If you've recently been lost in Melbourne, it may be because you didn't recognise that new hotel which has just popped up. The city is enjoying a burst of big-brand, mid-range openings and resurrections, starting with the DoubleTree by Hilton on Flinders Street, which has taken an egalitarian turn and scrapped its top-floor penthouse to now share the bird's-eye views between seven new hotel rooms.
Set on level 14, the floor includes three loft-style suites and a King and another suite with balconies, all with quintessentially Melbourne views over Federation Square or historic Flinders Street station, which even lent inspiration to the rooms' colour schemes.
Stays cost from $260, rising to $520 a night, see doubletree3.hilton.com
Meanwhile, Shadow Play by Peppers is set in a 46-storey high-rise on the other side of the Yarra in nearby Southbank. Also banking on good views across the city or out on the bays, its top picks are the two-bedroom corner apartments, with seasonally appropriate private winter gardens. Otherwise, all its one- and two-bedroom apartments have kitchens and laundries and floor-to-ceiling windows.
Staying on the winter theme, the property, which is in the Accor stable, includes a heated pool and sauna, and its top-floor guest lounge is kitted out with a fireplace and armchairs from which to admire the view, or read a book from its library. Costs from $199, see peppers.com.au
And rival Westin also launches its Elements brand in Australia this month, adding another 168 rooms to Melbourne's hotel stock. Its location is the city fringe, just off Richmond's happening Swan Street, with a 24-hour gym and hotel bikes, and an eco-focus that includes its self-described extensive recycling program. With bookings now available, its opening special sees rooms from $188 a night (until August 31), with an extra 10 per cent off for members of its parent's loyalty program, Marriott Bonvoy, see elementmelbournerichmond.com