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Curious Is Melbourne's Soon-to-Open New Hotel Cocktail Bar with a Secret Laneway Entrance

You'll find it in Melbourne's new W Hotel when it launches in February 2021.
By Sarah Ward and Kat Hayes
November 04, 2020
By Sarah Ward and Kat Hayes
November 04, 2020

If you're a Melburnian looking for a new staycation destination, you'll soon be able to add the first Victorian venue from luxe hotel chain W Hotel to your must-stay list. And, if you're looking for a new spot to have a few drinks, the hotel will offer that too. When the site throws open its doors in February 2021, it'll feature flashy rooms and suites, a heated indoor pool with a gold-adorned roof, and four in-house venues — including a new bar called Curious.

If the latter has piqued your interest, then we hope you like cocktails. We hope you like moseying through a secret laneway entrance to get to them as well. Both will be on offer here, as will curated music programming, and a menu heavy on small bites and share plates.

On the drinks side of things, Proof & Co is overseeing the cocktails — and taking inspiration from Melbourne's fashion, art and coffee in the process. While the full list of exactly what you'll be sipping hasn't yet been revealed, the latter will come into play via W Hotel's version of an espresso martini. Called 'A Curious Ristretto', it comes sealed with beeswax and will emit a nutmeg smoke when you take your first sip.

Patrons will also be able to choose from boutique craft spirits, with Australian and Melbourne brands featuring prominently. And, you'll be able to pair your drinks with bites to eat from the venue's executive chef Jihun Kim — and listen to tunes from emerging talent in the process.

As for actually getting to  the place, you'll need to head to Market Street, then step down a spiral staircase. There, you'll find a cocoon-esque design made from timber beams that'll welcome you in. Once you're inside, you'll be surrounded by a rich, dark, earthy aesthetic — with the bar hoping to become one of the city's next late-night hangouts.

When both Curious and W Melbourne open — on Collins Street in the middle of Melbourne's shopping heartland — they'll join the already-operating W Brisbane in 2018. The chain is also slated to launch in Sydney as well. Following Brisbane's ten-gallon baths and Sydney's lavish pool deck overlooking the harbour, the Melbourne digs look to be no less OTT. W Melbourne will encompass 294 rooms and 29 suites, including an 'Extreme Wow Suite', which has its own 40-square-metre balcony with views of the Yarra, a jukebox and cocktail bar.

Designed by local architect and interior design firm Hachem, W Melbourne will also house a 14th-floor spa, gym and that aforementioned indoor pool, plus a poolside bar and DJ decks. And, for those needing function space, W will have more of it than you can physically fill (under current COVID-19 restrictions, at least) — a 830-square metre space for conferences, meetings or holding lush balls.

On the food and drinks front, in addition to Curious, you'll have three other choices. The 30-seat Warabi will be your go-to for Japanese fine dining, while Lollo will be run by a "renowned local chef" — we'll let you know exactly who that is when it's announced — and Culprit will flip from a cafe during the day to a wine bar at night.

Functioning, too, as the bottom 15 storeys of a towering new precinct called Collins Arch, W Melbourne will sit on Flinders Lane. The $1.3 billion new precinct will be comprised of two towers of commercial, residential and retail spaces, joined at the top by a dramatic sky bridge.

W Melbourne is slated to open on Flinders Lane in February 2020.

Published on November 04, 2020 by Sarah Ward
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