CHECK IT OUT THE LARWILL STUDIO MELBOURNE
The Art Series Hotel Group’s newest studio development, celebrating the works of Australian artist David Larwill, wants the best for its guests so in-room accoutrements include yoga mats, work-out cards and healthy snacks.
This seems appropriate given the Larwill Studio’s location, in a commercial precinct attached to the Royal Children’s Hospital just north of Melbourne’s CBD, next to a park filled with joggers.
If you don’t mind a 30-minute walk (or short cab ride) into the city, this is an ideal locale, on the broad Flemington Road overlooking the elegant, recently landscaped Royal parklands in leafy Parkville.
The hotel is light, bright and immensely comfortable, from the soaring lobby overlooking a courtyard garden and displaying original Larwill works to the 96 cosy guestrooms with parkland and city views.
These playful studio rooms are practical but still manage to tick all the style boxes: Frankie magazine on the coffee table, industrial-style lights by the bed, a 47-inch television loaded with 15 Foxtel channels, the mandatory coffee pod machine and a gleaming all- white bathroom stocked with Evo unguents, fulllength mirror and loads of shelf space (big tick).
The biggest tick is reserved for the supremely comfy king bed designed by Australian sleep specialists AH Beard and dressed in crisp white linen.
And there are so many “get your act together’’ cues in the room — protein bars in the fridge, a yoga channel on the telly, an iPad loaded with meditation classes — it’s like having a personal trainer hiding behind the door. Out front of the hotel you’ll find bikes for hire or, if you’re tuckered out, a fleet of smart cars.
You may prefer to dash off a quick canvas (paints provided) while tucking into the mini-bar’s large box of Frisbee-sized chocolate freckles. There’s a lovely documentary on Larwill’s life on the TV and art tours are available if you require any further inspiration.
DON’T MISS: A bracing walk into the city down Elizabeth Street, stopping to refuel with a spinach and cheese gozleme at the Turkish Borek Bakehouse. Magpies will love the Junk Company’s deep Aladdin’s cave interiors at the top of Elizabeth. DINING IN: The hotel restaurant will open in June or July; for the moment a small pop-up cafe in the lobby serves coffee and light snacks.
DINING OUT: If you fancy a bit of a culinary adventure, pop under the CityLink motorway and into the back streets of Kensington for some real-deal Mexican street food at La Tortilleria (72 Stubbs Street). The plates and flowers are plastic but the tortilla and corn chips are handmade and the food authentic; try the cactus quesadilla and ceviche tostada.
ASK THE CONCIERGE: Book a corner room; 317 has two huge windows with fantastic park and city views.
CHECKING IN: Rooms from $155. More: www.thelarwillstudio.com.au
ALSO TRY: The Schaller Studio, Bendigo; 25hours Hotel Bikini Berlin; Indigo Santa Barbara, USA.