A beachside icon has reopened with a look that pays tribute to its locale
Melbourne inner suburb St Kilda has always had a Miami-like allure. Tucked behind the grand palm tree-lined esplanade that winds its way from Port Melbourne, the neighbourhood is home to exemplary pastelhued Art Deco architecture, some of the city's best bars, restaurants and live music venues, and just enough grit and character to remind us of its former life as the red-light district.
Located a short walk from the waterfront on one of the precinct's most famous streets is a recently revitalised icon. The Prince Hotel, formerly known as The Prince of Wales, dates back to 1863, making it one of Melbourne's first guest houses, and was rebuilt in 1936 by Robert H McIntyre — founder of one of the country's longest-standing architectural practices — in the modern Art Deco style that now graces the streetscape.
The recent sympathetic overhaul of the 38room boutique hotel, led by IF Architecture and design studio Meme, sees interiors that better reflect its proximity to the bay and embody the spirit of the neighbourhood — a little rough, a little refined. Pastel hues are used unabashedly as the backdrop for furnishings and photography by a roster of local designers and artists.
Also a highlight is the Prince Dining Room, where executive chef Dan Hawkins (formerly of nearby Stokehouse and The Prince's former fine-dining venue Circa) and head chef Dan Cooper continue to reinforce Melbourne's position as the culinary capital of Australia.
Art Deco icon The Prince Hotel has had a sympathetic overhaul by IF Architecture and design studio Meme. Its pastel-hued, a-little-rougha-little-refined interiors embody the spirit of the neighbourhood, and include furnishings and photography by local designers and artists