Traditional hotel notions are banished at this “experience hotel” on Russell Street, apparent as soon as guests are greeted by cheery “Directors of Chaos,” all sporting the same black wigs, heavy make up and bold black-and-white outfits. A funky cool aesthetic pervades the lobby, where old-school French hip hop might be playing for guests seated on colorful seat cushions amidst striking video installations, a giant stuffed peacock and a towering wall of 1,700 recycled books near the staircase. 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 glaze. The hotel's seemingly neverending food and drink offerings includes 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 fun snacks during the day such as a “70s Tupperware Party Board.” A plus for families with young children: complimentary travel cots, and babysitting services can be arranged with advance notice.
By Ratha Tep, AFAR Local Expert
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133 Russell St, Melbourne VIC 3000, Australia
+61 3 8636 8800