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Saturday 27 May 2023

Old school hotel offers modern hospitality

There is something special about older hotels. 

In Europe, particularly, they are often the benchmark for style and sophistication.  

If you want to take a little step back in time, Rendezvous Melbourne was built in 1913 and is one of Australia's most historic hotels. 

It has recently undergone a refurbishment to enhance the hotel’s lovely heritage features. 

But one "old school" element shines above all others: the art of hospitality. 

The multicultural staff - from the reception desk to the restaurant and the bar - are uniformly smiling, helpful. Downright hospitable, in fact. 

Situated just across the road from Flinders Street station, the Rendezvous caters for people looking for a little bit of luxury on budget. 

Folk from the country in the big smoke for the weekend, perhaps. Older couples celebrating an anniversary, perhaps. 

The location is great - the vibe equally good. 

The modern makeover has retained the century-old charm of what was originally the Commercial Travellers' Association Building but has gone through several incarnations since.

The original Edwardian building was designed by architect Harry Tompkins, hence the name of the on-site eatery: Mr Tompkins. 

Natural lighting and local photography feature in rooms that hark back to the past, but have modern touches like USB slots. 

The entry level Commerce Room category pays homage to the origins and start from $189 per night. 

The Yarra-view Perkins rooms highlight brass and marble and a larger with high ceilings and a bright, airy feel. 

There are 340 rooms in all, with well-equipped en-suite bathrooms.

There is a 24-hour reception, gym, laundry service and fast free wifi. Look out for special deals.

The Travellers Bar features an impressive range of cocktails, while Mr Tompkins serves excellent a la carte breakfasts and that older style is amped by High Tea service on Thursdays to Sundays.

“What’s exciting is that Rendezvous Melbourne continues an important legacy as both a meeting place and piece of living history, within walking distance of everything people come to see and experience in this remarkable and romantic city,” says regional general manager Stephen Moore.

Certainly an address worth noting.

# The writer was a guest of TFE Hotels 

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