When we travelled to the Australian Open in Melbourne last weekend it was clear to us that we wanted to make this a special weekend away. Without the kids, without the worries. Just my husband and me, in a city that we both love and adore. Tennis was our main reason to travel, but the treat of getting away from it all for two nights was cause for celebration.
A celebration calls for some special arrangements, of course. To make this weekend getaway an unforgettable one we decided to overspend a little bit on the accommodation. As it turned out, QT Melbourne was just the right hotel for this.
QT Hotels and Resorts have built quite a portfolio of eclectic hotels all over Australia. Yet they all have a couple of things in common. These hotels are carefully designed, full with art, fun and sex appeal. To stay in one of the QT hotels means that your hotel experience would be no ordinary one. A deluxe experience with a little bit of quirk, an experience in its own right.
When QT Melbourne opened its doors a couple of weeks ago in Melbourne, just 20 minutes from Melbourne’s sports precinct where the Australian Open would take place, we knew we had a match.
The Hotel Experience
How best to describe the QT style? The colour palette was dark and mysterious, with a hint of European flair. Dangerous and secretive, with subtle nods to French chic and delicious naughtiness. From the lady porter in a black bob wig to the nude girl upholstery on the lobby armchairs, the hotel crossed the border to the adult side of things many times.
Quite impressive was the book of walls lining the stairs to the upper level where you will find the restaurants. The arrangement and selection of book titles tricked the eye into seeing a wall of blacks, greys and whites.
There was also a quirky sense of humour here. You just have to take the lift to get a mouthful of that testy French girl who either bossed you around or teased you to stay just a little bit longer in the lift. Always pasted a smile on our faces.
All public areas were beautiful to look at, packed with detail and tastefully composed to create a luxurious and indulgent atmosphere which was inviting and friendly. A grown-up hotel with the style and the elegance that you would expect from a funky yet stylish inner-city hotel.
Check-in was smooth and friendly, even at 11pm at night. We were in our room in less than 5 minutes.
The King Sized Room
Our king sized room welcomed us with a deliciously white and crisp bed, probably one of the most comfortable beds we ever slept in. You could see that no corners had been cut here. The mattress was just wonderful, the linen luxurious and soft. This alone made the stay at QT Melbourne worthwhile.
The room was clean and spacious. It came with everything that you would want to see in a hotel room of that class. A bathroom with separate WC and a rain shower (unfortunately not the best water pressure), a minibar, aircon, TV with in-room movies, a little sitting corner.
I am not sure if people really demand this from a hotel these days but I find that more and more hotels have bathrooms that open into the room, either through sliding doors, non-existent walls or a glass window. The QT is no different. You could open up the bathroom to the room by opening a set of sliding doors. Leave them closed and you have a mirror above your twin basins, leave them open and you can watch TV while brushing your teeth.
The only problem you might have with this arrangement is that you could operate the sliding doors from the room side as well as from the bathroom side. So if you are sharing the room with someone who would like to see you naked there is not much you can do against it (But then maybe you don’t mind? After all, it falls into the theme of sexy naughtiness that runs through the hotel).
The minibar was more than just the usual mix of snacks and drinks. Quite clearly there were many items there that had been selected quite thoughtfully. However, in my view having these items in plain view in an illuminated glass cabinet felt a bit like sleeping in a gift store. It was just a little bit too much up-selling for me, too much in-your-face.
The only downfall of this hotel might be its location. The QT is centrally located right on the eastern fringe of the CBD, yet it is also surrounded by bars and restaurants that do get rather noisy as the night progresses. Our 6th floor room was almost eye-to-eye with a multi-storey rooftop bar which radiated noise until late at night. Since we enjoyed our comfortable bed and were pretty tired after a day at the tennis the outside noise did not affect us. But be warned that the window did nothing to keep the noise outside.
However, the central location was of course perfect to explore Melbourne.
No matter where we wanted to go, it was no less than 10 minutes away by foot: ACMI and Federal Square, Flinders Street Station, Bourke Street Mall and the laneways were so easy to reach. It was a pleasure to be able to just stroll there.
We specifically picked the hotel for its proximity to the Australian Open. But even if you are not headed that way the QT Melbourne’s location was still perfect for all the other great things that the city has to offer.
The Restaurant Experience
Not that you really need it, being so close to all the action in Melbourne’s CBD, but there are no less than five food outlets in the hotel that you can avail of.
We had breakfast at the in-house restaurant, Pascale Bar and Grill. With $20 per plate on average definitely not a cheap experience but the portion size made up for it. I was really happy with my Huevos Rancheros, Mexican style beans and poached eggs on tortillas with a bit of spiciness and the fresh notes of coriander and mint. My husband opted for the poached eggs on toast. Beware that the eggs at Pascale are a bit on the runny side, even the white part. The waiting staff had warned us but we were still surprised to see that it was almost undercooked. Having said that, our eggs were still good to eat and blended in well.
We loved Pascale’s open kitchen and funky design. For sure this would be also a great spot for a dinner with friends or just the two of us. Service and quality of the food certainly didn’t disappoint.
Other food and beverage outlets included a cake shop and a rooftop bar. Unfortunately, we didn’t have enough time to explore it all.
>>> On the look-out for more Melbourne ideas? Have a look at our Melbourne Travel Guide! <<<
Disclaimer: We stayed as full paying guests at the QT Melbourne. All opinions voiced in this post are our own. To book QT Melbourne please consider using this link, which directs you to our affiliate partner Booking.com. If you book using the link provided you will send a small commission my way which will benefit this blog. No extra costs will occur at your end. Many thanks, it is much appreciated!