Melbourne’s city center has a new hotel and it’s rightly down an alley. The Voco Melbourne Central is the first new-build Voco in Australia for the Intercontinental Hotel Group (IHG), a smart property designed and managed with a sustainable ethic.
Located in the new 380 Melbourne skyscraper on Lonsdale Street – although entry is via lifts on Timothy Lane, in keeping with the Victorian capital’s alleyway aesthetic – the Voco has 252 rooms that start on the Sky Lobby on level six of the building, in a hotel that IHG says is designed to blend into the fabric of the city and its surroundings.
Of course, you’ll want to hear about those real sustainability principles, because anyone can call themselves green these days. Start with the Voco’s 252 rooms. Each bed is made from 100% recycled materials (mainly plastic bottles, of which more than half a million have been repurposed into surprisingly soft and comfortable bedding across the Voco range), as well as linen produced from sustainably grown cotton.
All bedrooms have windows that can be opened, reducing reliance on air conditioning. Additionally, the restaurant and bar have a rooftop garden and source ingredients and equipment locally.
Most of these sustainability metrics, however, happen behind the scenes and won’t be immediately noticeable to Voco customers. What they will be aware of is the design and layout, which aligns with IHG’s idea of Voco being an upscale yet laid-back brand, with individual features in each property and a comfortable atmosphere. .
There’s an avian theme running through Voco Melbourne Central, which was designed by local Melbourne outfit Sweden Interior Design, with help from fellow Melburnian architects Elenberg Fraser. You’ll spot bird motifs throughout the hotel, from stylized wooden blocks at check-in counters to line drawings in the hallways to major artwork. It’s the kind of thing that might be too much, but here it works.
Of course, this is Melbourne, so you want to eat, and you want to eat well. There are plenty of great options in this part of the CBD – try Hardware Lane for breakfasts, Serai for upscale Filipino cuisine, Osteria Ilaria for Italian, Mamak for Malaysian street food, or a myriad of options at the nearby Emporium shopping complex, although there are also on-site dining options at the impressive Blacksmith Brasserie & Bar, in a bright dining room and rooftop terrace with spectacular views.
The menu is modern, designed by Korean chef Ian Lee, and the atmosphere is relaxed yet sophisticated. The perfect addition to back alley living.
The writer stayed as a guest of Voco Melbourne Central.