5 Reasons To Visit Le Méridien Melbourne

This is the only Le Méridien in Australia (for now), and it brings a taste of its Mediterranean and French roots down under. Le Méridien was originally started by Air France as a way to provide lodging options for its passengers. Today, it is one of Marriott Bonvoy’s upscale brands that infuses plenty of European flair (like gelato, art and even its own soundtrack that changes from morning to night) into its hotels. The brand’s arrival to Australia introduces this rich history and “savor-the-good-life” spirit. Here are five reasons to visit Le Méridien Melbourne and experience it for yourself.

The Location

Just steps from the Parliament building, this hotel is convenient for business travelers and politicians. Many rooms overlook the famous landmark where free tours are available most days. It is common to see politicians going and coming and media out front interviewing them.

Tourists will appreciate the easy walk to the city’s best shopping, dining and museums. The free tram network within the city makes it even easier to get around. The best part? There’s a stop just in front of the entrance.

The Art

Le Méridien places a strong emphasis on art, often relying on local talent to add color and pizzazz. Here, the art begins before you even step inside thanks to a mural that stretches the length of the entryway. It’s an homage to photographs from Melbourne-based artist Stephen Baker that he has taken around the neighborhood.

Inside, modern pieces line the guest room hallways and main lobby area. There is also a framed poster from Air France and a model Airbus A350, another nod to the brand’s roots. Another key amenity in many Le Méridien hotels is that guests can flash their room key to receive free access to an area art museum.

The hotel itself was once a cinema and is adjacent to a historic theater. As a result, the cinematic theme is also carried out through the design, especially in the lobby’s Intermission Cafe.

The Food

Melbourne’s coffee culture plays its own role here thanks to the hotel’s partnership with Axil Coffee. Its blends are available in the lobby lounge and the main restaurant where barista-made drinks are a real hit. Even in the guest rooms, the local coffee brand has made its own pods for in-room use. There are more than a dozen branches of this coffee shop around town, which will become instantly recognizable after taking just one sip here.

The lobby lounge is also home to a light menu of sandwiches, pastries and the brand’s signature Le Scoop gelato program. Be sure to try the new gelato flavor infused with Whispering Angel rosé.
Local wines, another Victoria staple, are also on the menu, and the hotel has tapped Patrick Walsh of CellarHand to advise the property’s wine list. This pairs well with a meal at Dolly, one level below the lobby. It’s an all-day dining venue that serves a lovely breakfast buffet each morning, but shifts its focus later in the day. Lunch and dinner draw local crowds thanks to the mastery of Chef Hervé Borghini. His menu taps into local produce and ingredients, but relies on his old European menu of favorites.

The Rooms

The rooms are a study in modernism with clever carpeting that is an abstract city map of Melbourne and sleek furnishings. Angular desks provide plenty of space to work, and the beds come with excellent padding and plush duvets. Personally, the best features were the easy-access power outlets, vintage stereo and wireless charging device. Rooms come with a mini-fridge (great for takeout), coffee machines with Axil Coffee pods, flat-screen TVs and loads of closet space.

Bathrooms are lined with stone with walk-in showers and separate soaking tubs in some. The Malin+Goetz toiletries are plentiful including products in pump bottles in the shower. Some of the bathrooms have natural light.

The views are beautiful in most rooms overlooking the city’s skyline, and in many rooms, direct views of Parliament. Other rooms look toward the towering cathedral and active Fitzroy Gardens. Superior rooms have the best city views, but the Heritage rooms have something unique as they peer into the brick-exposed historic architecture of the original building. Numerous suite categories are available, and these have separate living rooms with sofas, dining tables and kitchenettes.

The Pool

This is one of the only hotels in town to offer an outdoor pool deck with a heated pool and surrounded by towering skyscrapers. Even more special is the fact that the pool was built atop the façade of the original building. This was a way for architects to protect the culturally important look of the exterior while creating a modern building behind it.

Signature yellow and white-striped fabrics mark the the umbrellas and towels. It gives the whole pool deck a resort vibe in the middle of one of Australia’s biggest cities. Floating pool pillows and a seasonal bar serving light snacks and cocktails round out the experience. The pool is open year-round thanks to being heated. The experience changes once night falls and the illuminated buildings add an even more urban feel. There are also recreational facilities including a sauna and fitness center with city views.


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Ramsey Qubein

Ramsey Qubein is a freelance travel journalist covering hotels, cruises, airlines, and loyalty programs from around the globe.