Check in

Mel­bourne’s new United Places is rewrit­ing the clas­sic ho­tel for­mula, of­fer­ing a stylish stay in the city, com­plete with but­ler, writes Sa­man­tha Jones.

delicious - - CONTENTS -

Bou­tique Mel­bourne new­comer is an in­stant clas­sic.

WHAT DO YOU GET when a first-time hote­lier opens ac­com­mo­da­tion in one of Aus­tralia’s most-vis­ited cities? With prop­erty de­vel­oper Dar­ren Ruben­stein and his in­au­gu­ral ho­tel, United Places, you get a con­cept that thinks out­side the square – more specif­i­cally, out­side the check-in desk. In­stead of the re­cep­tion area sea­soned trav­ellers are so used to, guests are greeted by a but­ler who will be as present or dis­creet as you wish.

Do­ing away with a check-in desk is just one of Ruben­stein’s ef­forts in break­ing the ho­tel mould. “I wanted to cre­ate a home for the like-minded trav­eller,” he ex­plains. A stone’s throw from the Royal Botanic Gar­dens in South Yarra, and with a lobby con­structed to elicit the at­mos­phere of a Mel­bourne laneway, you cer­tainly could be en­ter­ing your own apart­ment block. De­sign firm CARR took on the ar­chi­tec­ture and in­te­ri­ors of United Places, in­clud­ing the 12 one- or two-bed­room suites. “Each suite has its own per­son­al­ity and di­chotomy of spa­ces that cre­ate theatre and a height­ened sen­si­bil­ity. It’s all very Mel­bourne,” says di­rec­tor of ar­chi­tec­ture Chris McCue. This theatre comes from deep, sunken baths over­look­ing the city sky­line, switch-con­trolled vel­vet cur­tains that separate rooms, change­able mood-light­ing and in­dul­gent show­ers. Hand-loomed tow­els and blan­kets, 100 per cent cot­ton bed sheets and amenities cre­ated in col­lab­o­ra­tion with NYCbased Le Labo add to the lux­ury, not to men­tion the 200ml bot­tle of Sul­li­vans Cove whisky in each suite – a serv­ing size made ex­clu­sively for United Places to en­cour­age guests to give it a try.

Break­fast is de­liv­ered cour­tesy of Scott Pick­ett and his team at Matilda, the restau­rant down­stairs where you’d strug­gle to get a ta­ble – if you didn’t have the help of your but­ler, of course. 157 Do­main Road, South Yarra, Mel­bourne; unit­ed­places.com.au

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