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Le Méridien Is Melbourne's Elegant New Hotel with a Rooftop Pool Bar and Glam Underground Restaurant

Marriott Bonvoy's latest addition has made its home in a historic Bourke Street spot, fitted out with a modern take on mid-century style.
By Libby Curran
May 09, 2023
By Libby Curran
May 09, 2023

The site at 20 Bourke Street has spawned its fair share of incarnations over the decades, from cinema to nightclub to gig space. But this year has seen it spin full circle, reborn as a hotel — the same kind of venue it was first built as back in the 1850s.

The top-end address is now home to Le Méridien Melbourne — a 12-storey beauty from Marriott Bonvoy that's kitted out with 235 rooms and dressed in a modernised nod to mid-century glamour.

Textures abound and neutral hues are celebrated throughout, balanced with refined pops of jewel-toned colour. In the rooms, you'll find the hotel brand's signature beds, Marshall speakers, bath products by Malin + Goetz, bottled cocktails ​​from The Everleigh Bottling Co and even Le Méridien's own exclusive room scent.

Art lovers will be impressed by pieces like Wendy Yu's video projection work and a sculptural installation by Marta Figueiredo. Guests can also look forward to gaining access to Le Méridien's Unlock Art program, including a self-guided walking tour and free entry to some of the city's leading cultural attractions.

Venture up to the rooftop to find the openair pool and deck, dubbed Le Splash, which overlooks Parliament House. It's got a cocktail bar, a menu of hand-crafted gelati, and an adjoining gym and sauna. A pop-up outdoor cinema will also be debuting on the deck later in the year.

More culinary goodness awaits you in the lobby's cafe-meets-wine-bar, Intermission, which is serving Axil coffee and open sandwiches for the daytime crowd, moving into snacks, small plates and vino after dark.

Slink down the curved staircase one more level and into the elegant embrace of Dolly — a dinner destination with a 1930's-inspired look and a Euro edge to the menu. The restaurant is named after the zoom camera technique used by Hitchcock in his 1958 thriller Vertigo, while its glossy fit out pays homage to the golden age of cinema. Expect velvet, fluted glass and polished accents.

Victorian produce shines through the menu, as does Executive Chef Christian Graebner's classical European training. Artful plates might include oysters finished with a champagne sorbet, smoked venison loin teamed with Davidson plum and a spiced macadamia cream, and salt-baked beetroot featuring caramelised walnut mousse and goats curd.

King George whiting is done 'en papillote' with saffron-braised fennel and a mussel broth, while a reworked bombe alaska for two comes jazzed up with popcorn and salted caramel ice cream. And the prix-fixe pre-theatre menu feeds two for $120.

Renowned importer Cellarhand has taken over vinous curatorial duties, showcasing lots of local options — think, Dal Zotto and Giant Steps — alongside a strong lineup of champagne. Meanwhile, cocktails are the result of a collaboration with the Everleigh Bottling Co, named after and inspired by music and theatre icons from across the ages.

Find Le Méridien Melbourne at 20 Bourke Street, Melbourne.

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Published on May 09, 2023 by Libby Curran
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