A style-inspired journey to Melbourne and the NGV

Alexander McQueen exhibit Hilton Little Queen Street

Take your own stylish stay at Hilton Melbourne Little Queen Street, to see an awe-inspiring tour of the Alexander McQueen exhibit, running until 16 April at the NGV.

It’s not often you leisurely saunter around a gallery being totally awestruck and genuinely excited, but that was exactly how I felt as I wandered Melbourne’s National Gallery of Victoria (NGV).

Aside from always loving a trip to magical Melbourne, this time it was to immerse myself in a new hotel and the NGV’s latest exhibition — Alexander McQueen: Mind, Mythos, Muse.

I was also there to explore the Hilton Melbourne Little Queen Street — a relatively new kid of the hotel block which opened in 2021, and its ‘Stylish Stay Package’: a collaboration with the Alexander McQueen exhibit.

Let me tell you, ‘stylish stay’ is an absolute understatement.

As soon as I landed at the hotel, nestled in a quintessential small Melbourne CBD street close to ‘everything,’ I couldn’t help but be struck with a brilliant and huge piece of urban street art directly opposite the hotel, beautifully reflected in the mirrored metallic panelled facade of Melbourne’s (not so much now!) best-kept hotel secret.

The stay

As the official hotel travel partner of the extraordinary Alexander McQueen exhibit, the lobby featured a bespoke floral dress installation, inspired by the late designer’s gothic 2007 collection, Sarabande, and brought to life in the hotel by Fleurs de Villes and the Flowers Vassette.

A selection of four McQueen-inspired cocktails served in the hotel’s The Douglas Club bar has Australian Bartender of the Year Nick Tesar at the shakin’ helm.

What struck me about the new hotel, which resides in residency in the 1930s Equity Chambers building (originally built in 1930) is the fusion of its architectural history with a modern, but not-at-all kitsch aesthetic.

There are 244 stylish and perfectly formed guest rooms, including five suites while Luci Melbourne restaurant, The Douglas Club, a fully equipped gym, and the Queen Adelaide executive lounge complete what is a welcome addition to the Melbourne hotel-scape.

Cocktail anyone?

Guests can expect to see an impressive McQueen-inspired drinks list from Evolution & Existence, which uses Melbourne Gin Company’s gin as a base, combined with peach liqueur, vermouth, raspberry verjuice and lemon, shaken over ice and dressed with a dusting of crystallized rose petals over a butterfly stencil. Sounds like a McQueen frock creation!

Then there’s Mythos, which is the non-alcoholic version of the above while Muse is a bubbly and refreshing whisky-based spritz with flavours of orange, honey and lemon with the flute striped with honey syrup and dusted with crystalised verbena and mint.

My fave was Deliverance, which combined Starward Nova Single Malt Australian Whisky with honey syrup, sweet wine and two dashes of orange bitters, served over ice.

The hotel’s art-deco-inspired Luci restaurant, which was designed by Bates Smart, is under the tutelage of newly appointed Head Chef Jason Lear, previously of Grossi Florentino, Café Di Stasio and Pilu at Freshwater in Sydney’s northern beaches.

Our Italian-inspired degustation dinner, complete with expert wine-pairing from head sommelier Keia, could not have been better, particularly as it was the night before we headed off to the NGV for our own luxe and mega stylish ‘private’ tour of the exhibit.

National Gallery of Victoria

The Alexander McQueen exhibit at NGV

How lucky we were to have McQueen show curator Katie Sommerville personally guide us through, with her knowledge of the ‘Lee’ McQueen story and the way his designs challenged societal norms.

“He was a storyteller,” Katie tells us. And as someone who witnessed some of his shows on the global fashion circuit, they were theatre and fashion paired together exquisitely.

Even if you are not a fashion aficionado, I cannot tell you how impressed you’re likely to be by the show with 120 of McQueen’s creations. It is the biggest retrospective of his work ever put together, creatively combined with some of the gallery’s existing artworks, while huge banks of screens tell the story of a designer who was, unquestionably, one of the most conceptual and accomplished in the last few decades.

The entire visual choreography of the show is style on steroids, so combined with a stay at a beautiful new hotel, I can’t think of a better luxe Melbourne sojourn.

How to book your own stylish stay

The Hilton Melbourne Little Queen Street ‘Stylish Stay’ Package includes an overnight stay at Hilton Melbourne Little Queen Street; breakfast for two at Luci restaurant; two tickets to the NGV exhibition and a welcome amenity from the hotel. Rates start from $380. It is available until 16 April 2023.

Hilton Melbourne Little Queen Street

*Melissa Hoyer @melissahoyer was a guest of Hilton Hotels

Bedroom at Hilton Little Queen Street. Credit: Melissa Hoyer

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