CHECK IT OUT THE LAR­WILL STU­DIO MEL­BOURNE

The Weekend Australian - Travel - - Travel & Indulgence -

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.

CHRISTINE McCABE

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