Openings: The W Melbourne Hotel

When we’re finally able to traverse the globe once again, it might be a bit awkward for Americans showing up in Australia. After all, of you look at the numbers, Aussies were amongst the most responsible people in the world during the coronavirus crisis, with just 28,000 total cases out of a nearly 30 million population. By comparison, the US has a population of 328 million, and has already seen 26.6 million cases.

So when going through customs Down Under after this is all behind us, should we be brandishing an apology, or sorts?

Regardless, they will ultimately welcome us back with open arms, as tourism is one of the engines that decisively drive the Australian economy. And they’ve already started opening just the sort of new hotels that make it impossible not to go back. One of those, debuting today, February 4, is the rather extravagant new W Melbourne.

Of course, if you haven’t been, Melbourne is where the cool people go – the cultural capital, if you will. Yet curiously enough, the city is very much still wanting for a few more good boutique-ish style hotels. So the W should quickly prove a magnet for the local and international mediarati, who will surely be found mixing with the corporate sorts, who will be checking in because of its convenient Central Business District location.

The city skyline itself will definitely be one of the stars of the show, with prodigious amounts of glass all around dramatically framing the surrounding edifices. The rooms and suites (294 of them), for instance, boast floor-to-ceiling windows, veritably making the district’s eclectic architecture a design feature. The signature category rooms – Wonderful, Fabulous, Mega – nod stylistically to Melbourne’s storied kiosk culture. And a 175-square-meter Extreme Wow Suite is exactly what it says it is – way up on the 15th floor, and boasting a balcony with long views to the Yarra River.

But you never really want to spend too much time in the room at a W, do you? And downstairs, hotshot chef Adam D’Sylva (of Coda, one of Melbourne’s hottest of hotspots) will be overseeing the all day dining spot Lolio, focused on modern Aussie eats. There’s also the intimate, 30-seat Japanese restaurant Warabi, a casual cafe coming in spring, and two distinctly sexy playtime spots: WET, for private poolside tipples and panoramic views, and Curious, a designy, moodily lit cocktail spot.

One of the reasons to get back to Melbourne, certainly, is its prodigious nightlife. And considering nocturnal adventures have been shut down around the world going on a year now, nothing sounds better than a long night on the tiles in Fitzroy or Collingwood. Or better yet, with the amount of stress we’ve all endured since the onset of the coronavirus crisis, a few hours by the W Melbourne pool sounds better than anything else we can think of right now.

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