The new, five-star Hotel Chadstone Melbourne, alongside the largest shopping centre in the Southern Hemisphere, brings new meaning to the concept of ‘shop ‘til you drop’.
The 250-room MGallery by Sofitel hotel is so close to Chadstone – The Fashion Capital, that it has its own dedicated walkway leading directly into the enormous shopping centre – meaning the fourth largest shopping centre in the world is a mere two-minute stroll from the hotel’s entrance.
The only five-star Melbourne hotel to open outside of the CBD, Hotel Chadstone Melbourne brings a touch of glamour and style to suburban Melbourne.
I check-in at night during early December. In the expansive foyer, a large Christmas tree sparkles with aqua-coloured gifts beneath the base from Tiffany & Co. Plush seats in the library area are upholstered in baby-pink coloured velvet. A large white textured column in the foyer resembles the pleats of a woman’s skirt. A striking gold-fronted concertina panelled reception desk glitters; elegant velvet curtains hang in curved doorways, and a large light installation dangles in a wave formation from the ceiling.
The hotel’s exterior, designed by renowned Australian architects Bates Smart, has a deliberate curved shape, created to resemble the cinching of a woman’s waist. Inside, interiors by global architecture firm DWP offer sophisticated touches throughout, with a hint of Art Deco style. Muted baby pink, grey and teal furnishings harmonise with the numerous gold brass finishes and trims – no doubt a nightmare for housekeeping, but pure joy for glamour-loving hotel guests.
In my Deluxe Corner Suite, room 1020, the street lights look surprisingly pretty at night, while the CBD towers also shimmer in the distance. You can even see all the way to Port Phillip in the distance. There are more nods to fashion and style here in my room, with everything from key cards to bookmarks printed with inspirational quotes from designers, to make one feel like a certified fashionista.
A free-standing mini bar has everything you’d need to make a weekend of it, including The Eveleigh Bottling Co. from Victoria miniature Negroni and gold ice buckets with matching tongs. The pink velvet fabric I’d admired so much in the lobby’s chairs is repeated here on my bedhead. Master switches and lights are clearly labelled and easy to operate, including perhaps my favourite aspect of the room – the two layers of curtains operated with the flick of a switch, which I do enjoy opening and closing during my stay. A generous bathroom has a freestanding tub, complete with a wooden caddy with circular holes cut out for your wine glass; ample Balmain Paris amenities are provided, along with Bormioli smoke-coloured glass tumblers. A separate console table and stool allows plenty of space in which to set up your toiletries, style one’s hair, or for applying make-up using the free-standing double-sided gold mirror that I wish I had in my house!
Whilst all the design touches are eye-catching, it’s also worth noting that this hotel is the first five-star Australian hotel to receive a 5 Star Green Star Design rating, representing excellence in sustainable design, by utilising a number of water and energy-saving efficiencies. All the complimentary water in rooms comes in glass bottles and the bin has split compartments for guests to recycle.
As I wander about throughout the weekend, I see mothers and daughters on a getaway; groups of girlfriends having a great time over a Veuve Clicquot high-tea at Altus; couples on a shop-flop-and-drop weekend; as well as whole families, no doubt taking advantage of the fact that Australia’s only LEGOLAND Discovery Centre is also just a short drive from here.
With Chadstone – The Fashion Capital at your fingertips, you can join one of the 24 million annual visitors to this shopping mecca, and make your contribution to the AUD$2.2 billion in sales this spacious and beautifully styled precinct yields each year. Download the Chadstone Shopping Centre App to plan your visit – because the centre is huge. Hotel guests can make use of the fashionable camel-coloured vegan leather Hotel Chadstone tote bag to store purchases in as they go. But if a mega-spree is on the cards, take up the hotel concierge service which means your purchases will be delivered straight to your hotel room, without the need for lugging them throughout the centre. Now, that’s service.
The hotel has two distinct dining spaces, with Altus on level 12 offering rooftop bar and dining; and Pastore on ground level, for Italian-inspired all-day dining, helmed by renowned chef and restauranteur Scott Pickett.
Aside from retail therapy, the hotel’s Holism Retreat is an oasis of a different type of therapy. With night treatment rooms, yoga studios and a wellness light lounge, just wandering into this space on the mezzanine level, with a calming white corridor of archways, helps pressures lift.
During a 60-minute Mindful Meditation Massage, I experience a treatment like none that I have ever tried before. My therapist Eva slips on a leather set of Bose headphones. While she begins her massage, I’m gently guided by a custom-made meditation for Holism. An Australian male voice for an hour soothes me, allowing me to almost forget the knots that Eva is working on in my shoulders, while I am focused on nothing other than self-kindness and letting go of anxiety.
“Thank you for the beautiful gift that you are to this world,” he concludes. “Go forth and shine and be the beautiful person you were born to be.” Eva helps me up and I am overcome with emotion, the tears of gratitude, and released toxins, rolling down my cheeks as I thank Eva for the totally escapist, caring treatment.
A hotel located so close to somewhere where you’re likely to spend up, and yet has you leaving feeling like a million bucks? That’s the clever, killer combination that the team behind Hotel Chadstone Melbourne seems to have created here.
Rates at Hotel Chadstone Melbourne start from $269 per night.
Find out more: hotelchadstone.com.au/