Hotel Review: Melbourne’s Art ‘Seen’ at The Mesmerizing Blackman Art Series Hotel
Be inspired and captivated by the ultimate of boutique hotels in Melbourne. Leading travel writer Glenn Harris checks in at The Blackman.
How would you like to sleep in the gallery of your favourite artist? The ability to wake each day admiring their work in your bedroom at breakfast or each time you enter the building.
Australia’s Art Series Hotels has created such an experience for art lovers and dedicates an entire luxury boutique hotel to a single artist where their art is the core of the experience.
The individual boutique hotels are each named after the artist whose life’s work adorn the walls throughout the property, such as The Blackman hotel in the cosmopolitan city center of Melbourne, Australia.
Charles Blackman is the artist whose life’s work is showcased in the hotel’s rooms, hallways, and common areas. The Australian artist came to international fame with his first major work series in the 1950’s inspired by Alice in Wonderland.
Some describe his art as dark and melancholy but all will describe it as captivating. Each piece creates an emotion and draws the observer into the detail and characters depicted.
There is a three story work of his art emblazoned on the hotel’s façade, wetting the appetite and creating the stage for what lies beyond.
Above the reception, the soaring wall is covered in a patchwork of frames and prints of many of the 82 pieces you’ll see throughout your stay.
The hotel is chic and hip and the perfect respite for lovers of art and Melbourne’s urban explorers and is located along the leafy tree lined St. Kilda Road and a short distance from Melbourne’s bustling downtown.
The décor is as unique as the artwork, boarding on quirky with whimsical elements inspired by the artist’s most famous work, Alice in Wonderland.
Guests will immediately notice that the staff in particular are bright and switched on lovers of art and culture; each of which can talk at length about the art work in the hotel or the best pub crawl experiences in town.
The hotel is a five star boutique hotel experience with 209 spacious rooms, studios, and suites. Each room has expansive views of the city skyline or Albert Park and lake with most having a spacious and wide balcony to enjoy the view.
The accommodations have a funky and contemporary design with a clean, modern and bright colour palate. The furnishings are tasteful with pops of colour with acrylic chairs, deep soft sofas, and a dining table.
There are also plenty of glorious art, design, and culturally themed coffee table books to peruse, further enveloping you in the art and cultural experience of your stay.
There are all the mod cons that the urban explorer would need for an extended stay in the pulsating city. Many of the rooms come with a kitchenette and wet sink, full sized refrigerator and microwave perfect for those looking for an extended stay while in Melbourne.
Of course the star of each room is the art of Charles Blackman. There are his iconic pieces located in the rooms as well as life-sized images of his most famous works emblazoned on the frosted glass surfaces in the bath area.
The Garden Penthouse is another level of luxury with a sprawling 95 square metre accommodation of gorgeous urban contemporary design. It’s truly a palatial sized apartment with an expansive outdoor living space overlooking the downtown area as well as the Albert Park and lake. The wrap around wood deck is ideal for taking in some sun, entertaining friends, or relaxing in the Jacuzzi.
Melbourne is a city of exotic and vibrant flavours and nowhere is it experienced more than in the cuisine. There are hundreds of culinary experiences created by the steady flow of immigrants that have made Melbourne home, from the Asians, Indians, Greeks, and Arabs there are countless dining options to choose from, be it a quaint bistro to the elegant Michelin star restaurants.
For guests wishing to dine in the hotel, the French patisserie, Fleur Depot de Pain, serves up fresh baked breads and pastries as well as fresh coffee to start the day. Classico is the Italian restaurant serving pizza and other freshly prepared dishes.
Melbourne is one of the world’s most pulsating cities. From the cultural pursuits and art scene, to the epicurean adventures, shopping, and sporting events and nightlife, there is literally something going on all the time.
And the Blackman just happens to be located in the middle of it all in St. Kilda Street and a few blocks away by foot or tram from the city centre.
The other key areas of the city are also close by as well. The hotel offers a cool bike for rent to see the city as well as mini cars to rent and explore all there is to see in the area.
A generation ago, hotels were just places to stay. Most were drab and forgettable and a place to lay your head for a while and visit a destination. Today, hotels are as much a part of the experience as the place that we travel to.
Some are old world fancy, others are contemporary and chic, while others are created for foodies. The Art Series is a wonderful collection of hotels around Australia that allow guests to surround themselves by the art of some of Australia’s most heralded artists.
It’s an immersion in the gallery of your favourite painter with each day the chance to marvel at the art pieces that inspire, move, and beguile in the bedrooms, in the hallways, common areas and reception. This is a unique experience that one can only have when staying in an Art Series hotel such as The Blackman hotel.
Address: 452 St Kilda Rd, Melbourne VIC 3004, Australia
Phone: +61 3 9039 1444