It’s not every day that a hotel lift critiques your posture. “Hold yourself better, dear. This isn’t a puppet show,” a feminine voice chimes on the way up to my fifth-floor room at QT Melbourne. Even as I laugh at the sassy remark, I can’t help but straighten up, hoping for the disembodied voice’s approbation.
QT has been enlivening cities with its take on eclectic glamour since opening on the Gold Coast in 2012, and the brand made its debut in Australia’s culture capital last September. From the moment I arrive at the bronze doors manned by impeccably costumed ‘Directors of Chaos’, I’m enveloped in a world of avant-garde art (curated by Amanda Love), industrial minimalism with mid-century flair (courtesy of designers Nic Graham and Shelley Indyk) and cheeky details, such as the disarmingly personal lifts.
The Rooftop at QT is already one of Melbourne’s favourite new places to see and be seen, offering fusion twists on fairground fare. I soak up the sunset with friends and a bottle of G.H. Mumm, relishing the views over the CBD. Down on the ground, Hot Sauce Laneway Bar serves up Japanese- and Korean-inspired bao, yakitori and other street food late into the night, while Tanto next door is an emporium of handcrafted Japanese knives. The Cake Shop in the lobby is a celebration of all things sweet, and the place to pick up a coffee to go.
The French-inspired elegance continues in Pascale Bar & Grill, where bistro classics are given the QT treatment by creative food director Robert Marchetti and executive chef Stuart Munro. Almost in contrast to its brash public spaces, my Executive King room is calming and QT cool. Black steel is used liberally for the industrial look, and bold geometric rugs add to the artistic embrace. The monochrome bathroom is uncluttered and chic, with a freestanding tub and Malin+Goetz amenities – a welcome touch. When it comes time to sleep, QT’s signature gel-topped king-size bed works its magic, and I am asleep before I can even begin to think of tomorrow’s adventures.