One of Melbourne's finest historic hotels, Rendezvous Hotel Melbourne, has been reimagined with a modern look that pays homage to its turn-of-the-century origins.
The 340-room hotel, centrally located on Melbourne's bustling Flinders Street, has just completed a multi-million-dollar refurbishment program that has seen the lobby, restaurant and 320 hotel rooms transformed. Importantly, the hotel's interior designers were also tasked with ensuring there was design continuity between the hotel's heritage tower (built in 1912) and the newer CTA wing (built in 1922 and extended in the 1990s).
Penny del Castillo from Studio del Castillo (formerly In Design International) said the building's architectural features, the elegance and grandeur of the public spaces set the style for the design whilst modern technology - including digitally printed, carved carpets and 3D printed wallpaper designed to look like trompe l'oeil - were used to deliver on brief.
The whole idea, Penny says, was to make the guest feel like a part of history… with all the mod-cons.
Natural lighting and local photography feature strongly in rooms that are designed to exude a certain elegance and decadence of bygone times. Think plush, quilted velvet headboards, custom-designed, multi-purpose desks and beautiful detail in the mirrors and soft furnishings.
Guest feedback was also considered as swing doors on the bathroom were replaced with barn doors for a more efficient use of the functional space available. A brass track system added a touch of luxury to the design theme.
The lead-in 'Commerce Room' category pays homage to the Commercial Travellers Association who commissioned the original building in 1912. The 22sqm rooms, which feature contemporary design yet retain their old-world charm, start from $189/night. The hotel's Yarra View Perkins rooms feature hints of brass and marble, and offer a sense of intimate luxury, whilst at the other end of the scale, the spacious 50sqm Tompkins Master Suite boasts a living room, master bedroom with king bed and spacious bathrooms and retail at $489/night.
In the kitchen, Executive Chef Gianni Pisu is crafting a modern menu to match the rebranded 110-seat* Mr Tompkins restaurant, which is scheduled to open in Feb next year.
Giovanni left his family restaurant in Sardinia Italy on a journey to taste and cook with all the flavours of Europe. In an effort to learn English, he moved to London where he made his mark working as a Head Chef at Jamie Oliver in London. Whilst working at Jamie Oliver is one of Giovanni's proudest achievements in his career, he has also had another brush with fame being part of one of the finalist teams on Gordon Ramsey's show "Best Restaurant in Italy". Chef Pisu joins Rendezvous direct from Crown Plaza Auckland.
In-house guests can take advantage of in room service; visit The Travellers Bar (open Thursday to Saturday), or indulge in the Rendezvous' famous High Tea service, which is is available on Saturdays and Sundays.
TFE Hotels' Group Chief Operating Officer, Chris Sedgwick, said that whilst the tourism sector in Victoria had been hit hard by Covid restrictions, the addition of the refurbished Rendezvous Melbourne to the city's room stock, would be a strong part of Melbourne's recovery story.
The Rendezvous Melbourne is owned by Far East Hospitality and operated by TFE (Toga Far East) Hotels. In line with the Melbourne refurb, the Singaporean-owned Rendezvous brand is also set to undergo a staged brand refresh in Australia, which will see a new-look logo, colour palette and ad campaign designed to inspire guests to connect with the city.
*These numbers do not take into account Covid restrictions in Melbourne.