QT Melbourne, review: Chic and so very cheerful

Our rating

4.5 out of 5

THE PLACE 

QT Melbourne has only been open one day when I visit, but already flirtation is in the air. Walking out of the hotel lift, I hear an admiring, "Even better from behind!". The compliment comes not from a person, however, but from the lift itself. It's what guests have come to expect from a QT hotel, the Australian company known for door staff that look like extras from The Rocky Horror Picture Show, and elevators with attitude. 

THE LOCATION 

Every QT hotel has its own aesthetic, inspired by its setting. QT Melbourne's Russell Street address, in an old rag trade district near the Paris end of Collins Street, has led the designers to create a chic Euro vibe with plenty of fashion references.

THE SPACE 

The first thing that strikes you about the hotel is its airy feeling. Light pours into the double-height atrium from three sides, showcasing the eye-catching furniture and the contemporary art that are a feature of every QT hotel. The most eye-catching piece is an extraordinary sculpture made of books that towers above the open staircase leading to the bar and restaurant upstairs. 

QT opens quirky Melbourne hotel

A look inside QT Melbourne featuring the group's trademark collection of eclectic art.

THE ROOM 

The rooms are generously sized, with enough clever detailing (the backlit mini-bar, the wallpaper lining the wardrobe) to keep design fans happy. The herringbone tiles and pinstripe glass in the bathroom are yet another rag trade reference, while a clever set of Japanese-inspired sliding doors lets you either close the bathroom off or open it up to the room. It's my first time sleeping on the much hyped QT Gel Bed, which lives up to its reputation, and the small desk is well set up for working. As well as free Wi-Fi, the room also has a selection of free movies and a mini-bar featuring Melbourne favourites such as Chocamama chocolates and hand cream from Kleins Perfumery.

THE FOOD 

Thanks to executive food director Robert Marchetti, QT restaurants are always a highlight, and Pascale Bar & Grill is no exception. Start with a cocktail in the bar: the spicy pear, made with Poire William and cognac, is a winner. The best way to tackle the tempting restaurant menu is to share a range of plates.  Everything we order, from a retro crab mornay to morel mushrooms served with foie gras, ham and gruyere, is delicious, although the Algerian fried chicken, with its smoky, spicy flavour, is my favourite. Desserts are equally stunning, with the sesame eclair and the raspberry millefeuille taking the honours. Although I'm still sated the next morning, I can't bring myself to skip breakfast. I'm torn between half a dozen options on the multicultural menu, but eventually opt for the clay-baked eggs served with pancetta, tomato and cannellini beans, which do not disappoint.

See also: Good Food's review of Pascale Bar & Grill

STEPPING OUT

You're in the heart of the CBD, so shopping and eating options abound. QT even has its own miniature laneway, home to a Japanese-Korean fusion restaurant, Hot Sauce, and a Japanese knife-sharpening shop. 

THE VERDICT

QT hits it out of the park again.

HIGHLIGHTS 

From the wide-ranging breakfast menu to the sumptuous desserts, the hotel restaurant is an all-day delight. 

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LOWLIGHTS 

When I jump into bed too enthusiastically one night, my bed on wheels takes off. I am assured that chocks are on their way.

ESSENTIALS

133 Russell Street, Melbourne. Rates start from $350 a night. Phone (03) 8636 8800, see qthotelsandresorts.com/Melbourne.

Ute Junker was a guest of QT Hotels.