It seems like only yesterday it was tools down for the Christmas break yet suddenly, the kids are back to school and the working year officially under way. Cue the back-to-work blues.
Yet there’s hope on the horizon. Consider the fact that there’s now less than 70 days till Easter.
However, with rising inflation and interest rates, airfares going through the roof and petrol apparently not getting cheaper any time soon, not to mention Christmas holiday credit card bills arriving, getting away for another holiday in 2023 might seem an expense too far.
That’s where the staycation comes in.
Major sporting events, art in the parks and theatres, celebrations on the streets – there’s always something going on in Melbourne.
Plus, the Victorian capital is in the midst of a hotel boom.
For staycationers, that means an embarrassment of riches when it comes to finding an overnight base, especially as the hotel options are as varied as Melbourne’s attractions and events. Add in off-season stay dates, and you might also nab a bargain.
Here are six of the best.
MOVENPICK HOTEL MELBOURNE ON SPENCER
Coming into town on VLine? Planning some staycation day trips to the delights of the ‘burbs? Melbourne’s Movenpick is conveniently located directly opposite Southern Cross Station. But it has plenty more to recommend it.
With 172 rooms taking up the first six floors of the 78-storey Premier Tower on Spencer St, a heated pool and 24-hour gym take care of the kilojoules from the foyer kiosk serving Movenpick ice-cream and the daily “Chocolate Hour” – this is a Swiss brand (though owned by France’s Accor) after all.
From this hotel, it’s a breeze to visit Monet & Friends at The Lume or catch the Big Bash at Marvel Stadium.
From $279 per night. See ALL.com
Fancy a holiday experiencing what life would be like living in an apartment in the middle of the city? Check into Ovolo Laneways, where more than half of available accommodation is in roomy apartment-like suites.
Find fridges and kitchenettes, Apple TV, balconies and terraces and, in some, boxing bags or pinball machines amidst laneway-inspired art and surprise extras like free beer.
This is a great location for night owls. With a front door on Little Bourke St, it’s stumbling distance from the bars, restaurants and clubs of Spring, Lonsdale and Exhibition streets and a short walk from theatres. Catch Mary Poppins at Her Majesty’s Theatre just around the corner from January 29.
From $300 a night. See ovolohotels.com.au
MELBOURNE MARRIOTT HOTEL DOCKLANDS
Summer took a long time to kick in but now it’s here the Melbourne Marriott’s got you covered, with a 28-metre rooftop infinity pool, heated to a very pleasant 28 degrees – just in case an Antarctic blast hits town. Snare one of the sun loungers positioned in the pool shallows for optimum sunset viewing – with a cocktail from the nearby bar in hand. It’s one of several great food and beverage options in the five-star property.
Docklands obviously isn’t the most lively or glamorous part of the city so you could treat your hotel like a resort and really put the stay into staycation.
But you can always jump on a tram to the NGV where the new blockbuster exhibition, Alexander McQueen: Mind Mythos Muse offers insight into one of the late 20th and early 21st century’s most remarkable designers.
From $240 a night. See marriott.com
The 80 Collins development emulates, after a fashion, the laneway landscape that’s Melbourne’s cultural signature. There’s no grunge or graffiti here though. Behind the historic 1867 facade of 80 Collins Street, find sophisticated dining and drinking at the likes of Farmer’s Daughters and La Madonna. Get your high-end retail fill at Georg Jensen and Saint Laurent. And stay accordingly at the boutique Next Hotel within 80 Collins itself.
From $285 a night. See nexthotelmelbourne.com
PULLMAN ON THE PARK
Newly renovated, but dating to the mid 1970s when it opened as a Hilton, East Melbourne’s Pullman on the Park is a landmark for sports lovers due to its proximity to the MCG and easy walk to Rod Laver Arena and the Australian Open Precinct.
With an inviting open-air pool, a well laid out lobby, excellent restaurant, popular bar and rooms set for the enviable views across Fitzroy Gardens, the cricket ground and Yarra Park, the hotel may not be Melbourne’s most trendy, but when major sporting events are in town it’s the place to be.
From $329 per night. See ALL.com
Melbourne’s awash with rooftop bars but when you stay at the QT Melbourne, there’s one of the best a short lift ride away.
One of Melbourne’s first “hip” hotels and firmly established before the recent wave of new digs hit (it opened in 2016) the QT, on the site of the old Greater Union cinema, feels part of the fabric of the city, its funky decor reflecting its location in the old garment district, its doors opening to the hustle and bustle of the top end of town.
From $318 a night. See qthotels.com
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