Melbourne will finally get its outpost of hotel chain The Standard, but not as you might know it. The trendsetting international brand will open its first StandardX in Fitzroy in February 2024.
The opening date has been delayed since the project was announced in 2021, due to noise concerns from neighbours who share the same residential backstreet and pushback from The Standard Hotel, an iconic Fitzroy pub with the same name just a few blocks away. The StandardX – a more affordable, arguably less rock‘n’roll version of the luxurious flagship brand – will now encourage guests to explore the area rather than party all night.
Founded in 1998 by hotelier André Balazs, The Standard became known as one of the most glamorous hotels in the world thanks to on-screen appearances in Sex and the City and Steve McQueen film Shame. Balazs sold out in 2017 to start brands such as The Chiltern Firehouse in London, and the original Los Angeles locations closed for good during the pandemic, but the Standard International group has continued to expand under new owners with properties in London, Miami, Ibiza and Thailand.
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Housing nightclubs like the Boom Boom Room at New York’s High Line location, it’s a famously permissive place to let loose until the small hours – not possible at Melbourne’s relatively quiet location off Brunswick Street. Hence the rebrand to StandardX, described in a press release as “the rebellious younger sibling” with minimalist rooms that have been “retailored to fit rough-and-ready modern travel”.
The imposing, rust-coloured building is designed by Woods Bagot with interiors by Hecker Guthrie, offering 125 rooms of varying sizes priced from $250–$350 per night. Some rooms feature balconies, many have city views and dogs are welcome.
The aesthetic is dubbed “modern retro”, with polished terrazzo floors, leather couches, bespoke artworks by Jane Sinclair, Egyptian cotton sheets on the built-in beds and furniture by Danish brand Hay. A dramatic fire-engine red revolving door – a Standard signature – has been installed at the entrance.
Food will be a focus with an all-day Thai diner dubbed Bang, headed by chef Justin Dingle-Garciyya, who comes from stints at Sofitel Adelaide, W Hotels, Aman and Six Senses Resorts. A mix of high stools and low couches will offer contrasting spaces to enjoy street-food-influenced dishes.
Off the lobby, guests will find an airy open space designed for tapping on your laptop beside the industrial fireplace, plus a retail space called The Box with merch and exclusive collaborations. A rooftop bar with sweeping views of the city will only be open to hotel guests, with a menu inspired by the Mercado Medellin in Mexico City featuring tacos, ceviche and cocktails.
Standard International is set to open more hotels in Singapore, Portugal, Brussels and Paris in the coming year, with StandardX locations marked for Bangkok, Brooklyn and East Austin.
The StandardX opens in February 2024. Visit standardx.com/melbourne for booking enquiries.