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April 29, 2022 // Franchising.com // IHG Hotels & Resorts today opened its first new-build voco property in Australia, voco Melbourne Central. The 252-room property is located in the heart of the city at 374 Lonsdale Street, part of the new 380 Melbourne skyscraper, with sweeping views of the skyline and surrounded by iconic laneways.
In a city recognised for hallmark design, this innovative property will set a new standard with its striking architecture and intriguing interior spaces.
“We have taken the voco vision to interweave these hotels into the fabric of the city; we’ve really made that part of our DNA in everything we do at voco Melbourne Central,” said General Manager, Erik Stuebe.
“From the moment our guests enter the striking Sky Lobby on the sixth floor, they will feel like they are in an exciting urban enclave. Not only will they experience amazing city skyline views from our floor-to-ceiling windows, but will also be surrounded by design pieces from local creators, as well as enjoying local produce and ingredients in our restaurant and bar.
“This will be underpinned by the features that guests are looking for from a leading-edge city hotel such as seamless guest service technology – including fast and free Wi-Fi and state-of-the art Smart TVs – and hotel amenities such as a rooftop plunge pool and 24/7 gym.
“Having worked with hotel groups across the world, this property is a true original,” continued Mr Stuebe.
voco’s ‘tread lightly’ philosophy sits at the heart of the brand’s DNA, and voco Melbourne Central’s pledge for more sustainable stays runs throughout the guest experience from the bedding to the bar.
Starting with the guestrooms, voco’s bedding is made from 100 per cent recycled materials, while the linen produced in line with the Better Cotton Initiative supports sustainable cotton harvesting. To date, the initiative has equated to over half a million bottles that have been recycled to make voco bedding across the hotels.
Openable windows in every one of the 252 rooms reduces the reliance on air-conditioning and a reduction in energy, while also providing a literal breath of fresh air for guests.
The property features well thought-out elements designed to support neighbouring communities and reduce the impact on the environment. This includes a herb garden on the seventh-floor terrace, locally sourced ingredients on the menu, pottery and porcelain from local makers, a lighting system that responds to the natural cycle of light, and biodegradable straws.
In the middle of Timothy Lane, perched above the buzz and overlooking the adventure that awaits, renowned retail hubs including Emporium, Bourke Street Mall and Melbourne Central are located at the hotel’s doorstep.
A melting pot of dining choices are also within arm’s reach, including the iconic Hardware Lane. Those wishing to explore further afield can step straight onto a tram or train with stations and stops just a stone’s throw away.
An inviting design
voco Melbourne Central features lush landscaping integrated into its built form. The plant life throughout the hotel’s public spaces is the result of a partnership with local ecological garden specialists, Fytogreen, further supporting the ‘tread lightly’ philosophy.
Local architects, Elenberg Fraser in conjunction with Suede Interior Design, intended for the hotel to stand out from the crowd, being unstuffy and informal, while still being refined with upscale and luxurious qualities.
Smokey blues, dove greys and the voco signature colour of honey gold are incorporated into a multitude of textures that invite guests to immerse themselves in the comforts of the hotel.
In keeping with voco’s quirky bird theme, golden birdcages embellish the hotel in surprising and delightful ways. The ‘welcoming finch’, the ‘me-time owl’ and ‘sociable flamingo’ (the inspiration behind the hotel’s signature cocktail, Flamingo Sour) are displayed in eye-catching artwork throughout the hotel.
Wining and dining with views of the skyline
In a nod to voco Melbourne Central’s historic location as the home of the Cobb & Co stables, which originated during Victoria’s gold rush period in the 1800s, the restaurant has been aptly named Blacksmith Brasserie & Bar. The restaurant’s open-plan kitchen serves up lunch and dinner from Tuesday to Saturday, and breakfast daily. The restaurant will soon feature a rotisserie for slow roasted specialities that will fill the modern space with incredible aromas.
Led by award-winning South Korean Executive Chef Ian Lee, Blacksmith Brasserie’s à la carte dining features classic dishes and mouth-watering starters suitable for sharing, including beef brisket tacos, barramundi parcel and a mizuna yuzu salad with crispy cheese chips.
Guests can reserve two private dining spaces – one with its own private terrace. In the morning, guests are invited to come in for a breakfast made to order, or to enjoy a full buffet.
The stylish restaurant overlooks an outdoor terrace, with seven-metre-high ceilings accentuated by 180-degree vistas of the sky and city rooftops, a mix of casual and informal seating, and a fabulous outdoor dining space.
With a creative cocktail menu and an extensive local wine list – also featuring an array of international labels – the bar is intimate, overlooking the pool terrace and emitting a sense of urban glamour.
The main event
Eight light-filled event spaces seat up to 90 people for intimate settings. Located across three floors and spanning 493 square metres is a choice of pool terrace, boardroom, medium event spaces and a flexible 3-in-1 space with breakout rooms – all with natural daylight and stunning city views. The largest space has a private terrace that makes break time that little bit more uplifting.
voco Life Package
To celebrate the opening of voco Melbourne Central, guests can experience the ‘voco Life’ with a tailored package with all the perks. The opening offer includes overnight accommodation, breakfast for two, a welcome treat coupled with an upgrade on arrival with guaranteed city views, and two ‘Flamingo Sour’ cocktails to enjoy at Blacksmith Bar. The package is bookable for stays until end of October 2022, from $310 per night.