Occupying a corner of the neatly packed Theatre District, Lancemore Crossley St. provides a suave retreat from its feverishly cool location. Inside, Carr Design Group brings a minimalist backdrop with giddy splashes of visual drama. For the first act, your protagonist is a glitzy chandelier, dramatically ‘crashed’ onto a table in the lobby. For the next, enter modern-minimal guest rooms, with windows lined in black, contemporary art, white linens – in contrast with the dramatic dioramas of the CBD skyline outside. Your lift ride upwards (complete with theatre-inspired video installation by artist Roynae Mayes) takes you to the spectacular finale: a city-centre rooftop terrace overlooked by clusters of skyscrapers. Below lies multicultural Melbourne, with its chichi bars, restaurants and first-class museums. Take a bow, Lancemore.
11am, but flexible, subject to availability. Earliest check-in, 2pm.
Double rooms from £132.33 (AU$226), including tax at 10 per cent.
Rates don’t include breakfast, but you can start your day with a continental or à la carte breakfast in the lobby for AU$25.
The video installation in the lift is by Canadian artist Roynae Mayes and the bright murals on the roof terrace are by Melbourne artist Tristan Kerr.
At the hotel
Rooftop terrace, workout space (open 24 hours) with two weight-resistance machines, barre and a space for yoga and Pilates practice, free access to the local Genesis Gym, hosted happy-hour sessions (weekends only), pillow menu, laundry and dry-cleaning service (extra fee). In rooms: Air conditioning, free high-speed WiFi, Apple TV, Bose sound-system, minibar, workspace with desk, French press and organic ground Director’s Blend coffee, kettle, T2 tea, free bottled water, Hunter Lab toiletries.
Our favourite rooms
You’ll find the same stylishly spare, high-end decor and oh-so-comfy custom beds throughout the guest rooms, but an upgrade will bring you more space, and if you’re lucky, a private terrace balcony. We were sold on the one-bed Terrace Suite, with its cool and quiet separate sleeping and living spaces and all-important balcony seats, making us feel like part of the city skyline. You can go all out with the two-bed penthouse, definitely the top dog of the available accommodation, with not one but two private terrace balconies, plus views over Chinatown.
Your coolest shades for daytime mooching, swapped for vintage opera glasses for theatre preening.
The hotel has a lift and two of the guest rooms are suitable for wheelchair users.
Little Smiths are welcome to stay here, but there’s no kids’ club or specific children’s activities at the hotel. There are several interconnecting rooms that can be transformed into family spaces. Babysitting services can be booked in advance.
Relaxed urbanite: sharp silhouette and shoes made for walking.
The hotel doesn’t have its own restaurant, but it really doesn’t need one. You can get your breakfast in the lobby, but your other meals will be sourced from the flavour-rich landscape that is the Melbourne dining scene. You can order gluten-free Mexican treats to eat in-room from Bodega Underground, which shares the same building as the hotel, including totopos and guac, fish tacos and plenty of vegan options. Alternatively, you can use local delivery services to enjoy the best tastes of Melbourne even when you’re having a well-deserved night in. If you’re heading out to eat, you’ll be spoiled rotten. There’s a fantastic variety of cuisines, from Asian street food through to local farm-to-table cooking.
The lobby bar is a casual, low-lit affair with modern-Deco influences, a relaxing space where you can curl up solo with a book or laptop, or enjoy great wines and cocktails in company. It’s buzzier on special nights when local brewers and winemakers are invited in to give guests a taste of what they do best.
Lancemore Crossley St. is located in Melbourne’s super-buzzy Theatre District.
Melbourne Airport is around 40 minutes’ drive away. Airport transfers to and from the hotel are available.
Parliament Station is just 60 metres away.
As you’ll be staying right in the thick of the action, you’re unlikely to need a private car. But if you do, you can pre-book a parking space at 59 Lonsdale Street through the hotel, or use First Parking at 34–60 Little Collins Street.
Worth getting out of bed for
The rooftop terrace, with its day-beds, fire pit, lively Tristan Kerr artworks and urban views is where you’ll most likely want to spend some down time each day. The pull of theatreland is just outside, so be sure to reserve your seat for an award-winning stage show at Her Majesty’s Theatre or the Princess Theatre, or a jazz or classical performance at Hamer Hall. Head to the Melbourne Museum to see all sorts of historical, cultural and scientific exhibitions, all the way from the dinosaur days to modern Aussie life. (If you’re quick, you can catch Scott and Charlene’s replica wedding cake, complete with original topper.) You can seek out the best in Australian and international art, architecture and design at the National Gallery of Victoria.
Drop into Gingerboy for some fiery southeast Asian-inspired dishes, from prawn buns to red duck-leg curry to honey tofu cheesecake. Book a table at the elegant Farmer’s Daughter restaurant to try the seasonal flavours of local Gippsland farms, for example grilled rabbit with pink fir apple and leek chutney, or pickled pine mushrooms with BBQ Jerusalem artichokes. Convivial Cumulus Inc serves up sharing plates, such as cauliflower salad with ancient grains, currants and sesame, or Murray cod with globe artichoke and mussels.
Seek out cosy Punch Lane for its popular drinks list, from Jim’s Bloody Juice (tequila, Fever Tree blood-orange soda, lime) to sparkling wines by the glass. If you like your beer and whisky to the sounds of blues music, Boilermaker House is the place for you. Drinks are catalogued by flavour, guiding you to discover new tastes and combinations that may leave your head a little fuzzy the next morning – but will be totally worth it.
Every hotel featured is visited personally by members of our team, given the Smith seal of approval, and then anonymously reviewed. As soon as our reviewers have returned from this cool-and-calm hotel in the Theatre District and unpacked their opals and vintage Brunswick Street tees, a full account of their sophisticated city break will be with you. In the meantime, to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick peek inside Lancemore Crossley St. in Melbourne…
Where Melbourne’s theatre district meets Chinatown is where you’ll find this calm and comfy hotel. And us? We’ll be on the rooftop sipping local wines by the fire pit and revelling in the view of those competing city-centre towers. Although the rooms are stylishly functional (and come with our unanimous rave reviews for bed comfort), there’s many a hearty wink in store in the interior (designed by Melbourne-based studio Carr), with dramatic artworks, both static and moving, inspired by the local theatre scene. You’ve got a direct line to tasty gluten-free Mexican food via the building’s separate restaurant, serving as stand-in room service, plus the city’s endless drinking and dining possibilities right at your feet – if you can coax yourself down from that terrace, that is. Throw in some world-class museums and galleries, and you’ve got the ideal Melbourne adventure all planned out.