Amelia Wade stays at a newly-opened, design-driven Melbourne hotel.
Housed in the former Greater Union Cinema on Russell St, the QT is very central and just a short walk to most of Melbourne's finest — its laneways, galleries, exhibitions, shopping strips and theatres.
Check in experience: A breeze. After an unnecessarily long day due to a missed flight, I finally arrived at the QT and overheard someone talking on the phone. It was 5pm, I still hadn't arrived and she was concerned. I interrupted and introduced myself and was greeted with a genuine sigh of relief that I hadn't fallen out of the sky somewhere over the Pacific. I was swiftly given my key, directions, Wi-Fi password and even a Netflix recommendation.
Room: Stunning and hopefully noise-proof so the bellhop didn't hear my squeal of excitement after he closed the door. The private queen en suite on the sixth floor was huge, decked out with design features to complement the hotel's two colour palettes which flow through all 188 rooms, art, a decedent minibar filled with the city's specialties (though no price list) and a television angled perfectly towards the bed. They'd really thought of everything, right down to the black-and-white umbrellas, matching the staff uniforms.
Wi-Fi: Free, fast and even works in the elevators.
Bed: One of the QT brand's promises is a good night's sleep on their $2000 gel mattresses. The blackout curtains added to the uninterrupted slumber.
View: A treat for voyeurs, but fine enough for everyone else — a bunch of apartment bedroom windows.
Bathroom: Ginormous, with a sectioned-off loo, two sinks and a tub almost big enough to swim in. The shower is a rainhead positioned over the tiles so it was a little disconcerting not being able to block off the water but it ran down the drain quickly and didn't flood the room.
Food and beverage: QT's in-house bistro, Pascale Bar & Grill, serves up breakfast and dinner with an extensive array of choices. The evening staff were more than attentive and wine glasses never dropped below a quarter full without a top-up. QT also has a coffee shop with pastry treats, the Hot Sauce Laneway Bar with relaxed fusion cuisine and a rooftop bar.
Perfect for: Anyone with a larger budget who doesn't intend using their room as just a place to rest their head. It's place to enjoy as well as stay and no one would judge you for not leaving its walls. It would also be a great place to show off those new high heels, because with the staff in designer uniforms, you wouldn't want to be underdressed at dinner.
In a nutshell: A destination hotel with a bucket-load of personality.
QT Melbourne is at 133 Russell Street, Melboune, Victoria, Australia. Phone: +61 3 8636 8800.