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Now Open: Hijinx Hotel Is Melbourne's New OTT (and Nostalgia-Fuelled) Challenge Room Bar

Ready for prime kidulting fun, Strike Bowling, Holey Moley and Archie Brothers Cirque Electriq have also set up shop in Chadstone's new entertainment precinct.
By Sarah Ward
March 02, 2023
By Sarah Ward
March 02, 2023

What looks like it takes its design cues from The Grand Budapest Hotel, The Shining's Overlook Hotel and Willy Wonka's chocolate factory? What gives the escape-room concept a game-fuelled twist and drips with nostalgia as well? What also combines all of the above with booze for the ultimate in kidulting fun? And, what marks the latest Victorian venue for Funlab, the company behind Strike, Holey Moley and Archie Brothers Cirque Electriq?

Actually, another question: what's now open in Chadstone's just-launched new dining and entertainment precinct, and wants you to play and sip your way through it from now on? The answer: Hijinx Hotel, Funlab's adult-focused twist on sleuthing your way through various spaces with a beverage or several in your hand.

Instead of escaping here, patrons hit up challenges. Making its Victorian debut in Melbourne after first opening in Sydney and then on the Gold Coast in 2022, the new venue spans ten game rooms filled with entertaining things to do. That includes a Big-style piano room with a giant keyboard across the floor, one dedicated to television, another that's all about basketball and yet another that's devoted to Rubik's cubes.

Basically, the whole concept is a bar decked out like a hotel, but getting attendees to complete challenges rather than get a-slumbering in its various spaces. It also gleans inspiration from all those supremely Instagrammable pop-up installations that include ball pits, but this one is sticking around Melbourne permanently. And, it boasts plenty of cocktail-drinking opportunities, nods to New York hotels in its facade, and just generally overflows with homages to movies and board games from the 80s and 90s.

Shaking off your regular routine is clearly the name of the game here, and partying like you would've before you were old enough to drink alcohol — but with the hard stuff definitely on offer. That all starts when you enter via the faux hotel lobby bar, which is full of colour and surrealist touches. Instead of merely checking in, you'll commence your Hijinx Hotel experience. Afterwards, there's also an outdoor terrace, which is where you'll find cocktails.

As for the not-quite-hotel rooms themselves, you gain access by heading to reception t0 pick up a swipe card. As well as the aforementioned activities, interstate faves such as the Adore-a-ball and Scrambled rooms have been replicated in Chadstone.

Hijinx Hotel has company as part of a 3611-square-metre precinct with a capacity for 1050 guests, which is Funlab's largest precinct in the country so far. The company's fellow brands Holey Moley, Strike and Archie Brothers have also opened their doors, for tapping around pop culture-themed greens, knocking down pins and getting a sideshow experience. Holey Moley sports four holes exclusively designed for Chadstone, Strike is decked out to look like the inside of a train station and Archie Brothers even includes a 4D XD theatre.

In total, the entire space features 62 arcade machines, eight bowling lanes, ten game rooms and 18 holes of golf, so you won't get bored. Also a highlight: those four bars serving up creative cocktails, and breaking up all that kidulting.

Find Hijinx Hotel at Chadstone Shopping Centre, 1341 Dandenong Road, Chadstone, Victoria.

Images: Eugene Hyland / Funlab.

Published on March 02, 2023 by Sarah Ward
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