Faithful heritage features such as original timber floors, a restored billiards table and various memorabilia
Cozy bar with sumptuous furnishings, fireplace and wine
Intimacy and warmth, topped up by friendly staff
What To Know
A low-lit subdued hotel suitable for couples
Gym facilities are at the nearby cousin hotel Sofitel Melbourne, on Collins, which has no pool
High tea is served on Sundays only; head to the Sofitel for a daily dose
Parking on site
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Historic boutique-style hotel with warmth, character and side alley access to Melbourne’s intimate laneway culture
Originally built as a Romanesque Revival tea house in 1900, the four-story red brick beauty also served as a billiards hall before its transformation into one of Melbourne’s first boutique hotels, in 1999. Award-winning interior design outfit Bates Smart was let loose in 2013 for a refresh. The results: earthy tones, dark timbers and crisp whites bathed in mood lighting.
Bed and Bath
The high ceilings and timber floors extend to the guestrooms, where woven mushroom-colored carpeting edges the bed and softens the tread. Large silk chenille headboards, set against natural grass wallpaper, prop up your pillow menu choice. The bathrooms have shower-bath combos with white tiles and stone, timber floors and a platter of organic Appelles Apothecary products.
The dark-timbered Felt restaurant (named after the cloth on a billiard table), on the ground floor, mostly takes its cues from local seasonal produce. The generous breakfast options include fresh fruit, artisanal breads and eggs. Tiered afternoon teas are served on Sunday, and the nightly dinner offerings further showcase the gastronomy cred of Melbourne, where “grass fed” and “free range” are just the norm. Adjacent to Felt is the intimate fireside cocktail bar, the billiard room, and the reception/lounge area, which supplies T2 teas and good espresso all day.
In the Area
Melbourne’s cultural soul is usually accessed via its laneways. Only a skip away, Flinders Lane spills over with commercial art galleries, including Craft, which offers limited edition artworks and homewares. Next door, fashionable types feast on all-day modern Australian cuisine at Cumulus Inc. and savor more art in the building’s galleries. For smaller confines, head to Tom Thumb (53 Flinders Lane), a tiny espresso bar, to indulge in this city’s serious coffee affair. For more buzz, visit Degraves Steet and Angel Place. Off Flinders Lane, bold graffiti and stencil art fills all of cobbled Hosier Lane, which houses the small bar Misty. And behind the hotel, on Spark Lane, Melbourne’s multiculturalism is celebrated by a 50-foot-tall street art mural.