Inspiration Destinations Australia Victoria A Weekend in a Multicultural Melting Pot & One of Melbourne’s Best Produce Markets at Holiday Inn Dandenong

A Weekend in a Multicultural Melting Pot & One of Melbourne’s Best Produce Markets at Holiday Inn Dandenong

Celebrating its first birthday, this hotel is perfectly placed for a Dandenong Market tour or a deep dive into the local multicultural food scene.

Holiday Inn Dandenong is part of a new push by the well-known hotel chain, and its owner IHG Hotels & Resorts, into properties that embrace their surrounds. For Holiday Inn Dandenong that means introducing visitors to the 100 or so cultures that have called Dandenong home with local culture walks and market visits.

What’s the neighbourhood like?

Dandenong is undergoing something of a renaissance with a series of civic plans underway like knocking down one-time Little India to make a more functional community outdoor space around the train station, the creation of the Greater Dandenong Gallery of Art scheduled for later this year and more recent works like the Afghan Bazaar Streetscape Enhancement Project to reflect the culture of the local population. The Dandenong Market is the beating heart of the city.

Where am I sleeping?

Rooms are functional but with a more muted colour scheme than previous incarnations of the Holiday Inn; my room looks onto a central courtyard with metal privacy screens to maintain your, and your neighbours’, modesty. Soak brand bath products are available and you have tea and coffee making facilities.

King room Holiday Inn Dandenong - Luxury Escapes

What's on the menu?

Dandelion Lounge and Eatery represents a new push by Holiday Inn to have its public spaces more engaging and getting guests to linger longer before heading out. Dandelion is a bright and buzzing Mediterranean diner run by executive chef Atish Chaudhuri who takes a lot of pride in his pizza dough, topped with things like pepperoni, prosciutto and a Mediterranean special of roasted vegetables, pesto and truffle oil.

Breakfast at Holiday Inn Dandenong - Luxury Escapes

And how about drinks?

Dandelion’s separate bar has craft beers on tap and a range of wines and cocktails.

What sets Holiday Inn Dandenong apart?

It’s position in this multicultural hub. You can take an Afghan Bazaar Cultural Tour that offers an insight into the lives of this community that has a strong presence in the area. Walk the streets that have intricate blue designs built into the sidewalk representing the art and culture of Afghanistan, grab a doormat-sized garlic naan from Maiwand traditional Afghan bakery and then finish with dinner at Kabul Kitchen, where you feast on manto (Afghan dumplings), shami kebab and spicy chicken curries.

Afghan tour Holiday Inn Dandenong - Luxury Escapes

Who will love Holiday Inn Dandenong?

Foodies. The hotel is just a short walk from Dandenong Market that is packed Thursday-Sunday with food-loving locals and visitors taking the The Cooks’ Tour. Launched this year, the tour takes you on a guided tour of the market with chef Tim Holland who introduces you to the traders while picking ingredients for the five-course meal he then cooks you on site. You will leave satiated, informed and ready to tackle the bustling market on your own next time.

Cooks tour Holiday Inn Dandenong - Luxury Escapes

The writer was a guest of Holiday Inn Dandenong.

About Paul Chai
Paul Chai has been a travel writer for over two decades. He has dived with great white sharks in South Australia, walked the red carpet at the Cannes Film Festival and stuffed himself with enough food and wine working on the Good Food Guide to make his GP shake his head. Chai is currently managing editor of Dream by Luxury Escapes.

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