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The Cullen

Art Series [The Cullen]
Get out of the city to where the locals live and book your stay at one of the cities newest boutique hotels – The Cullen, part of the Art Series Hotel brand.

The eye-catching property is inspired by and feature original artwork and prints by Australian contemporary artist and Archibald prize winner, Adam Cullen.

Cullen’s edgy ‘punk’ style of design is combined with a sophisticated contemporary edge in all the rooms - a sketch of Ned Kelly pointing a gun or a dress-wearing horse adorns the frosted glass bathroom walls, slanted bookshelves and bright orange cushions contrast with the chevron throw rugs.

The studio rooms are simple with large beds, a generous living area space and small bathroom. Each room has a small kitchenette that includes a cook top, but with so many great restaurants nearby it’s unlikely you’ll need it.

Gramercy Bistro, one of the two hotel restaurants, is a must visit. A popular among locals as well as guests, head in for breakfast for fluffy buttermilk pancakes or New York-style fare throughout the ay.

Included in your stay is a half-day free bike rental and the option to rent the Cullen Car for an additional cost.
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Neighborhood Vibe
Melbourne’s bohemian Prahran district once came with parental warnings. Today, it brims with vintage boutiques, independent record stores, and outposts of local clothing designers and craftspeople. The Prahran Market has been hawking produce, meat, and seafood for 150 years. These days it also houses specialty coffee and gelato companies as well as pop-up dining stalls. The Chapel Street Bazaar is the place to buy retro clothing, homewares, and collectables, while Chapel Street proper features international stores such as American Apparel and Dakota 501 as well as local favorites like White Suede. After dark, bars and speakeasies such as Borsch, Vodka, and Tears shake things up, and Revolver Upstairs hosts the after-party, whether it be a rock concert or a deejayed dance party.
Need to Know
Rooms: 113 suites, 4 junior penthouses, 2 penthouses. From $206.
Check-in: 2 p.m.; check-out: 11 a.m.
Dining options:HuTong Dumpling Bar feels like it belongs in a Beijing alleyway with its carved wooden screens, Chinese silk curtains, and red paper lanterns. The restaurant’s specialties, from xiao long bao (soup dumplings) to roast Peking duck, are equally authentic. The chef came from Quanjude China, one of the most famous duck restaurants in China. The New York–inspired Gramercy Bistro is a trendier option loved for its Reuben sandwiches, sliders, and three cuts of steak. Guests can plan a boozy brunch here—pulled-pork eggs Benedict paired with a spicy Bloody Mary—and end the night with a baked New York cheesecake matched with a Manhattan.
Spa and gym details:There’s no spa at the Cullen, but a high-tech gym and a hair salon cover most traveler needs. Lekker bicycles can also be rented and ridden along the Yarra River, and there are nearby day spas such as Meticulous Organic Beauty and the Japanese-style Lotus Day Spa. The Prahran Aquatic Centre is about six blocks away.
Insider Tips
Who's it best for: Grunge art fans, history buffs, and nonconformists.
Our favorite rooms: The Growler (named after Adam Cullen’s dog) and Lady Luck Penthouses offer a dining room, bedroom, and giant balcony for entertaining with spectacular Melbourne city views. A fireplace draws guests in when it’s not balcony weather. The hotel also has three confronting Street Art Suites embellished by internationally acclaimed artists D Face, Swoon, and Blek Le Rat (also known as Stormie Mills), which further celebrate the unsanctioned with stenciled black rats, wheat-pasted divinities, and pop art patterns.
For art buffs: Art tours led by the hotel’s in-house curator Jane O’Neill translate how Adam Cullen used color and technique to express feelings. Reds and oranges, for example, reflect anger, and profuse paint drips represent an elevated emotional state (or bodily fluids). The most interesting works are in Cullen’s Ned Kelly series, where ideas like cross-dressing and opium use are incorporated into the old bushranger scenes. Art tours should be booked at least two weeks in advance.
The Cullen
The only thing better than one art hotel is a series of art hotels. That’s exactly what the Deague family started when they opened the Cullen in Melbourne’s funky Prahran suburb in 2008. It was the flagship property in their Art Series Hotel Group, which now comprises six hotels, each inspired by a different Australian artist. The Cullen is named after the late Adam Cullen, who some call the Damien Hirst of Australian art for his critical responses to contemporary society as well as his controversial treatment of animals. (During a college performance, he chained a rotting pig head to his ankle.) Some animals, like his dog, Growler, are portrayed favorably. A colorful portrait of the dog with a wet muzzle and loyal gaze shows up repeatedly at the hotel, alongside original paintings of donkeys, bulls, and cows—revealing Cullen’s interest in the differences between animal and human behavior. Artistic takes on masculinity, leisure culture, and the Ned Kelly outlaw story can also be found throughout the black-white-and-orange hued property; favorites are emblazoned across the fogged-up glass walls that separate bathrooms from one of the most comfortable beds on the planet. In 2012, the hotel added three street-art suites, which bring the underground in through stencil drawings, wheat pasting, and pop-art pieces created by renowned street artists.
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Art-shock attitude

With skyline views of Melbourne, boutique hotel The Cullen takes its cue from the art of the late Australian enfant terrible Adam Cullen, offering cool contemporary rooms starring original paintings and prints, two tasty restaurants, a bar, Smart cars and bespoke bikes. Shopping addicts will love the fashionable Prahran location too, opposite the food market.

A homage to the late artist Adam Cullen (the Damien Hirst of Oz art), the Cullen features a kookily coloured roster of his original paintings in its public areas and his cartoonish prints turn heads in all rooms (even glass shower surrounds are engraved with his Ned Kelly-inspired horses and bushrangers). Look out for the audio-visual display on Adam's work in the lobby or ask for a private tour with the hotel's dedicated art curator, who also provides hot tips for the top exhibitions around town.

Don't miss foodie hotspot Prahan Market, right opposite the Cullen. Chapel Bazaar, up the road at 217-223 Chapel Street, is a must for fans of vintage and retro homewares. Chapel Street is awash with Oz fashion favourites, from Alannah Hill to Mimco and TL Wood, as well as handy watering-holes along the way.

Art-shock attitude Prahran  Australia

164 Commercial Rd, Prahran VIC 3181, Australia
+61 3 9098 1555