The opening of Le Méridien Melbourne marks the arrival of the Marriott International brand in Australia. Occupying a structure originally constructed as a hotel in the 1850s, the 12-story retreat engages in a sleek dialogue between contemporary and midcentury modern vernaculars.
The interiors also pull inspiration from Le Méridien’s aviation history. “Le Méridien was started by Air France so we often find ways to acknowledge that history. Whether it’s aerodynamic forms or references to what style and design was in the 1970s, be it on those aircrafts, be it in the motif, be it in the sort of general design ethos of the world,” says Aliya Khan, vice president of design, lifestyle brands for Marriott. “We try and pull through the sensibility of what is midcentury modern. We try and express materials in their original ways.”
Beyond the building’s original Art Deco façade, the interiors of Le Méridien Melbourne are wrapped in walnut, concrete, and light and bright white walls. The design also emphasizes local artists, including video artist Wendy Lee and sculptor Martha Figurato. “You’re not just standing there looking at a black and white photo of the destination, but you’re seeing this new voice of creation and culture, and the fact that these are bespoke commissions for the hotel,” Khan adds. “It’s this idea that they are part of this space and it’s not just something that somebody bought in a gallery and propped up.”
Among the hotel’s dining options are lobby café Intermission, which transitions into a wine bar after sunset, and the subterranean and sexy concept, Dolly. Le Splash serves as the property’s convivial social hub, complete with a rooftop pool and terrace.
An open-air bar and a seasonal pop-up cinema are installed against a large-scale mural by Stephen Baker, while a 24-hour TechnoGym, equipped with virtual trainers and a sauna, rounds out the roof amenities. More than 4,500 square feet of conference space is housed across a meeting floor that also features four additional rooms and three private working booths.
A total of 14 suites are included among the 235 guestrooms, all of which were crafted with a contemporary sensibility that further draws upon midcentury modern influences. Soothing neutral hues are paired with tactile finishes and pops of color, like air-force blue velvet chairs that allude to the brand’s Air France origins. Carpeting depicts an abstraction of the city as well.