Size: 150 square metres |Price: from $1419 per night | Reviewed by: Gary Allen | Details: crownmelbourne.com.au
When you hear the name Crown Towers Melbourne, you might immediately envisage the carnival atmosphere of a busy casino, but this luxury hotel is so much more than that. In fact, if casinos aren’t your thing, you can avoid the spectacle all together. With a grand entrance and lobby, Crown Towers is beautiful right from the start. There are two ‘sister’ venues, Crown Metropol and Crown Promenade, but Towers is most certainly the ace. Once touted as the first genuine five-star luxury hotel in Australia, it still dominates Melbourne’s South Bank skyline. There are 482 rooms spread out over 43 floors and some amazing views over the city, particularly from the higher floors.
A true oasis, my two-bedroom Tower Suite featured floor-to-ceiling windows and, given my position on Level 20, offered views I won’t soon forget. At night, the city is brightly lit and at its most beautiful. Get rid of the TV, I say, it only hinders the vista. Both bedrooms are large and well-lit with whitemarble ensuites. The master bath will have you eager for a long soak. A separate dining room includes a large round table, making private meals easy and stylish, if that’s your preference. Decor is tasteful with calming beige and mauve tones, and soft blue-velvet lounges. You’d be forgiven for opting to stay in.
Conveniently located on the Yarra River in South Bank, Crown Towers puts you close to everything from sights and attractions to CBD shopping and public transport options, great for exploring Melbourne’s character-filled neighbourhoods. There is also a locale of a different kind right at your doorstep: Crown Towers itself is a thriving hub with plenty of shopping and restaurants.
Dining options are as impressive as they are vast. Big names such as Neil Perry’s Rockpool, Guillaume Brahimi’s Bistro Guillaume and Heston Blumenthal’s Dinner are on site along with renowned Spice Temple and plenty of others. At Bistro Guillaume, the locally caught John Dory was exceptional as was the Cape Grim steak tartare. But this is a French-inspired bistro, so the twice-baked soufflé with Roquefort sauce is a must. Save room for dessert. Breakfast, lunch and dinner is served in the Conservatory Restaurant on Level 3. Buffet and a la cart dining is available, and with stunning views of the river, marble floors and beautiful decor, you will want to take your time.
Melbourne weather is notorious and there isn’t a better place to be for those rainy, cold days than Crown Towers’ spa. Awarded a highly prized four-star rating by the 2019 Forbes Travel Guide, Crown Spa boasts a massive indoor pool with soaring ceilings and abundant natural light, a large fully equipped gym, a salon and treatment rooms. The Aqua Retreat offers steam rooms and vitality pools as well as private lounge rooms – facilities that are available only to those who have booked a treatment. There’s really no better excuse.