In a semi-post-pandemic world, scratching even the smallest travel itch is a serious relief. However, my last hotel stay went beyond such a relief… I talk about euphoric action all the time. Let me bring you paradise on Melbourne’s Downie Street, Hyatt Centric.
I’ll start with standard housekeeping: 277 rooms, 25 floors, an indoor pool, gym, and two exclusive restaurants. Now that that’s settled, we can move on to the fun stuff. For the rest of this article, I rename the hotel Hyatt Cen-Chic, or simply Centric. Seriously, ditch the “Hyatt” – this property has the same charismatic charm that Madonna, Beyonce and Elvis put together.
Picture this, behind a wall of graffiti (I know, very Melbourne, right?) Hides a sliding wooden door that pulls you through a moody hallway. A few dozen paces later, you are surrounded by bricks that even the most cunning of bricklayers would stop and slowly start clapping. Custom rugs are divinely draped over the walls and floor, and there’s a dusty pink hue worthy of Pantone’s nomination as “Color of the Year” sweeping the spacious and inviting lobby.
Look to your left and the lobby turns into the hotel cafe, Allie Lane, serving local delicacies. Local is the theme of the Centric brand and it expresses itself in a glorious way. From uniforms to lighting, products to wine, art to amenities – every touchpoint reflects the vibrant city of Melbourne.
The bedrooms are a minimalist sensory delight. Oversized bed, living room with window, sensor lighting, walk-in shower and bathroom ring light that will make you consider building your own IG skin care chain. The luxury Mr. Smith bath amenities lining the vanity and shower are the icing on the perfectly groomed Centric cake.
Speaking of cake, add TOM – Centric’s Signature Restaurant – to Your Route located on Level 25. Chef Jordan Monkhouse is at the helm and serves original Victorian produce with a Mediterranean twist. If a batch of her baklava starts to roam the dining room floor, start freeing up space in your tummy and pockets – it will be worth the sticky dry cleaning bill.
Beyond the perfect interiors on Pinterest, it’s the people who create Centric’s colorful personality. Managing Director Ilan Weill is a larger than life character who has created what most hotels aspire to achieve: a feeling. An overnight experience that gives you a lot more energy than when you checked in with a group of passionate, fun and dynamic people. This is how, my friends, you nail hospitality in 2021 and beyond.
FOUR AND A HALF STARS (OUT OF FIVE)
Strong points: Ambience, design, restaurant, Mr. Smith bath products and the people of Centric.
Weak points : No peloton at the gym
Address: 25 Downie St, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 3000
Rates: From $ 329