Inspiration Destinations Australia Victoria French-Inspired Luxury at the Paris End of Melbourne, Sofitel Melbourne on Collins

French-Inspired Luxury at the Paris End of Melbourne, Sofitel Melbourne on Collins

A River View room at Sofitel Melbourne on Collins - Luxury Escapes

Sofitel Melbourne on Collins has an intimacy despite being a large hotel chain through unique position, love of the arts and creative passion.

Sofitel is celebrating its diamond jubilee this year, 60 years of adding a little French luxury to what is known as the Paris end of Collins Street. Despite its 363 rooms, the five-star hotel manages to seem like a local secret, with its discrete entry hidden off the main street or lobby accessible via the Collins Place set of shops.

What’s the neighbourhood like?

The Paris end of the city earns its moniker because of the prevalence of heritage buildings like Treasury, Parliament and Scots Church. But there are plenty of great modern places within walking distance like chef Alejandro Saravia’s Farmer’s Daughters, Iberian tapas joint Bar Lourinha and carpark-based Thai favourite Soi 38.

Where am I sleeping?

The Superior Rooms with bay and river views look across the Melbourne arts precinct right across to Port Phillip Bay. The rooms are tastefully decorated in blues and greys with a collection of moody photographers in one corner celebrating neighbourhood icons like Milton House and the Princess Theatre (the hotel regularly runs partnerships with local theatres offering special packages and food and beverage specials). This photography and the winged chairs are all part of the French salon look and create a warm and comfortable stay.

Sofitel Melbourne on Collins - Luxury Escapes

What's on the menu?

The hotel’s No.35 Restaurant embodies the French passion for good food and fine wine and has a seasonal bistro-style menu that changes with the available ingredients. On the weekend the restaurant holds high teas with finger sandwiches, pastries and other French goodies made from the finest local ingredients. A Pharoah-inspired high tea in the Sofi's Lounge also makes up the hotel's July offerings, as part of its partnership with National Gallery of Victoria's (NGV) Melbourne Winter Masterpieces exhibition. The high tea, served every Sunday until 15 September 2024, takes cues from Egyptian flavours - think pistachio baklava to Ra Sun quiche - with unlimited espresso coffee and fresh-brewed tea. A glass of sparkling is served upon arrival.

The Pharoah-inspired high tea at Sofitel Melbourne on Collins - Luxury Escapes

And how about drinks?

The Atrium on 35 is one of the best hotel bars in the city with its atrium position making it feel at once exclusive and enclosed but with the grandeur of a sweeping fifteen-floor mirrored canopy, like a rooftop bar without the inclement weather. Drinks are top-notch with classic cocktails, Champagne and bar snacks, plus a regular roster of drinks celebrating everything from theatre to art exhibitions, showing off the Sofitel’s passion for Melbourne’s creative arts. The bar is pouring a bespoke crystal martini in celebration of the hotel's diamond jubilee, for a limited time only. For something to warm the cockles, try a pour from the hotel's winter whisky-based cocktail menu, available until the end of August.

A drink from Sofitel's winter whisky menu - Luxury Escapes

What are the facilities like?

Downstairs off to the side of Atrium on 35 is the Club Lounge, a private space with floor-to-ceiling city views and a central fireplace surrounded by circular couches, perfect for a winter getaway. Sit in front of the wood fire with a glass of red wine and French pastries from the Le Gouter afternoon tea selection. The club also does a signature breakfast, personalised check-in, and has shower facilities for early arrivals or late check out. The gym is extensive and also comes with bonus massage chairs and the hotel has 12 different event and conference spaces offering plenty of versatility.

Sofitel Melbourne on Collins - Luxury Escapes

What sets Sofitel Melbourne on Collins apart?

The hotel’s strong connection to the local arts scene, as seen through its partnerships and cultural promotions, gives the five-star hotel a bohemian bent. It recently celebrated its 60th birthday in collaboration with Indigenous fashion brand NGARI and its love of theatre, art and fashion are part of the fabric of the hotel.

Who will love Sofitel Melbourne on Collins?

If you are a culture lover this is the hotel for you. It’s also a great spot for experiencing the facilities of a large-scale hotel with a boutique hotel vibe. And for anyone who wants a European-inspired staycation.

The writer was a guest of the hotel.

Looking for more travel inspiration? Explore the Most Romantic Experiences in Australia.

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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