Art Series – The Olsen
What We Love
- Rooms with kitchen facilities make it easy to take advantage of the fresh local produce available from nearby Prahran Market
- Smart cars and classic Kronan bicycles are at the ready for guests
- The pool, which has a glass bottom that looks down at the boutiques of Chapel Street
What To Know
- The Olsen attracts a wide range of guests – visiting celebrities, fashionistas, creative types, young professionals, and families
- On-site Art Ambassadors are available for private tours of artwork in the hotel, and for info on local galleries
- Parking On Site
This 15-story structure is draped in translucent white glass, evoking a blank canvas—fitting, seeing as the hotel’s design was inspired by the work of Australian painter John Olsen. Inside, the stark modernity is warmed by a wall of dark timber that displays one of Olsen’s signature pieces, an 18-foot sun mural. Two large black velvet ottomans offer a cushy place to sit and take it in. Hundreds of colorful paintings and prints decorate the hotel’s hallways and its 229 guest rooms, all furnished to reflect John Olsen’s refined yet contemporary style. Studio Suites are decorated in muted grays, champagne and splashes of silver and have kitchenettes and small dining suites—convenient should you want to cook during your stay. The are plenty of distractions in the rooms, including art books and magazines, a documentary about Olsen playing in a loop on the 42-inch flat-screen TV, and a whimsical mini bar that includes a paint set and canvas, plus nibbles sourced from Prahran Market nearby.
There are two on-site dining options: Spoonbill Restaurant and Bar, which is open all day for breakfast, lunch and dinner (we’d order the paella created from Olsen’s personal recipe), and Steer, an award-winning steakhouse with a hipster vibe. The showpiece pool, which overhangs the street below, means pedestrians can look up at swimmers as they walk by. Relax on a chaise longue on the upper sun decks or unwind with an organic facial and detoxification treatment at the on-site spa.
How to Get There
I had a 16 day stay booked, and had so many issues in first week that I cut short my stay and moved elsewhere.
Firstly, having previously been Melbourne based, I did have some high (not unrealistic) expectations from the Art Series as have been aware of the hotels for some time. however I feel I was let down every step of the way. Having an extended stay, and reading about the construction, I'd specifically requested a quiet room away from the construction for my work trip. Not listened to, had to request a change after checking in as it was not acceptable. I do appreciate that this is a challenge for the hotel at the moment and not really their fault, but I would have expected some preference on room placement with a longer stay, and being a business traveler.
I was moved to a room that did not have the construction noise. Just a ridiculous aircon noise - to the point that I went to buy earplugs.
The 2 biggest issues for me above that was that the bed is like a marshmallow - it is so ridiculously soft that if you are used to a proper mattress, you may well wake up like me feeling like you'd been run over by a bus. Additionally, this is not a business hotel and not soundproofed - means you hear all your neighbors coming in and out of their rooms. Being where it is an in a little bit of a social area, partying is common (not an issue for me generally), just means lots of coming and goings, that you have to listen to.
Did not get a good night sleep for the 8 nights I stayed there.
Whilst they have all the standard 'enviro friendly' collateral about towels and bedding, the cleaners would put the dishwasher on for a single fork or wine glass.
Gym is poor and cramped. However they do offer access to a 24 hour gym (for early morning exercisers, especially ladies, may not be beneficial as I did not feel safe at 5am in the morning walking there on my own.
Took 4 phone calls to get my invoice emailed to me after my stay.
Despite my office being very close to The Blackman (another of the Art Series, was sold out due to F1 timing), I will never stay at another Art Series hotel after this experience.
The staff are lovely and helpful, and really did want to help when I told them I was checking out early, unfortunately, there was nothing they could do to address my issues.
Location: (ignoring the construction)
So much around, it's a fantastic spot
A big part of why I booked here was for the kitchenette which is handy if you don't want to eat out the whole time
The hotel was extremely accommodating when there was an issue with external construction next door (outside of their control). They have some moves and found my wife and I another room and we had a fantastic stay.
Every staff member, whom I came in contact with, was attentive, kind and professional including receptionists, room service staff, waiting and kitchen staff.
“Spoonbill” deserves to be recognized as an independent restaurant and not be seen as the “hotel dining room!”. The waiting staff was always very attentive and knowledgeable, both about the wonderful dishes created by Chefs Russell & Bart and their team, as well as their wine list.
Nothing was too much trouble for the reception team, from directing me to the right place to find something I needed, to providing advice about worthwhile places to visit.
I strongly recommended the hotel to my family, friends, and colleagues.
A little disappointed as the Art Series Hotel sets in your minds eye you are about to experience something special! But - I was let down at every turn and wall as all Art by Olsen was copies and did not see 1 original if it was there! The bathroom sink was cracked for some time and smelt. The bedroom was too small for the bed but hey the wall TV would smash your shoulder as you walked pass to remind you it was a really small room!
The Olsen is fine. Service is very good. Checkin and checkout are efficient. They have underground parking with lifts student up to all hotel floors.
The superior rooms are great. Lots of space, good beds and pillows, good aircon, good wifi. The bathrooms are a bit small but clean and functional with reasonable amenities.
It's location is very good being on Chapel and close to the Toorak Rd intersection. Traffic noise is minimal.
The breakfast selection is probably the only thing which lets the place down a bit but if it's included in your rate then is ok but not really worth paying extra for given all the great cafes along Chapel.
All in all a really good value place and one we would turn to on a future trip.