452 St Kilda Rd., St. Kilda
Tucked out of the way in upscale St. Kilda, the Blackman is part of the Art Series hotel group. A unique concept—and a fun switch-up from the usual cream-and-taupe hotel interior—each Art Series property (there are three) is designed to fully embody its namesake Australian artist. Each hotel is fully kitted out with said artist’s work on the walls, art-themed libraries, and actual art supplies should you feel like turning to the paints to decompress. The Blackman is dedicated to the late Charles Blackman, celebrated for his dreamy Alice in Wonderland series; the vibe is swish downtown art gallery. Expect clashing prints, mixed-genre furniture, incredible views of Albert Park golf course and lake, and bicycles parked out the front for guests. Images courtesy of Mark Gambino.
1 Southgate Ave., Southbank
Langham hotels are a reliably—and indulgently—cushy worldwide phenomenon. The Melbourne location delivers a dose of five-star fabulousness in a city surprisingly scant on luxury hotels. Like its sister properties, the Langham goes heavy on marble, chandeliers, over-the-top floral arrangements, and dusky pink—its signature shade. The classically designed rooms are filled with stuffed armchairs, mahogany headboards, and creamy carpets. There are certainly newer, more contemporary hotels to check in to in Melbourne, but for those wanting a quiet stay, city views, and old-world service, the Langham delivers.
133 Russell St., CBD
QT excels at crafting hotels that are both sumptuously comfortable and quirkily cool. A Wes Anderson–inspired eccentricity pervades the Melbourne iteration’s 188 rooms and communal spaces, with clashing velvets, dark wood, concrete ceilings, and sculptural light fixtures. The rooms are spacious, cozy, and highly functional, with Bose sound systems, Nespresso machines, deep tubs (bring a G.Nite soak), and gorgeous wallpaper-lined wardrobes. The restaurants in QT are lively, and the rooftop is an ideal spot to soak up panoramic city views, get your bearings, and sample a locally made gin and tonic.
United Places Botanic Gardens
157 Domain Rd., South Yarra
United Places in South Yarra is a hotel we would truly fly to Melbourne for. In conceiving the property and guest experience, the owners, architects, and designers all went radically off script. The attention to detail, and the commitment to making those details—the bedding, the scent, the tableware—unique is exceptional. Each suite (there are only twelve, and no other guest rooms) is stocked with Le Labo toiletries, hand-loomed Turkish towels, local ceramics, and Bang & Olufsen speakers. There’s one dedicated concierge per guest. This personalization removes the check-in process altogether, so you head straight from the lobby to your cloudlike bed for a jet-lagged snooze before an in-room massage or dinner at the superb hotel restaurant, Matilda. And—best for last—the location, on the edge of the Royal Botanic Gardens, transforms the thirty-minute walk to town into relaxing stroll through a beautifully manicured garden.