Hotel review

A touch of Paris near Collins Street

The truth : Sofitel Melbourne, a landmark at the Parisian end of Collins Street, has revamped its 360 rooms as part of a $15 million renovation overseen by A+ Design Group, the studio behind the interiors of its sister hotel Sofitel Darling Harbour, opened in 2017.

Designed to resemble Parisian apartments, the rooms have been refreshed with state-of-the-art light fixtures, contemporary furnishings and rugs, and French-inspired photographs hung in the traditional French “living room” style.

Sofitel Melbourne has completed a $15 million renovation of its 360 rooms.

The renovation is Sofitel Melbourne’s first since a $14 million makeover in 2007, but did not include the hotel’s suite offering on Level 50. Formerly known as The Wentworth and The Regent , the Collins Place landmark was renamed Sofitel Melbourne in 1996 after being taken over by Accor Asia-Pacific.

The hotel is designed to feel like a Parisian apartment in the heart of the Victorian capital.

Described by age as Melbourne’s “hotel in the sky” on its opening day in May 1981, the building was designed by the late, great Chinese-American architect IM Pei (who died in New York in 2019, aged 102 year). The glazed spatial frame that tops its six-story sunken plaza is the same structure Pei used for the Louvre pyramid six years later – immediately transporting the mind to Paris.

Point of sale Sofitel Melbourne’s restaurant, No35, offers some of Melbourne’s most impressive views, whether you enjoy them over a breakfast buffet or an à la carte dinner. “From the grill windows, the rail yards below look like a children’s train, and in good weather you can see well into the bay,” age reported in his May 1981 dispatch. The view also captures Melbourne’s sporting treasures including the MCG, Rod Laver Arena and AAMI Park.

Sofitel Melbourne’s No35 Restaurant, run by Executive Chef Rony Parienty, offers diners stunning views of the city.

The restaurant, renamed No35 in 2009, is now run by chef Rony Parienty, a former Quattro in Tel Aviv, who joined in January 2020. Dinner is two courses for $75 or three courses for $99. For those who aren’t vegetarian, you can’t go past the Victorian grass-fed beef tenderloin with mushroom and foie gras parfait, mashed potatoes and pickled onions for a main course. Foodie diners will enjoy a combination of Baileys mint chocolate cocktail with Snickers bar-inspired peanut parfait, dulce de leche, chocolate ganache and berry gel dessert. The braised leek with crispy prosciutto, burnt butter sabayon, brioche, Thai basil and pomegranate is a winner among entrees.

On the decline Unlike its rivals in the five-star space, the Sofitel Melbourne on Collins doesn’t have a pool.

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