Check your traditional hotel notions at the door of this Russell Street lodging. At QT Melbourne, guests are greeted on arrival by cheery Directors of Chaos, who sport the same black wigs, heavy makeup, and bold black-and-white outfits, but the lobby itself makes an equally striking first impression: old-school French hip-hop competes for attention with colorful video installations, a giant stuffed peacock, and a towering wall of 1,700 recycled books. Upstairs, the 188 rooms give off an industrial-chic vibe with concrete-slab ceilings, timber flooring, and bathrooms set behind sliding partitions of aluminum-framed glass.

The hotel’s seemingly never-ending food and drink offerings include the Pascale Bar & Grill, where French bistro influences combine with produce farmed on the rooftop garden; Hot Sauce, for Asian-accented bar food (think steamed baos stuffed with fried chicken and kimchi); and the Cake Shop, for warm pain au chocolat in the morning, plus an array of pastries, cakes, and snacks throughout the day. Families with young children will appreciate the complimentary travel cots and babysitting services (arranged with advance notice).

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