A friend’s birthday celebration in Australia’s second-biggest city gave GEORGIA BISSET the chance to check out the latest addition to the Melbourne hotel scene. Here’s her verdict on the new Voco hotel.
We chose to stay at Voco Melbourne Central – the first new-build Voco property opened by IHG Hotels & Resorts in Australia – due to its proximity to the party we were going to, and its central location. It’s right in the middle of the CBD, just a few hundred metres from the Bourke Street Mall. Knowing that we were staying here meant we didn’t have to worry about public transport or even Ubers. We had so many dining, shopping and entertainment options just a short walk away.
We had also noticed that this Voco hotel was regularly popping up online with great reviews. It had ratings of four stars or higher on many sites, and it stood out not only for location but the promise of an outdoor pool and an on-site restaurant.
First impressions of this Melbourne hotel
The first thing to catch our eye at this new Voco hotel was the fantastic attention to detail in all the décor and lighting. We also liked the fun high-tech lifts that assign a specific number for your selected level. The staff were very friendly and welcoming, too, filling us in on the important locations we needed to know within the hotel. This included the water refill station, which was a great first look at the many environmentally-friendly practices the hotel follows. The station allows you to fill a glass bottle of either still or sparkling from a beautifully designed tap to take into your room instead of plastic bottles.
Walking into our 24th-floor Corner Room, we were greeted by 180-degree views of the CBD. It’s rare for a building in this location to have uninterrupted views like this. We could see out across the Yarra River to the Botanic Gardens, the sports precinct including the Melbourne Cricket Ground and AAMI Park, and also St Patrick’s Cathedral.
Facilities and food
It didn’t take us long after check-in to give in to the attractiveness of the 7th-floor outdoor swimming pool. The pool was fantastic, with more of those great views over the city. It’s also heated, so it’s warm all year round!
The pool joins onto the main restaurant, Blacksmith Bar and Grill. That means you can enjoy a drink from the bar, or a pizza from the restaurant post-swim. The flow and ease of the hotel quickly made us feel at home, and the breakfast area was also very accessible. In fact, despite all the Melbourne café options around, we had breakfast both mornings at the hotel. We were absolutely spoilt for choice with the broad range of options – something for everyone to enjoy. The egg-station was a big hit, and it was made even more pleasant by the huge glass windows in the breakfast room allowing for the morning sun to join us while we started our day.
Final word on Melbourne’s Voco hotel
We had a great two nights at Voco and could not recommend the hotel’s location more. It’s definitely somewhere we would stay again. In particular, we appreciated the sustainable practices on display. The bedding is made from 100 percent recycled materials, for example, and the lighting system responds to the daily cycle of natural light. Both of us have environmental science backgrounds, so we really appreciate the changes this Melbourne hotel has made to lead the way.
This article first appeared in the August 2023 edition of Expat Living. You can purchase the latest issue or subscribe, so you never miss a copy!
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