Famous for being Australia’s first ever design hotel, it is unsurprising that the Adelphi is situated on one of Melbourne’s most stylish streets, only a few doors down from popular eateries Chin Chin and Movida. Its arty aesthetic is evident from the moment you check in, with the reception desk making up part of a horse and carriage installation, and the clock on the wall spelling out the time in words, rather than the traditional way. Further around the corner, you can spy swinging seats and a bronze bar at the hotel’s Om Nom restaurant, which is dedicated to dessert. This sweet tooth is evident in little design flourishes throughout, including the complimentary jelly beans at reception. Another major coup for the hotel is its rooftop pool – a rarity in the city – which peaks out over the CBD. If you get peckish or thirsty, there’s a bar open up there from 12pm onwards, which typically gets pretty busy on Friday and Saturday evenings. While not spacious, it doesn’t feel cramped, thanks in large part to the combination of different lounge furniture and table set-ups. Down in reception there are also spaces to work, as well as a coffee wagon set-up for any takeaways. Speaking of: there’s a complimentary brew offered on arrival, not to mention a constantly restocked mini-bar of snacks and cold drinks in your room, which is also free of charge.
Tucked away amongst the laneways, it would be easy to assume that the rooms at the Adelphi would be on the small side. Not so! In fact, our comfy king room was very spacious indeed, with a writing desk, sofa, ample wardrobe space and large bathroom, not to mention the king-sized bed. Light and bright thanks to the white walls and décor, with stylish modern touches like liquorice-themed carpets, industrial-style silver tables, a wooden reading lamp, bronze bowls, a sweetie jar and back-lit mirror with welcome message for ‘Adelphi Selphis’, the rooms are very cool. Modern amenities include free on-demand movies, an iPod dock for listening to music, plus a coffee machine, while the bathroom boasts a powerful rainforest shower and wet room, plus a rather sweet bronze dinosaur-slash-succulent holder. Toiletries provided are from Appelles and include a rather moreish smelling blackseed shampoo (its main note is ylang ylang, so good they named it twice), and rather than trying your best to fill up on minis Ross from Friends style, are also available to buy at reception. The fluffy robes – our favourite part of any hotel stay – are also shoppable for a cool $225.
Eating and Drinking
If you adhere to the belief that there is always room for dessert, then you’ll love Om Nom, the hotel’s restaurant dedicated to sweet treats. Renowned pastry chef Jo Ward – who has been compared to Heston Blumental thanks to her culinary inventiveness – whips up beautifully presented delicacies that will appeal to both your eye and your stomach. Some of her playfully named hits include ‘Granny Smith’s pannacotta party’, which features vanilla panna cotta, green apple jelly, cinnamon and white chocolate powder and green tea meringue, and the ‘white peach injection’, made from white peach sorbet, raspberry and rose curd and toasted marshmallows, and is assembled to look like fairytale toadstools. As the restaurant is small, and popular, we advise you book to avoid disappointment. Puddings-aside, Om Nom also does some great savoury food too, with the breakfast menu showing off how good Aussies are at the most important meal of the day. Dishes are traditional fare with a modern twist, from eggs Florentine with beetroot infused salmon and hollandaise, to smashed avocado on olive bread toast topped with coriander charred corn, whipped feta and heritage tomatoes. Up on the roof, the bar snacks are also delightful, with our appetite whet by the mini hotdogs and pea croquettes. Om nom indeed.
Comfy King Rooms at the Adelphi Hotel start from $275 AUD per night (approximately £150). To book, visit adelphi.com.au. Fly to Melbourne from London Heathrow with Emirates from £709 return. Visit emirates.com to book.