Looking for a hotel to rest your head in Melbourne? Take your pick from this mix of old and new, edgy and stately, as seen in the 2018 Gourmet Traveller Australian Hotel Guide.
Crown Metropol Melbourne
Crown Metropol is a far cry from clichés of casino hotels. Instead of plush pile and complimentary chips it's all clean lines, Danish-influenced design and casual, even quirky touches that create a seam of character in one of the country's largest hotels. A stay here is not complete with a visit to one of the nation's best hotel pools – an infinity-edge affair with ocean views.
8 Whiteman St, Southbank, (03) 9292 8888, crownmelbourne.com.au
Crown Towers Melbourne
"Think big" is the motto at the jewel in the Crown complex. The curved tower on the banks of the Yarra looms over the casino and its sister hotels, and inside the scale is similarly king-size. The luxurious rooms have views of the bay or city from full-length windows that verge on vertiginous. Settle at The Waiting Room with a glass from the largely local wine list or just beyond the lobby are restaurants by marquee players – Neil Perry and Nobu Matsuhisa among them.
8 Whiteman St, Southbank, (03) 9292 6868, crownmelbourne.com.au
There's a foosball table in the foyer; Ned Kelly and his gang lurk on level four. Any hotel named in honour of the late "avant-grit" artist Adam Cullen is duty-bound to do things differently and The Cullen lives up to its hype, its walls a retrospective of the Archibald winner's spirit. It wears its off-Chapel Street location well, leaning on ground-floor tenants Gramercy Social and HuTong Dumpling Bar for dining options.
164 Commercial Rd, Prahran, (03) 9098 1555, artserieshotels.com.au
Grand Hyatt Melbourne
It's not just the Grand Hyatt's award-winning buffet breakfast that drives a brisk repeat business; the brass-and-awe lobby impresses without snobbery, as do the discreet and friendly staff. A step in any direction is a choose-your-own adventure, to the gym (a full-blown 24-hour fitness centre), the rooftop tennis court or Ru-Co, the hotel's destination cocktail bar.
23 Collins St, Melbourne, (03) 9657 1234, melbourne.grand.hyatt.com
One of Melbourne's favourite boutique hotels strikes a comforting balance between old and new. And while some of the more modern elements are charmingly out of date (the DVD library is a case in point), the circa 1900 tea store and billiards hall, once run by the aunt of champion cue-man Walter Lindrum, is ageing gracefully.
26 Flinders St, Melbourne, (03) 9668 1111, hotellindrum.com.au
Compared with other hotels in QT's flamboyant stable, the Melbourne outpost is positively minimalist. You may not discern this from 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.
133 Russell St, Melbourne, (03) 8636 8800, qtmelbourne.com
The Langham Melbourne
The Langham is proudly analogue in a digital age. The secret to its success is simple: know thy customer. Old-fashioned ritual and service prevail – just ask the dressed-to-impress crowd enjoying the daily high tea, the stay-cationers lazing near the riverfront pool, or the genteel throng at Melba Restaurant, where buffet dining is anything but abject.
1 Southgate Ave, Southbank, (03) 8696 8888, langhamhotels.com
This South Yarra member of the septet of Art Series Hotels is graced with lyrical original works and prints by John Olsen in public areas and guestrooms alike. Fancy a dip? The 25-metre glass-bottomed pool outside on the first-floor deck comes with views over Chapel Street, or simply kick back poolside, cocktail in hand, and flick through an art book from the range in your room.
637-641 Chapel St, South Yarra, (03) 9040 1222, artserieshotels.com.au
Park Hyatt Melbourne
The cavernous and opulent lobby at Melbourne's Park Hyatt, a noughties monument in wood and marble, sets the tone for the whole hotel: sizable, proud, and a little dated. The scale and splendour are best expressed in the hotel's large guestrooms – at 48 square metres, they're claimed as the city's biggest – each with a bath set in Italian marble and a walk-in wardrobe.
1 Parliament Sq, East Melbourne, (03) 9224 1234, melbourne.park.hyatt.com
Sofitel Melbourne on Collins
A marquee name in a top-end city location, the Sofitel prevails among newcomers because of old-fashioned virtues: service par excellence delivered with Gallic charm. With two types of iced tea offered during check-in, massage chairs in the 36th-floor gym, and in-room tablets to order anything from a taxi to a dental kit, Sofitel leaves the impression that everything has been thoroughly considered.
25 Collins St, Melbourne, (03) 9653 0000, sofitel-melbourne.com.au