The 180-room DoubleTree by Hilton, situated in the heart of Melbourne CBD, quickly became an institution for both locals and visitors shortly after it debuted in 2014. Reflecting design inspiration from its location opposite the historic Flinders Street Station, the boutique-minded property is a perfect example of soaking up the surrounds with subtle, charming flourishes and adapting them to the stable character of such a world renowned brand, one which remains consistent with DoubleTree’s famous cookie-driven culture.
If that mention of a cookie above throws you off then you must not be familiar with DoubleTree. Their properties around the world are best known for warm chocolate chip cookies, which are handed to guests upon check-in and offered at any time throughout their stay (and in case you’re wondering, yes the lobby smells like the warm freshly baked treats). Locals can even pop by and purchase their own, and we aren’t talking some standard, mass-produced cookie with no care for quality either; these things are incredibly tasty and consistent, baked on-site daily and kept behind reception for any guest’s random cravings. The tradition has been a part of DoubleTree’s culture for decades, with a recipe now handled by bakers around the world (to ensure consistency no doubt) but originating with Christie Cookies in Nashville; that’s right, they are in such high demand that you can buy them online.
Around 65,000 of these large cookies are handed out to DoubleTree guests around the world each day, but that’s not the only thing that tastes good at the Flinder’s Street property. The hotel’s restaurant and bar, Platform 270, is a seamless extension of the lobby with a continuation of that rich-in-personality industrial chic design that, again, pulls on references to train stations. It’d be tempting to head on out of the hotel to explore Melbourne’s most famous laneways, since you’re right in the thick of the CBD’s dining scene, but it’s perfectly fine to stick close seeing as the tapas and share-style dishes here are notably delicious. If you’ve got a few people with you, definitely get the overloaded meat platter or a few tapas, and if you’re in the mood for something sweet they’ve also got a cocktail that deconstructs the famous cookie.
Comfort is a given – this is a Hilton brand after all – with the brand’s signature “Sweet Dreams” bedding in each room, looking especially stunning with a beautiful, elaborate custom designed timber headboard featuring attractive symmetrical lines bookended by curved ones. My “King Flinders Street Station View” room is spacious without being overly large, sticking true to the promise of a historic view with a vista that takes in the iconic palatial building with the grand clock tower preceding the Yarra and all the action that comes with it. The area can get quite loud on the weekends, but the room is well insulated and peaceful.
The beautiful, well-lit tiled en-suite bathroom fits in well with the vibrant aesthetic. Premium products are offered, and at no point does it feel cramped even though the space allocated to it may seem rather small. The whole room is rather open, in fact, and flecked with the kind of nuanced train carriage references that add plenty of character, from the vintage leather luggage in the drawer pulls to the open wardrobes.
Business travelers are well-catered for with a very in-touch display of connectivity and technology, and I imagine this property is just as popular with those on a quick work trip as it is with longer stay visitors. The location is perfect for pretty much anything, but those in for a quick staycation or visit should get the most out of the central location. Activity-central Federation Square is but a quick walk up the road, which means everything else is close by including Melbourne’s famous arts and entertainment venues that couple around the Yarra. The National Gallery of Victoria is a particularly valuable destination nearby, especially this year as the enormous triennial is still on (until April 15) and modern art lovers are anxiously awaiting the arrival of MoMa at NGV.
As far as good and drink go, this is as ideal as you can get. Flinders Lane is just behind you, and anyone familiar with Melbourne already knows it’s one of the best foodie strips in the country. You’re also short walks from quality Italian joints like Tippo 00 and Osteria Ilaria as well as mod-Asian masterpieces like Longsong and the legendary Chin Chin, quintessential cafes like Cumulus Inc, and bars like Cookie and Boilermaker House. If you’ve ever wanted to eat your way through the best in Melbourne CBD, this is the spot for you. Plus, you need but walk a few steps to train or tram your way to all the other essentials spots, from Collingwood to Box Hill.
With a faultless location, a decent restaurant, and reliable comfort it’s not hard to see why DoubleTree is one of the area’s most popular hotels. Plus, with all the free warm chocolate chip cookies you can fit in, this one’s a no brainer whatever your reason for visiting or staycationing in Melbourne.
Rooms at DoubleTree by Hilton Melbourne start from $220 AUD per night.
DoubleTree by Hilton Melbourne – Flinders Street
Address: 270 Flinders St, Melbourne VIC 3000
Contact: (03) 9654 6888
Images supplied and used with permission.