As its name suggests, Melbourne’s newest hotel, United Places Botanic Gardens, is all about combining different ideas – specifically, blending the feel of a hotel and home. But unless you’re accustomed to a personal butler and breakfast from one of Melbourne’s top chefs, a stay here is likely to be a particularly luxurious experience.
"We want United Places to offer guests the most elevated and memorable experience they have ever had," says Marcus Pelham, the hotel's general manager. "Everyone has the need to feel special and this is exactly how we make our guests feel, through attention to the finer detail and servicing guests every whim."
The new three-storey hotel, designed by Carr Design Group with branding by Projects of Imagination, will open in June opposite the Royal Botanic Gardens in South Yarra, in Melbourne’s southeast.
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United Places has nine one-bedroom suites and three two-bedroom suites, the latter featuring bathtubs looking out to the city skyline. All 12 rooms feature velvet drapes, dark hardwood floors, charcoal-tinted mirrors, a recessed terrace and a kitchen. The interiors are minimalist with rich pops of colour in soft furnishings and specially commissioned art works, with a grey and bronze theme used throughout the hotel.
“Concepts of the extrovert and introvert are explored in detail, and form a strong narrative throughout the hotel," says Dan Cox, director of interiors at Carr Design Group.
The six north-facing 'extrovert' suites feature a colour palette that "connects with and responds to the garden vistas and lush greenery of the botanic setting", he adds. "Whilst private and protected from street view, the ever passing visual parade of activity and movement is omnipresent." In the south-facing suites, which feel more private and secluded, guests will find pink tones reflective of Melbourne's old red brick buildings.
Owner Darren Rubenstein commissioned Melbourne sculptor and artist Laura Woodward to create a piece for the foyer that plays on the space’s monochrome surfaces.
Personal butlers will be available to guests "24/7 to accommodate and anticipate their every need", Pelham says. That means securing bookings at the city's best restaurants, or collecting "their clothes from the tailor after a day’s shopping".
Guests will have priority access to Matilda, a new two-storey modern-Australian restaurant by chef and restaurateur Scott Pickett of Melbourne’s acclaimed diners (Estelle Bistro, located inside the hotel. Named after his daughter, this is Pickett’s first venue in Melbourne’s south. It will focus on cooking with fire, with hot coals smouldering in the kitchen.
In the morning, a hamper of breakfast items from Matilda is delivered to each suite.
“We wanted to create a home for guests, where they could revel in the luxury of Melbourne’s best design, food and location in the privacy of their own suite,” Rubenstein says.
United Places opens in June 1, 2018 at 157 Domain Road, South Yarra. Room rates start from $650 per night. Matilda is open seven days for lunch and dinner, and for brunch on weekends.