Compared with other hotels in QT's flamboyant stable, the Melbourne outpost is positively minimalist. You may not discern this from the look of the lobby, with lofty copper doors, video art and a busy cake shop. Or the staircase flanked by an installation of stacked paperbacks, which leads to the velvet and leather-clad Pascale Bar & Grill with party soundtrack. But the mood calms noticeably on the way to the guestrooms, which feature high, raw-concrete ceilings, oak floors, large windows and city glimpses. Bathrooms tap into the chic industrial vibe with white tiles and steel-framed walls of rippled glass. The 11th-floor rooftop bar is a must, its views reinforcing QT's rightful place at the heart of Melbourne.
Some of the best blades in the world are stocked at Tanto, the laneway Japanese knife store that's part of the hotel complex.
QT Melbourne upholds the group's reputation for cut-above minibars, adding jigsaw puzzles, dominoes, a children's book, beard-trimming kit and tote bag to quality booze and snacks.
Breakfast in Pascale features sharp service and an à la carte menu of cold-pressed juices, eggs from certified happy chooks and dishes that run the gamut from Bircher to fry-up. At lunch and dinner the theme is quality steakhouse, with plenty of grill action. The room-service menu hits the right notes with burgers, hefty sandwiches and salads, served in black lacquer boxes.
Choose your bar depending on weather and mood: Rooftop at QT for its good-time outdoor terrace; Pascale Bar & Grill for its extensive cocktail list. Or head across the street to Embla for cult wines.
This review was made independently for the Gourmet Traveller Hotel Guide. The guide's reviewers visit unannounced and pay their way.