Visiting Melbourne is always an enticing proposition; because while the tried-and-true forever beckon us back, this world-class city just keeps on giving. The ever-evolving landscape of dining, shopping, accommodation and culture mean that every visit is an opportunity to discover more. Now is no exception; here are the latest ahead-of-the-curve spots to add to your itinerary.
Navigating the universe of film, TV, videogames and art at the incredible ACMI, a museum dedicated to screen culture, has been a Melbourne must-do from its inception. Now, following a $34.8 million development, this progressive cultural icon, set in the heart of Fed Square, looks set to further cement its standing as the world's premier moving image museum. The space has been stripped back to reveal an expansive, light-filled interior, where emerging technologies and transformative architecture combine to create a globally connected museum of the future.
Federation Square, Flinders St, Melbourne, 3000.
Come May 2021, witness Melbourne's nightscape come alive with public art, performance and music at the inaugural RISING festival. This major cultural event will begin on the evening of the total lunar eclipse, created by a diverse team of local national and international artists and curators. Taking the place of the Melbourne International Arts Festival and White Night Melbourne, RISING aims to re-synchronise and re-energise the city, through the lens of the night, with a celebration of the iconic, the epic and the intimate. Put it in your diary now: the festival runs form 26 May to 6 June 2021.
Lancemore Crossley St hotel
If you fancy basing yourself at the pinnacle of Melburnian culture, Crossley St is a very good choice, boasting restaurants such as Gingerboy, Becco and Pellegrinis and in close proximity to the enticements of the Theatre District and Chinatown. Furthermore, the exquisite Lancemore Crossley St hotel, centrally located between the Paris end of Bourke Street, is the ultimate place to rest your head. Retreat to the calm of 113 private rooms or partake of the public spaces, including the not-to-be-missed rooftop terrace, which affords glittering skyline views.
51 Little Bourke St, Melbourne, 3000.
Ovolo South Yarra
If you're a fan of independent hotels that ooze style and luxury, then you've probably already come across Ovolo. In early 2021, its second Melbourne locale will grace the South Melbourne scene, to complement the brand's popular Ovolo Laneways site. This super convenient location is right on the cusp of the major tourism and business nodes of Melbourne's CBD, St Kilda Road, Southbank and the Casino. And, as is customary with Ovolo, it will of course include its signature striking design with plenty of restaurants, bar, function rooms and a rooftop pool recreation facilities for lucky guests to indulge in.
19 Little Bourke St, Melbourne, 3000.
Luxe hotel lovers rejoice – W Hotel are set to open their first property in Melbourne in February 2021. With its 294 rooms and suites, a bar, restaurant, spa, gym and a heated indoor pool, you'll have everything you need at your fingertips. This also includes easy access to the gastronomical precinct of Flinders Lane, where the hotel lobby will be situated, with the rooms located in the towering new precinct, Collins Arch on Collins St.
408 Flinders Lane, Melbourne, 3000.
80 Collins St
Melbourne's dining scene is a foodie's dream. From street eats to fine dining and everything in between, diners are spoilt for choice as celebrated restaurateurs and chefs continue to push gastronomic boundaries.
The new 80 Collins St development in the heart of Melbourne's city centre is set to become yet another sought-after culinary destination. Along with a 255-room Next Hotel, the precinct will be home to two new premium restaurants.
The first comes from chef Alejandro Saravias, renowned for his laneway restaurant Pastuso. He's putting his delicious creative juices to incredible use at a new farm-to-table eatery, one that celebrates the best of Victorian region Gippsland. Named Farmer's Daughters, this dining mecca, opening in 2021, will feature across three floors, including a ground-floor deli, main dining room and a rooftop space. The concept of farm to table is one that conscious consumers will delight in and challenge other global leaders in the hospitality industry.
Joining Saravias in the precinct, will be the much-anticipated new restaurant collaboration between former award-winning Sepia duo Martin Benn and Vicky Wild, and Melbourne restaurateur Chris Lucas, of Lucas Group. Expected to be one of the biggest restaurant opening in Australia in 2021, SOCIETY will encompass distinctly different experiences with a modern menu entirely unique to each setting and will be a la carte throughout. Dramatic in scale but intimate in style, the restaurant has 180-degree views over Collins and Exhibition streets.
80 Collins Street, Melbourne, 3000.
Gimlet at Cavendish House (July 2020)
Andrew McConnell's famed establishments on the Melbourne scene always draw discerning culinary crowds and his latest, Gimlet, located in a landmark 1920s building on leafy Russell Street, is no exception. Gimlet brings classic European charisma to the heart of Melbourne. Here you can step into a world of nostalgia and glamour at the Chicago-style Cavendish House and partake of any a number of dining styles, from casual catch-ups at the bar to intimate booths and an elegant dining stage above the city streets. Not to be missed.
33 Russell St, Melbourne, 3000.