We’ve don’t often use the word luxury here at This Magnificent Life – we prefer the term magnificent. Magnificent means significant, spectacular, not to be missed but not necessarily gold plated taps or any other trappings of 20th-century‘ luxury’. Luxury hotels have also progressed to suit the modern traveller. Today, it is all about service above and beyond yet, subtle and refined. Welcome to luxury in the 21st century– Sofitel Melbourne on Collins.
On Collins Street amongst Dior, Hermes, and Paul Smith the I.M. Pei designed Sofitel Melbourne was born as the Wentworth in 1981, then the Regent in ’82 before becoming part of Accor’s magnifique Sofitel group in July 1996.
Arriving via the sweeping driveway, you feel you have arrived. Valet parking takes care of the car as you escalate to the suitably opulent lobby.
This is grandeur, drama and refinement all rolled into one. The Sofitel Melbourne is a destination in itself.
‘Bonjour’ reminds you that this is indeed a French establishment. (Just as well we’re at the Paris end of Collins Street). There is a smile at every encounter, nothing is too much trouble – service is seamless and professional. The Lobby is also home to Sofi’s Lounge – where afternoon tea is still served the way it’s meant to be. In a city known the world over for its coffee culture, everyone knows about afternoon tea at the Sofitel.
There are 363 rooms and 48 suites beginning on the 36th floor and contained within the towering 14 story atrium. These rooms all feature breathtaking panoramas of the ever-changing Melbourne skyline. (If you think it’s spectacular during the day – wait till you see it at night).
Oohs and Ahhs are audible as guests take that first look. “There’s Rod Laver Arena and there’s the MCG…” or “look at the Yarra – it’s …blue!”
The rooms and suites definitely befit the word luxury: feather-soft beds topped with fine cotton linen and Lanvin amenities in the marble bathroom. The bathrooms may not be the latest fashion but it’s not until you’ve steamed it up that you realise the centre of the mirror never fogs. Ever. Classy.
The Atrium Bar on 35 is a statement bar. Take in the views of the city over a martini or perhaps a glass of Taittinger.
The signature restaurant is the award-winning No 35. Chef de Cuisine Martin Horsley has worked in some of Europe’s most prestigious kitchens and his menu at No35 is contemporary, delicious and a fine match for the outstanding wine selection. Breakfast is a high-end buffet with an endless array of healthy juices, fruits and the not so virtuous but delicious pastries, jams and conserves. The chef will also prepare eggs ‘your way’ from omelettes to Benedict.
Sofitel Melbourne on Collins holds up to 14 art exhibitions per year and is indeed Melbourne’s ‘hotel for the arts’. These exhibitions may be viewed by all within 3 public spaces of the hotel. The hotel is a sponsor of the ACMI’s current blockbuster ‘Bowie Is” (see the knock-out do not disturb signs).
Currently, the Sofitel is home to a free exhibition in conjunction with the VRC. ‘Melbourne Cup Covers: Australian Women’s Weekly Cover Art of the 1930s- 1960s’. The exhibition traces the history of the Melbourne Cup through the cover art of, The Australian Women’s Weekly, and features a offers a snapshot of the race that stops the nation through the years. On show in Sofi’s Lounge until Sunday, November 29, 2015.
Sofitel Melbourne does epitomise luxury; outstanding service with the comfort meter turned up to 11. In the centre of the world’s most livable city, you can walk almost anywhere or hop on a tram to explore further afield. Life at Sofitel Melbourne is most certainly – Magnifique. Discover Sofitel Melbourne On Collins on www.sofitel-melbourne.com