brightly colored graffiti art. So, to that end, each room is a mix of dark-tone sleek with pops of color to liven up the space.
Each room is a tech-wonder with Apple TV, iPads on request, free WiFi, and complimentary self-laundry. And the perks don't end there.....
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In other (not so major) hotel news today, our favorite art-loving Aussie hotel brand, Art Series Hotels, has launched their newest promotion, "Which Warhol." Over the course of the next few months, guests will be presented with multiple Andy Warhol replicas hanging in the hallways, and among the fakes will be an original Warhol, valued at $20,000, which only the keenest of eyes will be able to pick out.
Whoever is actually able to figure out which Warhol is which gets to take it home!
We've always dreamed of hanging an actual Warhol in our bedroom, and never thought that would come about by visiting a hotel in Australia. But now that the possibility is out there...
Two weeks ago, we found out about a contest going on at Melbourne's Art Series Hotels (The Blackman, The Olsen and The Cullen). Per the contest's rules, anyone who was able to steal a Banksy painting from one of the hotels, and not get caught in the act, could rightfully claim it as their own.
Well, someone's done it.
Last week, @stealbanksy alerted us to a spectacular heist pulled off at The Blackman by Maura Tuohy and an accomplice by the name of Megan Aney. Apparently, quite a few attemps were made at stealing the artwork, including dismantling the hotel's CCTV cameras, wiring the Front Desk with a listening device, and overloading the housekeeping team with menial tasks to keep them distracted. But the winning scheme was much simpler than all that.
Read below to hear how Maura got away with it!
Over in Melbourne, a trio of hotels known as the Art Series Hotels (The Blackman, The Olsen and The Cullen) are running a rather bizarre contest that rewards the burgling abilities of its guests. Which is probably something The Carlyle or The Ritz-Carlton wouldn't consider in a million years.
Hidden somewhere inside one of the buildings is an authentic Banksy painting titled "No Ball Games" (above). The guest who manages to find it, grab it, and of course, not get caught, gets to go home with the $15,000 prize.
The most important part? You gotta be cool. Among the contest's rules: each participant must "be a polite, respectful and sophisticated art crook."
We caught the behind the scenes of O's Season 25 on OWN recently, and followed her December trip through Australia. In between pow-wows with her producers in her Crown Towers suite, she led the cameras to her favorite part of her digs ...
We love us some Art Hotels, but we're starting to think Melbourne loves 'em even more. Three Art Series Hotels--cool boutique hotels, each designed around the work of an iconic Australian artist--have opened in the past year, and three more are in the pipeline for 2011.
The latest to join the family is The Blackman, located on St. Kilda Road, not far from the center of Melbourne. So, what's this one all about?