Unique Sleeps: Crown Towers, Melbourne
Unique Sleeps: Amazing hotels hand picked by Expedia Experts. Crown Towers, Melbourne.
Crown Towers is the New York of luxury hotels: everything you need is right there. Literally. From world famous restaurants and live shows to shopping and mega-spas, you can easily spend a weekend without ever leaving the property.
Built 21 years ago, the Towers is every bit as shiny and imposing as the day it opened its six-star doors. A recent multi-million dollar facelift has re-energised the interiors, bringing it up to the exacting standards of the luxury traveller and high-rolling gamblers visiting Melbourne.
The entrance to the hotel sits under a portico of Vegas-style lights and is patrolled by a troupe of stately men in red coats and black top hats. It’s a little touch of refined London that juxtaposes the entry to the giant, glitzy foyer they protect.
The lobby is imposing on any measure. Imagine a football field made of marble and glass and you get the general idea. There’s staff on tap at Crown – within minutes of arrival, you’ll be checked in and bound for one of the 482 guest rooms set over 38 floors.
Once inside, the deluxe decor straddles comfort and sizzle perfectly. A neutral palette of cream, white, beige and grey means everything looks chic and feels soft with just the right amount of sexy sprinkled over the top.
Truthfully, all the rooms are spacious – even the most basic – and are renowned for their over-sized, uber-plush beds. I buy my pillows from this hotel – they’re like magical little clouds. The bathrooms are as flashy as the foyer but that’s what you want from a hotel of this rank. Marble everywhere, separate toilet, separate shower and tub that fits a family of four with a personal television and phone. You could spend the weekend just taking a bath.
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I’ve been visiting Crown Melbourne since it opened. In that time I’ve stayed on almost every floor. When it comes to booking a room my advice would be to request as high a floor as possible, and a room far away from the elevators and as close to the end of the corridor as possible. If you’re booking a suite, the best are at the edge of the building as they offer 180-degree views across the Yarra River and Port Phillip Bay. The new Executive Club Suites offer extra benefit with access to the Crystal Club Lounge where you can enjoy personalised check-in, breakfast, afternoon tea and evening pre-dinner drinks.
The hotel has a host of public spaces including a massive indoor pool and day spa. Then there are thirteen premium restaurants; sixteen casual eateries and twenty-two bars and nightclubs. That’s all before you’ve visited the Burberry and Louis Vuitton stores or gone to the cinema. This was a hotel purpose built for entertainment and it takes many visits to get through all that’s on offer. Here are a few of my musts.
Lunch on the terrace at Bistro Guillaume: If weather permits, request a table outside the main dining room and relax in the sun by the river. This is a laid back version of chef Guillaume Brahimi’s beautiful cooking and one of my favourite places to eat lunch anywhere in the world. Order the Salad Nicoise with rare Yellowfin tuna or Steak Frites with Béarnaise sauce. Leave room for the Apple Tarte Tatin and Salted Caramel Macaroon – both game changers.
Dinner at Rosetta: Neil Perry’s only Italian restaurant is as pretty as the name suggests. Everything from the door handle to the cutlery is rose gold and at night the room sparkles like a pink diamond.
Swim in the indoor pool: Enormous. That’s the only way to describe Crown’s indoor pool. I’m a big believer in using hotel facilities, so I recommend a swim followed by a steam and then a little afternoon sleep in your fabulous bed.
Noodle soup from room service: This dish has assisted me through many a Logies night. The room service menu has an awesome Asian selection and their wonton noodle soup with fresh chilli is away-from-home-comfort at it’s yummiest.
Crown Melbourne is a glamourous hotel nestled in the heart of a casino but for this non-gambler, it’s the lack of visible slot machines that keeps me coming back. And the noodle soup.
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