Melbourne is Australia’s arts, culture and sports capital, so where better to stay than in the very heart of the action where high-end fashion, hatted restaurants, theatres, galleries and rooftop bars lay around every corner?
Join us as we scale the lofty heights of Sofitel Melbourne on Collins – the city’s highest hotel with a birds’ eye views over everything the fabulous Melbourne has to offer.
The Sofitel brand is renowned for its French flair, so it’s only natural this plush hotel finds its home in the so-called ‘Paris end’ of the city, in fine company alongside chic luxury boutiques including Dior and Chanel.
Located in the upper floors of 35 Collins, a 50-floor skyscraper that soars into the clouds, it goes without saying that the views at the hotel are nothing short of breathtaking. Floor-to-ceiling windows in every guest room makes the most of its impressive vantage point. Dining has an added sense of occasion at the highly-acclaimed No35 Restaurant, which offers sophisticated Australian fare with a French twist, all served with a side of panoramic city views.
Also on level 35 is Club Sofitel, the hotel’s exclusive club lounge where VIP guests are invited to drink and dine overlooking the city.
The hotel’s unique fusion of French heritage and Melbournian culture can be found not only in its dining but in its incredible collection of artwork, which extends throughout the hotel. You could almost imagine yourself in the very heart of Paris as you admire the colourful works on display.
“The hotel is very proud of its association with the arts community of Melbourne, and the hotel itself is a living, breathing exhibition space,” says Andrew Natoli, Head Concierge at the hotel. “The MCG is just around the corner from us and a short stroll away are two-hat, three-hat dining options, but beyond award-winning dining, within five minutes of the hotel we have a plethora of choice.”
Images courtesy of Sofitel Melbourne on Collins
If you’re staying right in the heart of the city just walking distance from your lodgings, what better excuse to sample the best of Melbourne’s bar scene? In a city where you’re absolutely spoilt for choice it’s hard to whittle it down to just three, but here’s our pick of the most unique drinking holes to burn a few hours (and dollars) in.
Eau de Vie
As with many of Melbourne’s finest bars and eateries, you’ll have to venture down a dark and rather unsavoury-looking alleyway to locate Eau de Vie. After a bit of Alice in Wonderland-style pondering between doorways, you’ll venture through into a dimly-lit, 1920s prohibition-style hidden bar where suitably hipster-looking mixologists serve up innovative creations such as a Smokey Rob Roy served under a cloud of wood smoke.
A fairytale-themed bar? You had us at ‘Drink Me’. Storyville boasts whimsical interiors (think a giant toadstool hanging over the bar) and a cocktail list inspired by famous children’s stories, from ‘Charlie’s Winning Ticket’ to ‘Through the Looking Glass’. There’s even a magician doing the rounds, whose tricks, funnily enough, become increasingly impressive upon consumption of additional cocktails.
In the 19th century, ‘gin palace’ was a term used to describe disreputable drinking houses, but today’s Gin Palace has, conversely, a rather fine reputation for cracking martinis masterminded by some of the best in the biz. Not a gin fan? There’s a wine list for that.
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