DAR­REN RUBEN­STEIN

Virgin Australia Voyeur - - HOTELS -

The owner of bou­tique ho­tel United Places talks us through the phi­los­o­phy be­hind his busi­ness.

Why was it so im­por­tant to you to have such a de­tail-ori­ented process when cu­rat­ing this ho­tel? Mel­bourne’s United Places Botanic Gar­dens is a col­lab­o­ra­tion be­tween creatives across a range of dis­ci­plines. They have fo­cused on touch through lay­er­ing of tex­tures, sight through in­tri­cate light­ing, smell with the dis­tinct fra­grance of Le Labo San­tal 33 and taste with the wood-fired restau­rant Matilda 159 Do­main. Can you talk us through some of the de­tails? The brass­work fea­tured in the room num­bers was sup­plied by a lo­cal metal worker, Wes, who we’ve used on other projects. He was cho­sen be­cause of his at­ten­tion to de­tail and be­cause United Places is pas­sion­ate about sup­port­ing lo­cal crafts­men. Loom Tow­els sup­plied the blan­kets and tow­els — all cer­ti­fied or­ganic. An­other col­lab­o­ra­tion was with a lo­cal pot­ter, Shari Lown­des. She used lo­cal clays to pro­duce the col­lec­tion, which was de­signed and made ex­clu­sively for United Places. And this col­lab­o­ra­tive ap­proach was even ap­plied to the mini­bars? Sul­li­vans Cove is a hand­crafted Tas­ma­nian whisky and has been named the world’s best sin­gle malt. Pro­vid­ing this prod­uct in our suites al­lows our guests to try a unique and high-end prod­uct. Sul­li­vans Cove is a fam­ily owned busi­ness that uses tra­di­tional meth­ods. There is a story be­hind ev­ery part of this ho­tel. What kind of feel­ing did you want the ho­tel to evoke? The idea of a ‘home’ ho­tel is im­por­tant, pro­vid­ing a sense of lux­ury, com­fort and con­nec­tion. What is your favourite room and why? Like my kids, I love them all but for dif­fer­ent rea­sons. The Ur­ban Pent­house is my favourite on a cold win­try day; the Gar­den Pent­house on a warm spring day sit­ting on the bal­cony watch­ing the world go by. How im­por­tant was blend­ing the con­cept of the restau­rant, Matilda 159 Do­main, and United Places? Chef Scott Pick­ett de­scribes Matilda 159 Do­main as a vis­ual and sen­sory jour­ney which sits per­fectly with our United Places vi­sion. The restau­rant pro­vides a beau­ti­fully cu­rated break­fast, lunch and din­ner, plus in-room din­ing.

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