Thursday, July 15, 2010
A Stylish and Quirky Hotel Opens in Melbourne
Walter Scott Law designed and John Mahon first licensed Middle Park Hotel in 1889. Melbourne has come a long way since then. It has matured to become a cosmopolitan city that pulses with a vibrant energy. The love affair with major sporting events, restaurants, architecture, café lined streets, bars, art galleries, spacious parks and village-like inner suburbs make this city one of the worlds most liveable.
Middle Park Hotel encompasses much of what make Melbourne great. All of the abovementioned elements can be seen here. The position at Gate 1 of the ‘Australian Formula One Grand Prix’ makes it hard not to embrace all things sport. Melburnians love it and patrons at Middle Park Hotel can enjoy a wide range of live sporting events at the hotel.
Middle Park Hotel also takes its food and drink seriously. One of Melbourne’s elite chefs Paul Wilson and his team headed up by fellow Brit Dave Marshall ensure that. A carefully assembled wine list, beer list and cocktail list impress. Coffee is also good. Let’s face it, in Melbourne it would want to be.
Architecture has been inherited and enhanced by Melbourne’s most inventive practice, Six Degrees. The art story in the bar and dining room is a collection of sporting prints and memorabilia. The guest rooms display a collection of Rennie Ellis Photographs depicting life in Melbourne over five decades.
Middle Park Village sits nestled between Port Phillip Bay, The City, Albert Park Lake and St Kilda. Not a bad spot, I think you’d agree.
The finishing touches have been added and Middle Park Hotel is now complete. The hotel entrance is marked with a red canopy, reminiscent of a 5th Avenue apartment. Upon entry, guests are greeted with a grand Victorian staircase heading upstairs to hallways laid with plush monogrammed carpet, leading to 25 hotel rooms that exude contemporary luxury.
The award winning team behind the hotel’s refurbishment consists of Julian Gerner of Melbourne Pub Group and Six Degrees Architects, who have successfully collaborated on an impressive portfolio of bars and restaurants. This creative partnership’s eye for detail, finish and fun is in abundance at as this is their first foray into hotel accommodation.
“The rooms are about trying to strip back to the core of what a traveller needs. The plan and wall treatments of the rooms are influenced by Katsura, secret puzzle boxes, Love Hotels and the Tardis”, says Mark Healy.
The Grand Victorian pub built circa 1889 maintains its spacious high ceilings with original architraves. Plantation shutters punctuate the original features in a pleasing minimal effect, a true nod to Victorian and South Melbourne ‘pub culture’.
All rooms offer absolute comfort, style and plenty of personality with most featuring built in window banquettes, LCD televisions, mixed material cabinetry with marble, timber, leather, rattan and mirror and plenty of natural light.
Bathrooms are chic and stylish pamper rooms with their black sleek tiles, neon strip lights and quality porcelain fittings. In addition, the suites feature claw foot, freestanding bathtubs and double-headed showers.
In restoring the hotel, Julian Gerner’s sole objective was to celebrate all things Victorian. Local suppliers were sought for everything, from artisan food and beverages through to the furnishings and accessories in the luxury rooms.
Guests will enjoy a sound night’s sleep on comfy mattresses with patented bedding design from Melbourne company, Chiropedic Bedding. These beautiful beds, adorned with fire engine red wool blankets from Waverley Australia are a stylish addition.
Each bathroom offers a range of complimentary Kevin Murphy amenities containing essential oils that are naturally superior to man made substances.
There is a mini bar with a difference, housing wine sourced from Victorian wine distributors Craiglee, Shadowfax, Yering and Tarra Warra. Other locally made treats include Grand Ridge and Three Troupers Beer, Cocoa farm dark and buttermilk chocolate.
A complete gourmet destination Middle Park Hotel has built an excellent reputation for dining and imbibing in the past eight months since its re-launch. Consulting chef Paul Wilson has created a unique menu that uses primarily Victorian produce with a focus on rare breed meats. This is a menu that not only intends to satisfy destination diners, but also hotel guests.
Middle Park Hotel dining takes cues from the exclusive atmosphere of a gentleman’s club and their menus offer dishes designed to excite and satisfy.
Paul Wilson and his elite team headed up by fellow Brit. Dave Marshall ensure that the cuisine encompasses the best of what is local within a seasonal and market-driven gastro pub, sourcing Victorian and organic produce wherever possible.
Mr Wilson has used his considerable produce connections and sourced rare breed cuts of meat which are unique to the hotel including Belted Galloway, Welsh Black, Charolais and Black Angus beef, all which feature throughout the year’s seasonal menu.
For breakfast, lunch or dinner, Middle Park Hotel is a first rate food stop. Signature dishes channel grand hotel classics such as the Prawn Cocktail, Scotch Eggs, Chicken Kiev, or direct from the Connaught UK, Eggs Royale in the morning.
A carefully assembled Victorian wine list, boutique beer list and cocktail list impress the thirsty punters, while the coffee rates highly in a very competitive Melbourne zone.
It is the unexpected that will transform guests’ experiences when they stay at the Middle Park Hotel.
Customised pendants and bedside reading lamps have been thoughtfully designed and for guests further please, each room contains an iPod dock. Door tags, taken directly from seventies Sandman Van slogans, are sure to amuse and include “Don’t laugh, your daughter could be inside” and “If this rooms rockin’ don’t come a knockin”.
Discrete hallway lighting and quality Egyptian cotton towels are other “tangible impressions that add to a quality of experience for the guest”, says Hotel Manager Mary Ann Haywood.
Much thought has been given to the style of art in each room to complete the minimalist styling. The final decision and finishing touch was to use photography by the Australian artistic legend, Rennie Ellis.
Ellis' spirited work as a social photographer for high profile magazines introduced the candid shot and changed the course of social photography in Australia. For over three decades, Ellis observed and captured Australians at work and play that is "life" in the land Downunder.
With a mix of photography inspired by great Victorian sporting moments, social life and rock n’ roll, Rennie Ellis’ photography is thought provoking and reflects the personality of the Middle Park Hotel.
Located opposite the Grand Prix track at 102 Canterbury Road, Middle Park Hotel is now open. ‘Rack rates’ start at $250 per night for a double room and range up to $800 per night for a King Suite. Or choose to stay at the exclusive King Apartment premier suite for $1000 per night. Prices may vary depending on the season and length of stay. Special introductory rates are available and begin at $170 per night.
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