Let me tell you about one of the most luxurious experiences I had the other week. I was invited to spend a few nights at the Grand Hotel located in my birth city of Melbourne. And what two glorious days I had. It was the perfect getaway after my recent incidents and I was looking forward to escaping and indulging. The property itself is heritage listed and it employs a certain "old world charm" with all the modern conveniences one would expect from such a prestigious hotel. It belongs to the MGallery hotels owned by the Accor group . These hotels are chosen for their distinctive personalities and high qualities. Located in Spencer St , next door to the old Spencer street station (now renamed Southern Cross station) the hotel is a short walk to the city centre and to some of Melbourne's most popular entertainment areas. It once housed the administration offices of the Victorian Railways and as such is steeped in a lot of local history. I quite liked the fact that this grand, stately building had been around awhile. I'm sure if those walls could talk they would! Again, I can't emphasise enough how the features of this place really stand out. Take a look at those corridors!
As a lot of people know, I travel a lot with my work and I've stayed in a number of hotels over the years. Most of the time you're treated as a credit card number. But not here. The service was really personal and individual. From the moment I arrived I was addressed by my name and I was even treated to a mini tour of the property. It was here I grasped the true personality and feel of the hotel. I was so in love with its 19th Century architecture and so was my camera. Truly elegant! This place reeks of style and you can tell a lot of work has gone into maintaining and restoring the property to its original design.
All the rooms at the Grand Hotel are spacious, luxurious suites about the size of a small apartment. There's even a kitchen if you feel like cooking up a storm. I had a king size bed with huge, fluffy pillows. The bath sheets were soft and the bathroom was stocked with Roger and Gallet products. The hotel even provides you with a cute little teddy bear. More of those intimate touches that make it stand out. The rooms are soundproofed (yay!) and feature large windows and magnificent high doors.
For me, the best thing about this palce is that every room comes with its own espresso machine!!! I'm sold on that feature alone!
It was so good to be able to enjoy a latte with some chocolate and kick back and unwind for a few hours. The rest and relaxation were doing me good. Although I could have easily strolled to the hotel's "Hidden Garden" and enjoyed a few moments of peace there.
Now let's talk about eating and drinking. No getaway would be complete with out some serious indulging. The Grand Hotel offers an intimate cosy, bar equipped with a Baby Grand. Every night at 6 p.m. you can enjoy the "Grand Indulgence" which consists of sampling a selection of local Victorian wines with cheese and antipasto. I loved the Mount Zero olives and smoky baba ghanoush. I was in pure ecstasy.
When it came to eat over the two days I was spoilt for choice. The Grand's restauarant, known as RAB was an intimate, cozy space perfect for a beautiful meal. The decor was inviting without being intrusive to the whole dining experience. More of that old world charm...
Fine dining and wining without all the pretentiousness. Good food with good staff who are actually knowledgeable about what they serve. I loved the Genovese minestrone made with barley and served with pesto. I also indulged in a shaved fennel salad made with balsamic and toasted coriander seeds. All washed down with a local semillon sauvignon blanc. Breakfast was also excellent with made to order scrambled eggs, fresh fruit platters, bircher style muesli and strong coffee. Both the dinner and breakfast menus offer a healthy selection of dishes.
Overall, I would have to say that The Grand Hotel is a unique establishment serving up a much needed personalised service in today's modern, busy world. It's elegant, classical, regal yet it is also charming and cosy in its own way. I can highly recommend this stylish hotel to anyone looking for a memorable place to stay.