If it takes years to open a hotel - do the planning, get the permits, get it built, then fit it out and staff it - then the abundance of new ones opening in Melbourne this year demonstrate the confidence in the city's business and tourism activity before a certain virus made its presence felt early in 2020. With major construction able to proceed, so did most of the major hotel projects and so it was that TFE Hotels pressed on to open Quincy Hotel Melbourne, the first of that brand to open outside Singapore. The vibe is bright and lively and that's thanks to the staff and their attitude as much as it is the interior design and facilities; the fittings and the food.
Towards the southern edge of Melbourne's CBD, Quincy is on the corner of King Street and Flinders Lane and, unless you're overloaded with luggage, this puts it within a walk of Southern Cross Station for country trains and its SkyBus depot for transport to and from the airports.
Slip in the King Street entrance and behind the spiral staircase you'll find reception with a small lounge nearby. Just around the corner is SingSong, a cafe for south-east Asian style snacks and Melbourne-standard coffee. Take the spiral stairs and up on the first floor is Salted Egg, a restaurant space with bar and tables to spread out at and views to the street life below. Up on level 28 is The Q, a club lounge during the day and a rooftop-style bar in the evening. There's also a pool and gym at the top of the building.
Take the lifts and you'll be surrounded by artwork invoking Melbourne's laneways and those lanes also lend their names to the styles of Quincy's 241 rooms - Celestial (standard), Caledonian (deluxe) and Hosier (suites). My Caledonian room was compact but very well thought-out, with big city views from a wall of windows, plenty of cupboard space and some smart features - the room safe, for example, opens up from a drawer, rather than out from a shelf and the bed is one of the best I've slept in. A mini-bar has pod coffee, a range of teas and Singapore-style snacks. The bathroom is also compact, but has a walk-in shower with enough room to move.
... is extraordinary. Chef Adam Woodfield (previously at Chin Chin, Hamilton Island's Coca Chu and his own Betel restaurant in New York) has created menus in a snappy south-east Asian style. How about chilli scrambled eggs with crab meat for breakfast, stir fries and curries for lunch and for dinner, maybe a dry red curry of duck, salt lamb ribs or crispy whole snapper? There are options nearby - the restaurant row across the river at Crown or Vue de monde around the corner atop the Rialto building, but think twice about avoiding Salted Egg at Quincy to get to them.
The riverside Melbourne Aquarium is five minutes' walk away and Crown another five again but trams are just out the door and trains a few minutes further on, so all Melbourne's attractions are within reach - from the Melbourne Cricket Ground to the Victoria Markets, from the theatres and galleries at the top of the town to the Melbourne Exhibition Centre down the river.
Quincy Hotel Melbourne is a welcome entry in the lineup of Melbourne CBD hotels. It's compact but fully equipped and comes complete with next-level south-east Asian style food and staff who give life to Quincy's colour and vibe in their work.
Rooms from $240, 509 Flinders Lane, Melbourne, Vic. Phone 03 9492 7400. See quincymelbourne.com
The inspired food - try son-in-law eggs or a roast pork belly bao.
The bathroom basin - too small to work it without getting water all over the floor.
Jim Darby was a guest of the Quincy Hotel Melbourne.