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Monday 27 November 2023

A Melbourne hotel where hospitality shines


Some hotels are part of the travel industry. Others are part of the hospitality industry. 

The Pullman Melbourne on the Park is definitely on the second side of the ledger, a hotel comfortable in its skin. 

With French management and polyglot staff it delivers old-school service with a smile, something that is not often found nowadays. 

Four examples from my recent stay:

# I arrived extremely early in the morning and asked to leave my bags before returning to check in. "No problem at all. We have your room ready for you now." Welcome news as I had begun my travels at 4am. 

# I sampled the excellent savoury/sweet high tea offering. Perfect for two people, a lot for one. No problem to have the rest of the morsels delivered to my room for later enjoyment.

# The pump action body wash in my room ran empty during my stay. I went to reception to ask for some soap but was gifted a new luxe body wash container and was told I was welcome to take it home.

# I was clearly baffled by the high-tech coffee machine at breakfast but a kind waitress took the time to come and make me a short black - without being asked.   

It is the little things like this that make a hotel a warm and welcoming place. And I'm sure, like me, you've stayed in hotels where everything is a hassle for the overworked staff. 

The Pullman Melbourne on the Park is not a new property. It's been around for decades. I fact. I stayed here regularly around 30 years ago when it was the Hilton on the Park. 

One thing has not changed: the superb location. 

It is right at the edge of Melbourne's city centre but away from the hustle and bustle. 

Opposite the city's sporting hub overlooking the iconic MCG and Rod Laver Arena - my well-equipped room had views of both - and the property is adjacent to the tree-lined paths of the Fitzroy Gardens. 

The hotel is a large one with 419 rooms, including several suites and the luxe William Clarke Sky Villa. 

The rooms are restful and quiet but you are just a 15-minute walk from Flinders St Station and 10 minutes from Chinatown and the many eateries of Flinders Lane. 

There is also a tram that stops directly outside the hotel, linking you to most parts of Melbourne with ease. 

There are the elements you'd expect of a five-star hotel: a swimming pool and fitness centre, the Cliveden Bar and Dining, air con, soundproofing, a pretty spectacular buffet breakfast, good fast wifi, and room service. 

I really had nothing at all to complain about over two excellent nights. 

One suggestion: make sure to try the cross-cultural high tea: it is spectacular. Think the usual delights but with native ingredients and a touch of Asia, accompanied by a glass of Chandon Blanc de Blanc, of course. 

So finger sandwiches, certainly, but also homemade pork and nashi pear sausages with bush tomato relish or maybe a chicken corn empanada with chipotle mayonnaise. And leave room for the sweet treats. Executive chef Mihir Mandal is on top of his game.    

And try to book a room that offers access to the executive lounge on the 18th floor. It is great have somewhere to pop into to read the newspaper and grab a cup of tea, or enjoy some canapes and free-flowing pre-dinner drinks.

Refreshments and light nibbles are served all day should you be peckish at any time.

For more details see

# The writer was a guest of Pullman Melbourne on the Park.

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