Addressed for the part
IF you wear ‘ ‘ your sexiest red shoes’’ on a Friday to the bar at Stamford Plaza Melbourne between 5.30pm and 7.30pm, your first flute of Moet et Chandon is on the house. It’s not clear if only ladies are encouraged to slip on such daring footwear. When it comes to the chaps, possibly just circus clowns and certain cruise-ship passengers are shod in red these days, but it all sounds like good fun.
Hotels must be ultra-competitive these days and the Singapore-headquartered Stamford chain knows its way around value-add packages. Its Stamford Plaza Melbourne property, fresh from a $10 million makeover, has packages and deals galore; there’s no one-size-fits-all rate here.
The hotel features an all-suite inventory and space is not an issue in one, two or threebedroom units, each equipped with good little kitchens. It’s a great option for family stays or for those who want to prepare their own meals and snacks.
David Jones food hall is nearby, and a perfect place to provision; or drop into Myer’s women’s store and have a shopper’s pick-me-up at Emporia Cafe, which is located, rather dangerously, off cosmetics and fragrances. Coffee and gooey cakes are excellent, and light lunches (beef shank and veg pies with salad, frittata and the like) represent good value, with Australian wine by the glass.
Back at Stamford Plaza Melbourne, it’s an excellent touch, too, that all Australian-designed furnishings have been used in the refurbishment. The feel of the suites is tactile and elegant, in golds and striking blues, with crystal lamp bases and lots of polished wooden surfaces. There are flat-screen televisions in both the lounge room and the master bedroom, so it’s all very cosy and inviting.
The 283-suite property stands tall just off the so-called Paris end of Collins Street between Russell and Exhibition streets. It’s no urban hipster but is composed of 16-storey east and west towers with two glass elevators that soar up an atrium from the marbled lobby in the main building like a ( moderately fast) launching rocket. It’s almost retro in this regard, a tad mini-Vegas.
There’s a smallish indoor rooftop pool and two mini-gyms but you’ll need to look elsewhere for a pampering day spa.
While there’s a perfectly acceptable breakfast on offer at the hotel’s street-level Harry’s Restaurant (barista coffee; the Japanese buffet section, in particular, is fab), head down Alfred Place towards Collins Street to Comme restaurant for petit dejeuner with a stylish continental twist.
And for drinks on evenings other than Friday, and with footwear in optional colours, try the ground-floor bar at the convivial Comme for wines by the glass and natty cocktails.
It’s a high-ceilinged space with jellyfish-like pendant lights and a good little menu featuring the likes of mini burgers and fries or charcuterie plates and bar snacks such as marinated olives or organic almonds.
And if Comme seems familiar, this building used to house the fabled Mietta’s. Location wins every time.
The Stamford Plaza Melbourne features an all-suite inventory