1. Easy on the eyes
Located along Domain Road in the heart of Melbourne’s South Yarra district, this cosy hotel is situated right across the street from the lush and vivacious Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria. Unsurprisingly, the hotel prides itself on offering unparalleled views of these large swathes of green for most rooms, while maintaining a gentle distance from both the metropolis and the vigour of Melbourne’s inner south.
2. Beneath the surface
What awaits within is a minimalist’s retreat, with dark, reflective surfaces across the rooms that are cushioned by plush materials throughout, including traditional shuttle-loom pestamals and blankets from Loom Towels. Past the hotel’s unassuming entrance, guests proceed along a linear walkway and on to the elevator lobby, where one would be hard-pressed not to marvel skywards at a specially commissioned kinetic sculpture by local artist Laura Woodward – one that connects the skylight and the elevator lobby, sunlight filtering through water in a conglomeration of glass globes. Crafted meticulously to the Carr Design Group’s philosophy of creating visual stories that engage, immerse and surprise, the hotel’s suites feature playful compartmentalisation – some include a sumptuous sunken bath built right into the bedroom with a full view of the gardens and the city, while some of the metallic surfaces reveal themselves to be sliding or even hidden doors.
3. Knock, knock
Who’s there? Your own private butler, most likely carrying a tray of welcome bubbles. Expect them to provide seamless, round-the-clock and personalised service from your arrival and through to the end of your stay, offering a human element that is sure to help you feel at home in a foreign city. Remember to ask for tea before bedtime – you don’t want to miss out on the accompanying gingerbread biscuits, specially baked for the hotel by local outfit vicki’s bickies.
4. Of coal and fire
Nestled within the hotel is Matilda, chef Scott Pickett’s (of Saint Crispin, Estelle and ESP fame) foray into flame cooking – seasonal modern Australian fare in deep intimacy with the element of fire. Cosy up in Pickett’s den of dark timber with dishes such as their smoked gnocchi with wild garlic and butternut or their flathead with red grape and karkalla before an ending of pineapple tarte Tatin. Wake up each morning to a tailor-made complimentary breakfast in bed, and also consider the luxury of spending the evening in the sanctuary of your suite, your butler at the ready with food and wine from the Matilda team.
5. A spirit of collaboration
At the core of the hotel’s hospitality is a distinct understanding that no tree survives alone in the forest, a philosophy that’s embodied through perfect partnerships with stellar artisans. Cult perfumery Le Labo’s signature scent, Santal 33, stands alone as the essence of every toiletry item in the hotel from shampoo to body lotion; while exclusive ceramic-ware by artist Shari Lowndes fills an entire cupboard in the kitchenette. And tucked away in a corner, atop the kitchen counter in your room, you’ll find a selection of distinguished single malts available for purchase, courtesy of Sullivans Cove.
Singapore Airlines flies to Melbourne four to five times daily. To book a flight, visit singaporeair.com
This article was originally published in the December 2019 issue of SilverKris magazine