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At last, we said last month, Ritz-Carlton Hotels is returning to Australia. That was following the announcement of a new hotel in Perth, part of a mixed-use complex with the usual residences, retail spaces, and restaurants. If that was good news, here is more: a second Ritz-Carlton hotel will come to Melbourne, scooping up the title of highest hotel in Australia in the process.
Just as in the country’s far west, the hotel will be part of a mixed-use project called 250 Spencer Street, where the hotel will have 250 rooms between floor 64 and 77 in one of multiple towers (something tells us the Sofitel Melbourne, between floors 36 and 50 in a tower nearby, is not happy about this).
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Visitors to Melbourne, Australia's second largest city, will be twice as lucky with an announcement for the city's newest Parkroyal Hotel. And best of all, this one is a bit closer to the action of the city then the current airport property.
Located in one of Melbourne's most up-and-coming neighborhoods, Parkroyal Melbourne will be sit on the doorstep of the city's action yet still be within walking distance from Etihad Stadium, Crown Casino and the Central Business District. Playing to its excellent location, the 37-story, glass-shrouded building will sport panoramic views of both the city and Victoria Harbour and since the hotel will take the first 18 floors, we expect some awesome Instagram #hotelview posts from this place.
A 34-room boutique hotel in Melbourne -- built in 1938 and converted into hotel in 1993 -- has recently reopened after months of renovations and is calling itself the world's only dessert-themed hotel.
In case you wonder what a dessert-themed hotel looks like, expect carpets patterned to look like cakes and stools that resemble licorice all-sorts. "The colors and textures of the hotel are all based off desserts' says designer Fady Hachem. "But it's not weird. It's not too out there. It's very comfortable and done subtly". Quite subtle, we'd agree, you kind of have to use your imagination a bit to catch the 'dessert' theme.
Nevertheless, if the decor does inspire your sweet tooth, you can help yourself to the jars of candy in the lobby, bowls of toffee apples at reception, minibars filled with homemade cotton candy and popcorn, and a turn-down service delivering home-made macaroons every night. Just don't forget your toothpaste.
The Adelphi has just opened its 40-seat dessert restaurant and bar, Om Nom, and its Ezard restaurant continues to trade in the basement. The ninth-floor pool deck will be refurbished in April with a bar, a barbecue area and possibly a small cinema.
Rates start at AUD260 ($247).
[Photo: Facebook/Adelphi Hotel Melbourne}
Super trendy and hip Aussie hotelier, QT Hotels keep on keeping on with expansion news. We've told you about their Gold Coast property, their Sydney stunner, their ski lodge, and their Bondi Beach takeover. Now it's Melbourne's turn to get in on the fun.
The city that Aussies consider to be the cultural capital of Oz is set to get their very own hotel that pushes the limits of 'on trend' with their eclectic use of art, style and location.
Currently, the property is home to a well-known cinema but come April of next year, a demolition will make way for a 12-story hotel. The new building will sport 188 quirky guestrooms with 16 spaces reserved for the management group's new venture of high-end apartments, just like the QT Bondi property. Along with creative rooms and fun little details, the CBD/Chinatown hotel will feature a roof-top deck for wining and a restaurant for dining.
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If you ask most teens, family trips can be pretty lame and boring, as evidenced by their audible sighs and eye rolls captured on home video and in those embarrassing vacation snaps. We've already seen Omni Hotels cater to some of the toughest teen-travelers, and now it's time for Marriott Hotels in Australia to make them feel right at home with a dedicated concierge suited for their tastes.
The entire portfolio of Aussie Marriotts will be recruiting their youngest concierges in the hopes of creating a hotel stay that any teeny-bopper will enjoy. These won't be your traditional hotel-helpers that sit behind a desk and make dinner reservations for you, these are virtual concierges that can be reached on--what else?--social media.
Properties in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, and the Gold Coast will call upon the teen experts to create original content and compile the best of social media in city-guides that are geared towards visiting teens. These "
hot cool tips" will then be passed along to the guests, hopefully, eliminating a nightmare argument with their parents when the inevitable "what do you want to do?" question gets asked. We wonder if parents can tailor-fit the recommendations prior to check-in?
The possibility that W Hotels might be returning for a "walk-about" Down Under is getting closer with a new proposal in the central business district of Melbourne. Thanks to the deep pockets of Jinshan Investments, the hometown firm wants to turn the land into a 30-story tower featuring the on-trend hotel brand. If you remember, W used to be open in Sydney (this was the very first international W Hotel) but peaced out about 5 years ago. The hotel is now known as the Blue Hotel.
Currently, the plot in Melbourne is home to the Palace Theatre, a heritage-listed building that is a popular venue for music concerts. Even thought the Palace is steeped in history from the 150 years its been hosting the arts, if the plans move forward, the theater will be completely demolished to make way for the 205-room hotel and 145 apartment building.
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The Regent Bali
While we continue to recover from last week’s ma-jah announcement of Tommie Hotels, the lovechild of Commune and Thompson, we have a roundup of news bites from around the world for you this Monday morning. Join us as we hop from Bali to Venice, Amsterdam to China, and Switzerland to Australia, for updates on everything from brand new Chinese brand Ahn Luh to the old school Gritti Palace.
Starting in Southeast Asia, Regent Hotels delivered on the promised opening of its new resort on Bali this past weekend, with 94 suites, one Regent Villa, 25 residences, and that inviting-looking infinity pool above. The Bali resort follows last year’s arrival in Phuket, which we swung by recently to see for ourselves how Regent’s first opening in years would stack up – more on that to come.
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If you haven't heard Ellen DeGeneres and wife, Portia de Rossi, headed Down Under, to Portia's motherland. It was a trip hugely publicized on Ellen's show and by Qantas Airways, one of the sponsors.
We got the scoop on which Aussie hotels got the chance to show one of TV's funniest females their hottest digs on their visit to both Sydney and Melbourne. It seems like the couple likes to stay in the lap of luxury and we can't blame them.
First stop was Sydney, and after getting their respective passports stamped, the pair headed to the historic InterContinental Sydney perched over Circular Quay with views of the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Opera House. Let's hope they had time to check out that awesome pool on the 31st floor overlooking the harbor; it couldn't get more 'Sydneysider' than that!
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.
We've can only imagine how all of Melbourne is a buzz with the Australian Open in town. Heck, we even witnessed Venus and Serena practicing their craft in the lobby of The Olsen. As we near the end of one of the tennis grand slam tournaments, it looks like some players are letting their hair down.
Denmark's Caroline Wozniacki and France's Benoit Paire were spotted breathing a sigh of relief at The Como Melbourne, after being knocked-out from the tourney. The pair were guests of a cocktail party hosted in the hotel's ultra hip, lobby bar, Sobar. Now, we're not one to gossip (ha!), but we should note that the two were staying in separate rooms, and only seen together for the party in the lobby.
No word on if either of the tennis players were lucky enough to score one of those sweet suites we spoke about a few weeks ago. Since The Como really can't disappoint, we can only assume they were pretty comfy during their stay.
[Photo: The Como Melbourne Facebook]
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.