There are so many hotels to choose from in Melbourne, from big brands to boutique offerings. Travel editor Winsor Dobbin reports on one with a point of difference.
In a world awash with cookie cutter corporate hotels, the
funky Hotel Quincy Melbourne is a breath of fresh air.
It’s a high-rise hotel with a touch of swagger and individuality, right on the doorstep of the nightclubs, bars and eateries of King Street and Flinders Lane.
Think brightly decorated rooms, street art decor in the lift and on the walls, a rooftop bar and plunge pool with sweeping views of the city, a funky Asian-themed eatery, and mini bars with a difference.
Choose your pillow style, and talk with a Q-urator before you
arrive to make sure everything is just as you want it.
There is also a Club Lounge for high flyers.
The Quincy brand began in Singapore, where food is of serious importance, and guests can choose between the grab and go SingSong, offering all-day grazing adjacent to reception, and the rather excellent Salted Egg.
On Q, the hip bar on the 28th floor, offers a happy hour, local beers and cocktails and views over Melbourne’s worker ants who can be observed way down at street level.
For guests who have had enough of Melbourne’s hustle and bustle and just want to stay in their room, dinner can be served in a traditional tiffin style, or you can choose from the mini bar that includes the likes of DIY bubble tea kits and Bae juice, made with Korean pears, to help aid hangovers.
If you have had a big night, the late-night room service choices include alcohol neutralising lamb and cumin filled roti bread with cucumber and chilli relish.
Rooms are bright with dependable wifi, in-house movies and big-screen TVs with a Chromecast option.
General Manager Christian Price says the hotel’s ethos is about “having fun”.
My only criticism is that the lifts are slow at peak times. But for a grumpy chap like me that is a downright disappointing tally of dissatisfaction.
The 241 rooms are designed in three styles, and all offer a Kevin Murphy amenities range, a selection of teas and coffees, as well as coconut water and mini bar potato chips in Singaporean laksa or Hainanese chicken rice flavours.
Oh, and if you are staying for breakfast in Salted Egg, the scrambled eggs with crab, Sichuan oil and crispy salt bush are not to be missed.
Quincy Melbourne has also teamed with local distillers Antagonist Spirits to create an exclusive gin for the mini bar.
Salted Egg has a couple of strikes against it from the start, but still managed to hit a home run on my visit.
First it is in a hotel, which will dissuade some potential patrons, and secondly it is on level one with zero street visibility, meaning some diners might well walk past without even knowing it exists.
Which would be a mistake.
Not only does Salted Egg offer Thai-accented food that is delicious and very well priced, but it is also obviously on the radar of several food savvy Melbourne folks.
When I was in house on a Thursday night when the weather was not particularly appealing (it is Melbourne folks), the pace was buzzing with several large groups clearly enjoying themselves immensely.
The vibe is helped by a helpful and efficient young service team – a welcome rarity in these times of hospitality staff shortages.
The food here is both vibrant and flavoursome. It turns out executive chef Adam Woodfield has worked at both Chin Chin and Jimmy Liks, two of Melbourne’s star Asian eateries.
So think hawker food market-inspired south-east Asian cuisine that rewards those with an adventurous palate. Pungent and punchy.
For dinner, you can choose from a degustation menu – ideal for groups – or order al a carte. For a fresh, tangy palate cleanser start with a pomelo betel leaf with caramelised coconut, chilli, and mint. Delightfully crunchy.
Next up I opted for prawn and ginger dumplings with Sichuan oil and prickly ash salt; funky and filling.
My main course was a huge and satisfying stir-fried roast duck with crispy egg noodle, yellow bean sauce and pickled chilli. Probably not the sort of dish you’d cook at home, but perfect for sharing with friends.
I was urged to try a dessert and succumbed. The colourful pandan and white chocolate mousse with ube ganache, coconut jelly and coconut crumble transported me to Malaysia, gastronomically speaking.
There is a vast selection of cocktails – as befits the party feel – and local craft brewers like Moondog, Stomping Ground and Hop Nation are well represented on the drinks list.
There is also a short, but
well curated, selection of wines by the glass with the In Dreams 2021 Pinot
Noir a particularly good match for the duck dish.
Salted Egg is open for breakfast 7am-11am daily; lunch noon-3pm Tuesday to Saturday and serves dinner from 5pm Monday to Saturday.
Quincy Hotel Melbourne lead-in rates start from around $205, but vary according to the season and what’s on in town.
For full details see:
# The writer was a guest of Hotel Quincy Melbourne
# See more of Winsor’s work at www.gourmetontheroad.com.