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.
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.
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.
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.