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Urban retreat for the discerning traveller: Marriott Hotel Docklands

Defined by refinement: DKO has completed the new Marriott Hotel at Docklands, Melbourne. Residential in feel, DKO says it will stand the test of time and delight the discerning traveller.

Urban retreat for the discerning traveller: Marriott Hotel Docklands

Melbourne’s Docklands is a thriving microcosm of urban life, filled with businesses, office towers, retail and a major sports facility and the area is fast becoming a place to stay for business travellers and tourists alike. Opened in November 2021, and as the newest five star offering from Marriott Bonvoyâ, the Melbourne Marriott Hotel Docklands is re-defining the Marriott brand through architecture and design that speaks of comfort and luxury.

DKO was awarded the commission with the director interiors, Michael Drescher, and design director, Jesse Linardi, and their team creating an urban resort just minutes from Melbourne’s CBD.

Through thoughtful design and beautiful detailing, the design of the building incorporates the best of both worlds, that is, a hotel for travellers and apartments for permanent residents. The site footprint of the structure is conservative at 1,473 square metres as it borders The District Docklands, however, Drescher has ensured that the interior space is utilised to the maximum. With some 189 hotel rooms on the first eight levels and 110 apartments above, the hybrid offering is complete with business facilities, food and beverage areas, the M Club and a spectacular bar and pool on the 15th floor.

Entry to the hotel proper is from Docklands Way and there are the usual facilities of reception area and concierge but also Ada’s Lounge Bar where guests can have a coffee or drink and relax. A spectacular installation hangs in the foyer, designed by Melbourne-based artist, Alexander Knox. Titled, Gold Mountain, the work, consisting of suspended brass sculptures, was inspired by history, the goldrush, and the maritime journeys that were made from China to the Victorian goldfields.

Further along from the lobby is Archer’s, a fine dining restaurant and the epitome of sophistication. The pared-back interior features a vaulted ceiling and subtle lighting and is reminiscent of the 1940s, a style that is both urbane and comfortable. As a fine dining restaurant, its offering transforms throughout the day from breakfast to lunch then dinner and both hotel guests and local patrons frequent the venue. Next to Archer’s is Corsia, a laneway-style cafe that provides a quick and easy access to The District and the place for coffee or a sandwich.

A point of difference with each of the hospitality offerings is that they can all be accessed from different streets, and while this provides ample natural light, more importantly, it ensures there is a connection to the outside and that the hotel is part of the urban landscape.

While most hotels have a multitude of kitchens and back of house facilities, Marriott Docklands has created a new template for hospitality. Melbourne’s renowned caterer, Peter Rowland, supplies all food to the restaurant and cafés, even room service, and of course, there is the opportunity to try those famous chicken sandwiches.

The 15th floor is home to perhaps the most sensational bar in town and the views from the Sunset House, Rooftop Pool Bar showcases Melbourne at its best. As well as the bar there is also the stunning infinity pool and state-of-the-art gymnasium with Technogym equipment. One feature to note is that while Docklands can be windy, the design of the pool within the curves of the building protects and cocoons, to maintain a calmer environment.

The third floor caters for events and business and there are two boardrooms with large conference tables with individual outside balconies. There is a function space with full-length glazed walls that affords excellent views and the space can be as one, to accommodate 180 cocktail or 120 dining guests or divided into three separate areas for smaller events.

On this level, the Marriott Docklands also offers a unique service, that is M Club, a place for special visitors and VIPs. This is an intimate gathering space, more luxury residential home than hotel, with well-appointed furnishings, beautiful Articolo lighting and, of course, drinks and food on tap.

Throughout the hotel there is limited materiality that informs the colour palette and this continues within the rooms, whatever the configuration. Stone and travertine, timber joinery and minimal furnishings set the scene for the spacious and refined interior design.

The hallways on each floor are long, as they traverse the width of the curved building, however, strategically positioned wintergardens placed mid-point at the sides of the corridors provide visual respite along with natural light.

In the rooms, there is no carpet, simply clean linear engineered timber flooring and the floor-to-ceiling windows offer different views from every room. Everything about the guest rooms is refined, whether it is the overly generous luggage rack, multiple storage areas, extended bathroom bench with mirrored sliding panels or round dining table and elegant chairs, that also doubles as a work table. Every detail has been thought through and it shows.

Another of the small points of difference is the open hanging space for clothes and bags. Aware that Melbourne is a shopping capital, Drescher has included this small detail so that guests can enjoy their purchases in full sight!

The Melbourne Marriott Hotel Docklands is a departure from the norm for Marriott and this new iteration is next level for architecture and design, service and amenity. The hotel has a boutique feel without the pretension, and guests are certain to be at home whether they stay for business or pleasure.

Perhaps general manager Girish Talreja should have the last word saying, “The hotel is very refined for discerning travellers from across the globe and the design by DKO will remain timeless. It has more of a residential feel to it than the usual hotels and it’s a wonderful place to dine, work and play.”


Nicole England

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