Collins Street, Melbourne | From $253 per night | Book Now
Our Score: 4.5/5
Recently voted Australian Hotel of the Year by Luxury Travel magazine, the Sofitel Melbourne on Collins brings back the simple luxury and timeless design that took off in the 90s and reimagines it with a dash of le francais. Set just off the bustling Collins Street, those first few minutes after you arrive at the hotel perfectly set the tone for your stay. With neighbours like Ermenegildo Zegna, Giorgio Armani & Wolford Boutique, it’s hard to imagine that this Collins Street staple, that has been redesigned and rebranded several times since its inception, would blend into its luxurious surroundings yet it does, effortlessly.
An army of black-tie bellhops buzz around the hotel, making everything run efficiently while providing a friendly face and a warm smile in accompaniment. A simple greeting of bonjour awaits at every turn, an added touch that really pushes the brand. It should be noted at this point that while the facilities at the hotel are good, there is no pool or even a bar with a view. The closest you will get to the latter is a drink in the Atrium on the 35th floor, although that comes without a view of note. For sky-high dining, the excellent No.35 restaurant serves a compact, seasonal menu with a focus on local produce and exquisite flavours. Even as a guest, reservations are highly recommended as this is a popular Melbourne restaurant and boasts fantastic 35th floor views of the city. If you’re looking for motivation to get exercising, the gym located on the mezzanine of the 35th floor has fantastic modern equipment, complete with massage chairs, and incredible views of the city’s sporting precinct and the Yarra River.
Any stay at the hotel would not be complete without taking in a high tea in their elegant lobby lounge, Sofi’s Lounge. Enjoy a delicious range of cakes, scones and sandwiches (with free refills), a glass of sparkling wine and bottomless tea or coffee from just $49 per person. It’s quite a selection and the well appointed surroundings will give you a feel of being back in a simpler, more elegant time. You can also take the tea in the Club Lounge, where the floor-to-ceiling windows offer immaculate views of Melbourne. The fireplace and rounded seating area are the highlight of this exclusive hotel lounge.
The rooms. The most important part of any hotel. From the moment you walk into any of the hotel’s 363 rooms, the first thing that will instantly grab your attention is the views. With the hotel offering panoramic views of the city, you are sure to have one that will wow you. We tried out one of the hotel’s beautiful corner suites and were amazed with the incredible 45th floor views that the room offered over the Yarra River and Southbank on one side, and Carlton/Fitzroy on the other. The room itself was a delight with plenty of space to spread out and relax, with comfortable, plush armchairs in each room, a luxurious king-sized bed and a dining table. With added amenities that include a Nespresso machine (with a selection of pods), Les Notes de Lanvin toiletries, a BOSE sound system and fresh linen spray, it really does show that the secret to creating a luxury hotel stay is in the finer details. The marble lined bathroom also features a deep-soaking bathtub which is most appreciated after a long day around the city. Although we were left wondering why, a luxury hotel such as this does not offer a bathroom door that shuts and locks completely, only a sliding door that is not set completely into the frame.
If you’re looking for simple luxury, top quality service in a fine city centre location then you should never look further than here. Despite the small negatives (no pool or free WiFi), we were instantly drawn in by the grand luxury of the hotel and the small amenities that add up to a wonderful stay. The Sofitel Melbourne on Collins continues to rise above other hotels in the city and shows us once again why it has earned the right to be named Australian Hotel of the Year.