IT’S THE FI­NALS COUNT­DOWN

The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - Escape - - WHAT’S YOUR BUDGET | MELBOURNE -

When it comes to city real es­tate, Mel­bourne’s South­bank is a bit of a hog. The cen­tral wa­ter­front strip along the Yarra River brims with restau­rants, out­let stores, the Arts Cen­tre and the Crown com­plex. The build­ing of new ho­tels within the past two years has also broad­ened ac­com­mo­da­tion op­tions, with more construction to come.

“South­bank will con­tinue to change and de­velop, with the NGV Con­tem­po­rary art gallery start­ing construction soon and due to be fin­ished in 2020,” Visit Victoria CEO Peter Binge­man says.

And with the MCG only a 25-minute walk away, as foot­ball fi­nals fever de­scends, if you’re headed to the heart­land for the big game, South­bank is the ideal base.

“If you don’t have tick­ets to the game, don’t worry as the city will be buzzing and there are so many fan­tas­tic venues around the city to catch the game,” Peter says.

Af­ter the fi­nal siren, fol­low fans through Bir­rarung Marr on the walk from the MCG to South­bank for cel­e­bra­tions (or lamen­ta­tions).

We found three ho­tels suit­able for all bud­gets.

CE­LESTE MITCHELL

* RATES CUR­RENT AT TIME OF PRINT

OAKS SOUTH­BANK OVERNIGHT RATE

FROM $149 (ONE-BED­ROOM APART­MENT)

Make your­self at home in one of the apart­ments in this twoyear-young tower, with views across to Eureka Sky­deck and Yarra River. With tim­ber flooring, floor-to-ceil­ing win­dows, chic ur­ban kitchens and spa­cious bal­conies, you could eas­ily imag­ine your­self mov­ing in per­ma­nently. The sev­enth Oaks Ho­tels & Re­sorts prop­erty to open in Mel­bourne, they’ve got the for­mula down pat, bal­anc­ing self-con­tained perks – full kitchen, wash­ing ma­chine and dryer – with ho­tel ser­vices like daily house­keep­ing and 24-hour re­cep­tion. Free Wi-Fi is capped at 30 min­utes a day but with the city’s cul­tural precinct at your feet, you’ll likely not spend much time glued to your screen any­way. If you don’t feel like cook­ing, the Crown com­plex and its array of restau­rants is a 15-minute walk away. Un­der­cover park­ing is avail­able for $30 a night.

OAKSHOTELS.COM/OAKS-SOUTH­BANK

NOVOTEL MEL­BOURNE SOUTH WHARF OVERNIGHT RATE FROM $220 (QUEEN ROOM)

The new Novotel Mel­bourne South Wharf glows like a golden bea­con, ris­ing 26 storeys from the his­toric mar­itime precinct ad­ja­cent to the Mel­bourne Con­ven­tion and Ex­hi­bi­tion Cen­tre. From the cheery “Bon­jour” above the bed to the vel­vet-backed work chair and back­lit bath­room mir­ror, rooms feel stylish and chic with views across the city or to Port Phillip Bay. Head to Mr Carpano (named af­ter Ital­ian dis­tiller An­to­nio Carpano, the in­ven­tor of Ver­mouth) for $5 happy hour and en­joy aper­i­tif with crispy Ital­ian treats ideal for shar­ing be­fore din­ner. You’ll find cof­fee and dessert served in the cosy Al­lora lounge. Right next door to DFO and within cooee of Eti­had Sta­dium, you’re eas­ily con­nected to all of South­bank’s at­trac­tions on foot. A stop for the free City Cir­cle Tram is also close by.

AC­CORHO­TELS.COM

THE LANGHAM MEL­BOURNE OVERNIGHT RATE FROM $410 (EX­EC­U­TIVE ROOM)

Up­hold­ing its lux­u­ri­ous brand of hos­pi­tal­ity on South­bank Prom­e­nade since 2005, The Langham was re­cently named No. 1 city ho­tel in Aus­tralia by Travel + Leisure. Over­look­ing iconic Flin­ders Street sta­tion and steps away from Royal Botanic Gar­dens and Na­tional Gallery of Victoria, rooms here of­fer clas­sic el­e­gance with twin or king bed op­tions, mar­ble bath­tubs, plush robes and nightly turn­down ser­vice. For se­ri­ous R ‘n’ R, go for an Ex­ec­u­tive Room to ac­cess the ho­tel’s pri­vate club lounge (hello, com­pli­men­tary drinks and canapés!). Don’t miss a clas­sic high tea com­ple­mented by the tin­kling of ivories in Aria Bar & Lounge. Treat your­self to a Doc­tor BABOR fa­cial in Chuan Spa, hit the fit­ness cen­tre for yoga, pi­lates or strength classes, and pack your bathers for the in­door/out­door pool and jacuzzi.

LANGHAMHOTELS.COM

AF­FORD­ABLE

MID-RANGE

TOP END

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