“Location, Location, Location” might be the old real estate maxim, but it applies equally to the hotel trade. Fabulous food, great galleries and museums, and public transport on your hotel doorstep make for a great stay. But, if you need to be in the centre of it all – it’s hard to beat Lancemore Crossley St.
It doesn’t get more Melbourne than a laneway location; On the corner of Little Bourke and Crossley Streets, you have bars and restaurants to the left and right, up and down the street and around the corner. The Comedy Theatre, the Princess Theatre and Her Majesty’s are just moments away.
In the heart of the theatre district, Lancemore Crossley St has Theatre at its heart.
Your arrival feels very West End with rust-red carpet below and moody lighting above. “Here’s looking at me kid in neon script takes the Hollywood vibe up a notch. It’s Theatre with a capital T. Comedy and Tragedy masks combined in a unique cast sculpture between the ground floor elevators.
Taking centre stage is a grand restored chandelier saved from the former George’s luxury department store – once Melbourne’s most gracious fashion emporium. Atop its own banquetted plinth, it looks to have dramatically crashed into the hotel ala ‘Phantom of the Opera’. So it provides the perfect backdrop for that Insta moment.
Carr’s architects and interior designers have taken the 1991 Graeme Gunn designed building and given it the Lancemore imprimatur of exclusivity and style.
Lancemore is best known for lavish country estates like Werribee Mansion, Lancemore Milawa and Lindenderry Red Hill. Crossley St joins Larmont Sydney as the two urban properties in the portfolio. Larmont Sydney sits high above William St, Kings Cross, adjacent to the world-famous Coca-Cola sign. But, like its Sydney sister, Lancemore Crossley St is boutique and city centre to its core.
Theatre at its heart
Enter the lift to watch a silent Roynae Mayes production; a single artist applies exaggerated stage makeup. He is channelling Frederick Federici, the former D’Oyly Carte Opera Company actor who died from a sudden heart attack at the nearby Princess Theatre in 1888.
After singing the play’s final note as Mephistopheles in Faust, Federici slowly descended via a trapdoor below the stage and then died. The cast onstage, like the audience, was unaware of his sudden death, but when told the news, they reportedly said that he had just been onstage and taken the bows with them. Some Princess Theatre staff have claimed to have seen a ghost in evening dress. For many years, the Theatre kept a third-row seat in the dress circle vacant on every opening night in his honour.
And, when the weather’s fine the Rooftop Terrace with daybeds and views of the City on the Yarra is a top spot for a cool cocktail and a little reconnaissance of the surrounding streets.
Cocktails in the lobby pre-dinner or theatre? The intimate bar at Lancemore Crossley will whip up your favourite Spritz, martini or signature G & T.
Rooms and suites
Lancemore Crossley St’s 113 rooms and suites all feature signature L.M beds, and a mini bar stocked with all your faves. (Including some excellent drops from Lindenderry Red Hill – Lancemore’s own Mornington Peninsula vineyard. There are zones for sleeping and working in the Suites and some come complete with private balconies.
Windows bring the outdoors in – minus the noise. The monochromatic rooms are practical – with everything you need and nothing you don’t. Ensuite bathrooms are extra spacious with an ottoman, plush bath sheets and a choice of rainwater or traditional shower and Hunter Lab amenities.
With Bodega Underground on-site, you never need to venture far for excellent Mexican eats. Take a few steps further to the always fabulous Longrain, Hochi MamaCrossley St Cantina, Gingerboy, Becco and Hochi Mama. The historic Pelligrini’s is just up Crossley while the bright lights of Chinatown are less than a 2-minute walk. Farmer’s Daughter and Grossi Florentino are also close by.
We loved the tapas and larger plates at Crossley St Cantina, post-theatre plates and wine at Euro Lane, going back in time for coffee at Pelligrini’s and revisiting our Chinatown favourite – Empress of China.
Again it’s only steps to some of Melbourne’s best bars. It will take you longer to count to ten than walk to Punch Lane, Romeo Lane, and Longsong Bar at Longrain. Venture a little further for the always popular Siqlo or Embla.
In town for a show?
Like all the restaurants and bars above, it’s also a short stroll to an award-winning theatre. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is currently running at the Princess Theatre, Girl from the North Country at the Comedy Theatre while the blockbusting Hamilton graces the stage at Her Majesty’s.
In need of a culture fix?
You could be forgiven for thinking you’re in Paris not Melbourne at this end of town. The street lights and the wide boulevards of Spring, Bourke and Collins St are tres chic and so reminiscent of the City of Light. Walk and don’t forget to look up; Hausmann style architecture sits happily next to highly ornate Victorian buildings that owe their opulence to the 1850s Gold Rush.
Take a walk or catch a tram to one of Australia’s most prestigious galleries – the NGV. Coming up: The Picasso Century has been exclusively developed for the NGV by the Centre Pompidou and the Musée national Picasso-Paris. With over 80 works by Picasso alongside over 100 works by more than 50 of his contemporaries, it’s guaranteed to be another NGV blockbuster.
The NGV promises the perfect way to while away a morning or afternoon. The various collections are not only wide in scope, some are quite simply breathtaking.
Want to shop until you drop?
Collins St and surrounds are home to the most famous designer brand’s flagship stores from Louis Vuitton and Dior to Tom Ford and Paul Smith. Close to Bourke St Mall, you’ll find David Jones, Myer, Melbourne Emporium and Melbourne Central.
If budgets only stretch to window shopping, head to the Block Arcade. Every window and every store feels more like a curated collection than a mere shop. Haighs Chocolate, Vault by the National Trust and Essensorie are all must-sees. Leave plenty of time for the candy-coloured cakes at the historic Hopetoun Tea Rooms and the sparkling jewels and bijoux at the French Jewelbox.
Want a good book?
Hill of Content is a stone’s throw from Lancemore Crossley St. It is one of a mere handful of great, Australian independent book retailers. Allow yourself to get lost for hours scanning the shelves and marvelling at the scope of their titles.
Catch a number 86 tram and head to Lygon St for Readings – a bookstore dedicated to finding the right book for you. (Don’t forget to grab exquisite pastries and real coffee at Brunetti Classico or some of Melbourne’s best pasta and vino at DOC).
Lancemore Crossley St’s location is second to none. A stay here promises everything cosmopolitan Melbourne has to offer on your doorstep. And even if you don’t venture far – there’s always a warm welcome waiting.
A big shout to Jarvis – for his cocktail making and some great tips on the neighbourhood.
Disclaimer: This Magnificent Life was guests of Lancemore Crossley St.