Situated on the top end of town, on picturesque Bourke Hill and the Paris end of Collins Street, we’re lucky enough to be just a stone’s throw from the centre of the city, amongst historic buildings, gardens and a charming strip of alfresco dining.
In town for some theatre? We’re set in the theatre precinct, surrounded by internationally renowned plays. Just a block away is the Princess Theatre, currently playing residence to Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. Her Majesty’s Theatre, where Hamilton is playing, is only 5 minutes away, and the Regent Theatre, soon to host Hairspray, is two blocks down Collins Street.
Just a block away is Melbourne’s Chinatown, home to yum cha institutions including Red Emperor, Shark’s Fin Inn and Crystal Jade, lauded doyenne of Melbourne’s Chinese cuisine, Flower Drum, and our very own Sunda, tucked down a nondescript laneway. Melbourne’s Chinatown is the longest continuous settlement in the western world, dating back to the gold rush days of the 1850s.
We recommend exploring this via Crossley or Liverpool Streets, home to quirky shops including Lucy Folk, Sarah & Sebastian and the Paperback book shop.
A short stroll away is the World Heritage listed Carlton Gardens, with dramatic tree-lined avenues, a majestic fountain and lake. At its heart is the majestic Royal Exhibition Building, built in 1880 to host the Melbourne International Exhibition. These gardens are stunning in all seasons, and are also home to the Melbourne Museum and IMAX Theatre.
To the left of the gardens is Melbourne’s university precinct and the Italian suburb of Carlton. Wander down Lygon St for some excellent pizza, pasta and gelato. To the garden’s right are the cool suburbs of Fitzroy and Collingwood – home to quirky boutiques, cafes, wine bars and more. The main thoroughfares of Gertrude Street, Brunswick Street and Smith Street are a treasure trove of interesting attractions.
The section of Collins Street between Swanston Street and Spring Street (where we are located) is home to stunning Victorian architecture and Melbourne’s luxury boutiques. Known as the Paris end, Victorian high society once used to promenade here – starting from the exquisitely preserved Block and Royal Arcades, now home to an array of sophisticated shops. Here, you’ll find the luxury brands of Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Gucci, Dior, Hermes, Bottega Veneta, Dolce & Gabbana, Golden Goose, Moncler, Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels, Vacheron Constantine, luxury Melbourne watch specialist, Monards and fashion house, Harrods.
Honourable mention: Fashion house, Marais, located behind the hotel on Bourke Street.
Just across the hotel are the beautiful Fitzroy & Treasury Gardens, perfect for a morning stroll or jog. Here you’ll find Cooks Cottage, constructed in 1755 in the English village of Great Ayton by Captain James Cook’s parents – James and Grace Cook. The gardens are also home to the historic Conservatory, built in 1930 in the Spanish mission architectural style and home to a beautiful array of flowers.
Meander down Flinders Lane, home to restaurants, bars, and street art-filled alleyways to reach ACMI (the Australian Centre of Moving Image), Federation Square, the beautiful Yarra River, and unmissable Melbourne cultural institutions the Arts Centre and the NGV (National Gallery of Victoria). Currently on exhibition there is The Picasso Century, part of the NGV’s Melbourne Winter Masterpieces – a collection of Piccaso’s extraordinary career in dialogue with the many artists, poets and intellectuals with whom he mingled with throughout the 20th century.
Being so close by, we’re a popular choice to spend the night if you are attending a match at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, known locally as the MCG. This is the best place to soak in Melbourne’s sporting action – from our national sport, footy, to cricket.
Finally, if you are in town for some shopping, the Bourke Street shopping precinct, including luxury department stores, Myer and David Jones, are only a short tram ride (or two blocks walk) away. Here you’ll find the latest in Australian and international designer fashion, as well as Melbourne’s newest shopping mall, Emporium.