Tried & Tested: Zagame’s House in Carlton, Melbourne

Thoughtful inclusions make all the difference at Melbourne’s quirky new boutique hotel.

I would’ve loved to eavesdrop on the brainstorming sessions for Zagame’s House – they must have been incredibly inspired. The team has taken everything great about a standard hotel, given it a twist, taken it to the next level and created Melbourne’s newest boutique hotel. It seems no idea was too out-there.

Zagame's House Carlton, Melbourne

Take the bathroom mirrors, for example. An inbuilt button offers three lighting settings for those who wish to see every pore, others who prefer more flattering light, and everyone else in between. The toiletries, from UK brand Cowshed, also present choices with two body washes – Grumpy Cow for lifting the morning mood, and Lazy Cow for winding down at night.

Zagame's House Carlton, Melbourne

Things are done a little differently here, which you first suspect from its striking facade, with a giant spider’s web, geometric pattern and neon sign. Comprising 97 rooms of various configurations, this former motel, which reopened in May, has been fully refurbished with quirky touches, bold artwork and quality inclusions throughout. There is also a local Victorian focus here, from its featured artists to the use of Melbourne’s Plumm wine glasses.

Zagame's House Carlton, Melbourne

The hotel may only be a stroll to the city and highlights of Carlton’s famed Lygon Street, but these rooms can be hard to leave. A feng shui expert has overseen each space, and the king-sized beds make you want to linger. Throw in the Marshall Bluetooth speaker, selection of novels and free movies, and it can feel like you’re housesitting for a friend with a flair for interiors.

Then there’s the mini bar, which almost warrants its own review. Expect exceptional wines, from Burgundy to Barossa, including half-bottles that are brilliant for solo guests. Bottled cocktails, craft beers and even a pack of Uno are also available. But you won’t regret venturing to the hotel’s plush bar Lord Lygon, with its stellar wines, cheeses and charcuterie, and menu of moreish dishes including duck san choy bau, meatballs and gourmet toasties (five fancy fillings are offered as room service overnight).

Zagame's House Carlton, Melbourne

This is also the kind of place that lets you forget the essentials as you can borrow items like ties and curling irons; nail polish remover or Berocca; and cosy bed socks are yours to keep. There can’t have been too many ideas that didn’t pass the brainstorming stage, but I’d love to know what they were.  

Rates start from $249 per night.

Find out more:

This story first appeared in Vacations & Travel magazine, spring 2019, issue 112.

Tags: , , , , , ,