To be honest, we’re always looking for an excuse for a staycay in one of Melbourne’s best hotels. Birthday? Book a suite. Nephew walked for the first time? I’m already calling the Sofitel. Found $10 on the ground? Let’s party. Of course, there are a few ways you can go with Melbourne hotels: from the boutique to the bodacious. Staying in Crown Towers is something every Melbournian should probably do once in their lives, but there are plenty of other good hotels on the market. These are just some of our favourites.
Get ready to raid the minibar and steal some bathrobes. Introducing the best hotels in Melbourne for 2022:
Luxe Melbourne Hotels
Start with the obvious, right? Now some people think Crown is reserved for Japanese high-rolling businessmen, or maybe Roger Federer. But anyone can stay here—in fact, the room rates aren’t as exorbitant as you might expect (don’t get us wrong, it’s still a splurge, but you won’t have to remortgage the house for that Deluxe King and that's what makes it one of the best hotels in Melbourne. As with all Crown stays, you get free WIFI, luxe fittings, epic views over Southbank and the CBD, plus some of the city’s swankiest restaurants right under your feet. We recommend any of Spice Temple, Rockpool or Long Chim.
Sofitel Melbourne On Collins
We’ve got a soft spot for The Sofitel. Every time we get greeted with a ‘Bonjour!’ at the check-in desk, we know we’re in for a very good night. The Sofitel has a few claims to Melbourne fame. It’s arguably got the most beautiful lobby space of any hotel in the CBD, it’s got The Mayfair downstairs (a gorgeous late-night champagne & oyster bar), and because of its location at the top of Collins St, the corner rooms have insanely good views, looking east toward the Dandenong Ranges. Proper ‘everything the light touches’ kind of views. You can even enjoy them at the well-stocked breakfast buffet at No35 Restaurant.
AC Hotel By Marriott Melbourne Southbank
AC Hotel by Marriott Melbourne Southbank has curated a perfectly precise hotel experience for you in Melbourne, providing you with everything you need and nothing you don’t. Located on Southbank you’ll be a quick stroll away from transport, entertainment and restaurants. The rooms are designed to be timeless without being dull. With four distinct room types ranging from the deluxe guest room with basic amenities to the signature suite with a separate living room–there is something to suit your price and lifestyle. If that’s not enough to sell you on a room, Marriott Southbank is also pet-friendly so you don’t have to leave your four-legged friend at home.
Doubletree By Hilton
If we’re talking pure location, it’s hard to go past Doubletree By Hilton. You’re about 50m from Flinders St Station (most of the rooms come with beautiful statin views), and our favourite laneway is just around the corner—Centre Place. Home to Aix Creperie Salon, Jungle Juice, Hells Kitchen and The Soup Place. The room fittings are lavish, as you might expect when they whack the ‘Hilton’ name on the door, but they do verge on the corporate end of the scale (don’t expect the same level of quirk as, say, The Arts Series hotels). If you’re looking for dinner, you could do worse than grab a bite at Doubletree’s elegant, Platform 270.
No list of Melbourne luxe hotels would be complete without The Langham. You know it’s luxe from the moment you leave your car with the valet, dressed in his top hat and tails. As Melbourne hotels go, The Langham is probably the city’s Grand Dame. It’s got 5-stars, naturally, and each of its 387 guest rooms and suites are beautifully appointed. If you can find the extra cash, we highly recommend splurging on the Executive Terrace Rooms: you get water views and your own private balcony (but they ain’t cheap). For dinner? It’s gotta be an all-you-can-eat buffet at The Langham’s famous restaurant, Melba.
One loaded with plenty more soul than you’d expect from a hotel, Quincy is a refreshing escape where you’ll find plenty of colours, shapes, and comforts. Located on Flinders Lane in the city, Quincy’s fresh and experimental approach to accommodation manifests itself in a 241-room boutique establishment spread out across 29-floors. With three distinct room types, you’ve can opt for the Caledonian and Hosier Club rooms which are each adorned in shapely modern furniture and each features its own colourful patterned bed heads. If you book in a room on floors 10 and above you’ll also score uninterrupted views of the bustling city and MCG below. Quincy also boats two in-house diners, The Salted Egg and Q, both featuring a slew of South East Asian-influenced cuisine.
Movenpick Hotel Melbourne on Spencer is a five-star experience that blurs art and design. Its prime location not only puts you in the heart of the CBD, but also the wallet-friendly free tram zone. The interior pays homage to some of Melbourne’s top artists with photography scattered around the hotel by Steve Scanlon and Sean McDonald. The rooms and suites are styled with intuitive and understated interior design, minimal with pops of vibrant colour from the art and furnishings. Elevated into the best hotels Melbourne list through the addition of the world-class dining experience at modern Asian restaurant and bar Miss Mi. It would be remiss to not mention Movenpick’s chocolate hour which invites you to head down to the lobby to enjoy a chocolate-themed creation from the hotel chefs daily from 4.30pm.
Novotel South Wharf
Melbourne’s Novotel Hotel in South Wharf is an interesting one. Some Melburnians will say you’re better off staying in the CBD (or even Southbank) because they’re closer to the action. But if you’re coming to Melbourne for an event at the Convention Centre (AKA Jeff’s Shed), business in Docklands, shopping at DFO, or you just want to check out South Melbourne Market, The Novotel is actually perfect. And the hotel itself is stunning: it cost $150m to build, Woods Bagot, NH Architecture Fender Katsalidis handled the architectural plans, and the rooms all come with cutting-edge amenities and views of the CBD. Pro tip: if you can't be bothered leaving the building, check out Mr Carpono Bar & Dining on Lvl 6. Very underrated Italian restaurant.
If you’re after old-world elegance, nothing touches Hotel Windsor. It’s literally Australia’s only surviving grand Victorian-era hotel, the spot where the Constitution Of Australia was drafted in 1898,
a proper relic of the 19th century—although relic may be a bit uncharitable when you see the opulent interior. The Windsor underwent a significant renovation back in 2015, polishing the old girl and giving her a face-lift. Today, its 180 rooms are absolutely impeccable: stately, grand, slightly OTT (fussy sleepers even get a pillow menu). It’s about as close as most people are going to get to something like The Ritz in London. The good news is—you won’t be paying Ritz prices. Standard rooms start at $249 per night, mid-week. It’s still hefty, but something everyone should do at least once in their lives if only to say they’ve stayed in a little slice of Australian history.
Two words: free minibar. Yup, Ovolo Laneways runs free minibar in all its rooms, right down to the Studio rooms. And unlike a lot of CBD hotels, they don’t take themselves too seriously. There’s a free lolly bar in the lobby, a pinball machine in the Penthouse Suite (highly recommend this room for Hen’s Nights etc—there’s a hot tub on your own private balcony) and they even run ‘Break Up Packs’ for the newly single. They tend to include a lot of chocolate and facial masks. There’s no in-hotel restaurant per se, but we always just get UberEATS delivered straight to the door. Easy.
South Yarra’s Arts Series gem. The Olsen has been going strong for years now, wowing international guests with its epic John Olsen art collection, cantilevered swimming pool and quirky amenities (you can hire microscopic SmartCars and Lekker bikes if you feel like stretching your legs). The Olsen is one of those hotels you barely need to leave: Spoonbill does an excellent brunch, you’ve got the Norbu Day Spa for pamper sessions, and the whole Chapel St shopping precinct right on your doorstep. If it’s a fancy anniversary staycay, book in one of the private spa suites. They’re worth the extra mullah. One last tip? Stay in and order a Rowdy Double Cheeseburger from Two Wrongs, just downstairs. One of our favourite burgers in Melbourne.
The Chen is The Arts Series’ newest child. And like all new children, they tend to get attention lavished on them from an early age. That’s why The Chen picked up probably the most jaw-dropping swimming pool in all of Melbourne. It’s on the roof (just ride the elevator till it won’t go any higher) with wraparound views of Melbourne CBD, the Bay and the Dandenong Ranges. One of the advantages of being out in Box Hill (apart from the food) is that there’s hardly anything to obstruct your view. High rises are still a novelty out here, so The Chen gets the skyline to itself. The rooms are gorgeous, as you’d expect, and there’s a cracking cafe just downstairs: Whitehorse Chloe.
If you have a sweet tooth then this boutique hotel is for you. The Adelphi is located in the heart of the Flinders Lane shopping and dining precinct (literally the best restaurants in town are all within 100m of your front door). This makes it one of the best spots for visiting foodies. The hotel itself is filled with good vibes, friendly staff and funky décor. And even better, it comes with Om Nom Dessert Bar, just downstairs—Melbourne’s premier dessert and cocktail temple. Imagine Willy Wonka was given a large budget and told ‘Use your imagination...’ Om Nom is hat he would build. While you’re staying at Adelphi, make sure to check out the famous rooftop pool and deck area, swing on swinging couches in the foyer and watch endless movies with snacks from the free mini bar. Our top pick for classy couples.
The Lancemore is located on Crossley Street right at the epicentre of Melbourne’s culture, surrounded by the Paris end of Bourke Street, Chinatown, theatres and top-tier restaurants. Once you’re done exploring the city you can escape the chaos in one of Lancemore’s art-filled accommodation rooms. The rooms are minimalist and sleek and fitted out with a rain shower regardless if you opt for a single king suite or a two-bedroom penthouse suite. The hotel itself also provides other spaces for you to relax with its lobby bar, rooftop terrace and modern gym. Lancemore also offers packages to suit your stay depending on if you’re in town to watch, shop or play or in Melbourne’s CBD.
The Prince Hotel
You wouldn’t expect to find The Prince Hotel above The Prince Of Wales public bar. One’s a slightly sticky (but awesome) live music venue and brewpub. The other’s a swanky, designer hotel, perched high above the corner of Fitzroy St and Acland St. If you’re looking for a comfy bed that’s close to St Kilda Beach, Luna Park and Albert Park (can you say Grand Prix adjacent?) The Prince is probably your best bet. The rooms look like something off a Pinterest board, but it’s the foodie experience that really seals the deal. The Prince has the award-winning Circa restaurant, with Rhys Blackley running the pass. Plus it’s got The Deck—a rooftop cocktail lounge overlooking Port Phillip Bay. Round out the weekend with a pamper pack at the in-house Aurora Spa.
QT quickly made a name for itself as one of Melbourne’s most beautiful CBD hotels. There are a few things going for it: it’s a short stroll from the Collins St, shopping precinct, there’s plenty of A-Grade restaurants and bars in the building (including a cafe, rooftop bar, laneway concept bar and meaty grill restaurant), and all rooms come with free WIFI as standard. Even the budget rooms are decked out the nines: wooden floorboards, his and her sinks, gel-topped beds, free in-room movies and coffee pods (nice touch). When it comes time to eat, just pick your poison: Rooftop At QT for views and cocktails, then dinner at Pascale (probably the best hotel restaurant going around).
Melbourne’s Jasper Hotel probably doesn’t reach the luxurious heights of your Crown or Doubletree (technically it’s a 4-star hotel), but the location near Queen Vic Market is excellent, and it’s a little easier on the hip pocket than some of the other boutique stays on this list. There are 90 contemporary rooms and suites at Jasper, each one designed to represent a different facet and colour of the Jasper gemstone. The whole place got an extensive renovation in 2014, so you can expect modern styling (we hesitate to use the word ‘funky’, but what the hell—it’s funky). For rooms? They’re all good, but our pick is definitely the Premium Courtyard Access Room. Bit pricier, but it comes with a surprisingly sunny private courtyard and a vertical garden. Nice.
People often forget about Hotel Lindrum. You’ll find the boutique MGallery by Sofitel Hotel up the top of Flinders St, just near Birrarung Marr and Treasury Gardens. This ‘Paris End’ of the CBD is really underrated—the river and parks are all just a short walk away, you’ve got Flinders Lane dining just behind you (plus a few hidden gems like Eastside), and the Theatre District is only about 5-minutes’ walk away. This makes Lindrum an excellent choice if you’re catching a show at The Forum, Fortyfivedownstairs, or The Princess Theatre. The Lindrum’s 59 rooms are all pretty stunning—tastefully decorated, rather than showy. You can kick it all the way up to a Junior Suite, but to be honest the Superior Rooms are all you need for a beautiful CBD staycay.
Lyall Hotel & Spa
Of course, The Lyall is in South Yarra. This place practically breathes leafy luxe with a side of brunch. The Lyall has 40 suites upstairs, most decked out in ‘contemporary oriental’ design. There’s literally an art gallery on each floor of the hotel, showing a range of work from local French artist Thierry B. Guests can grab a glass of bubbly in the on-site Lyall Champagne Bar, or retire for a classy meal at Bistro Lyall. There’s also a pool and gymnasium if you want to work up a quick sweat before a spot of shopping on Chapel St. And if Chapel is your game, the location is excellent. You’re a short walk from Prahran Market, high-end boutiques, not to mention some of our favourite burgers in town. When you’re done, pack up the backs and wander over to South Yarra Station, just next door—the city is only 10 minutes away.
Notel is probably the quirkiest hotel in Melbourne. Basically, it’s a collection of six 1970s Airstream campers, converted into boutique suites, stuck on a Melbourne rooftop. Notel is the brainchild of James Fry, who saw a gap in the local hotel market. He also owns the carpark beneath the rooftop. For years he toyed with the idea of opening a rooftop pool, but the whole campervan-hotel thing seemed like way more fun. And thus Notel was born. Your basic airstream starts at $395/night, or you can upgrade to the Airstream With Benefits for $440. That one comes with a private deck, private spa bath and a view over Flinders Lane. All Notel caravans come with split system AC and a complimentary minibar though (winning).
Ovolo South Yarra
Probably one of the biggest openings for 2022 has been the new Ovolo in South Yarra. Located smack bang on the corner of Toorak Road and Chapel Street, its become one of the best hotels Melbourne has on the southside. The entire building has a strong retro-chic feel and is filled with a colourful pop-art aesthetic. With over 123 different rooms each individually named after musical personalities including John Lennon and Yoko Ono, there are also distinctly styled suites, the 'Groovy' suite, is a homage to the era of Studio 54 with 70s wallpaper and a plush king bed. There’s plenty of perks that come with a stay at the Ovolo, including free treats from the minibar, and a complimentary breakfast. If you’re looking for something a little more substantial you can head down to the restaurant in residence, Lona Misa, the plant-based haven from all-star chef team Shannon Martinez and Ian Curley.
Sitting on one of the best strips of the city on Flinders Lane, the W Hotel has made serious waves in the staycation department. Surrounded by some of the best eateries, bars, and shopping, the W is the perfect escape. Its opulent offering with indoor and rooftop pool, secret bar, in-resident restaurant and the uber-modern gym is at the absolute top of the range. It’s a huge hotel, with over 294 rooms each in the colourful design and textured style of the W, expect wide rooms with blacks, greys, with bursts of orange and amber. The hotel’s flagship restaurant, Lollo, also holds some serious sway with Melbourne chef Adam D'Sylva of Tonka, and Coda at the helm. Expect a menu of Modern Australian cuisine with a heavy focus on Victorian produce.
Hilton Little Queen Street
The new Hilton on Little Queen Street is an exquisite choice for a stay in the city. Atop the stunning heritage equity chambers building, the hotel is light-filled and spacey, with a real historical feel to it. The rooms look out onto the of the city, with a minimalist style and added comforts like a freestanding bath, coffee from Dukes Coffee Roasters, and bathroom items from Hunter Lab. The mezzanine level Douglas Bar has a wonderfully art-deco atmosphere, inspired by the glamour of the 1930s building, you can even take your own historical tour of the hotel, discovering the secrets of the nearly 100-year-old building. The resident restaurant, Luci, is a culinary exploration of modern Italian, expect explorative dishes like Fregola with lobster emulsion, and barbecued scallops. The Hilton bring some serious glamour back to the city and easily earns its name amongst the best hotels in Melbourne for 2022.
Looking for a spot to dine in the CBD, check out the best restaurants here.
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Image credit: Arts Series Hotels
Sean Fennessy | Ovolo South Yarra