In a world of cookie-cutter, homogeneous hotels it is always refreshing to check in somewhere that has a personality; a point of difference.
Melbourne's Blackman Hotel, the third in the Art Series group, is as individual as the artist after whom it was named: Charles Blackman, who is famous for his Alice in Wonderland works.Set behind the heritage-listed
The many Blackman replicas that dot the lobby are just a hint of the playful nature of the rooms, of which there are 209, although there is a definite boutique feel shared with fellow Art Series hotels The Olsen and The Cullen
All three are being given a push with the new "Find your inner muse" campaign.
Colours and furnishings throughout the hotel are in bright jewel box colours as a reference to Blackman’s artworks.
The king and queen suites are generous in size with balconies - and there are two glorious penthouses on the upper level.
The rooms come equipped for pleasure, or leisure, with wireless & broadband internet connections, 24-hour reception and helpful staff able to organise anything from a business meeting to a hot-air balloon ride over the city.
There are two on-site restaurants, buzzy French bakery Depot de Pain (where the breakfasts are outstanding) or the Italian-style Classico.
There is a complimentary shuttle to the CBD and a state-of-the-art gymnasium I managed to completely ignore.
For art lovers, in-house curator tours are available, while guests still receive that delightful luxury - a complementary morning newspaper delivered to the room.
There is an iPod docking station, a super-comfortable bed, pillow menu and luxury bathroom amenities, although my bathroom was frustratingly small. The windows actually open and the blackout curtains make sleeping in a doddle.
The Art Series Hotels concept is the brainchild of
dynamo Will Deague, who has several more hotels on the drawing board. Having enjoyed a previous stay at The Olsen I now only need to sample The Cullen to complete my dance card. Melbourne
Art Series [The Blackman]
452 St Kilda Road, Melbourne 3182. (03) 9039 1444. Melbourne,
www.artserieshotels.com. Rooms start from around $220 per night.