Heritage building transformed into Hilton’s new Melbourne hotel

by | 04 Apr 2021 | Design

Occupying the former Melbourne Equity Chambers, Hilton Worldwide’s latest hotel raises the bar in Victoria’s largest city, with 244 stylish rooms and clever architecture by Bates Smart.

Expanding its footprint down under, Hilton Worldwide has successfully opened Hilton Melbourne Little Queen Street.

A new lease of life

Owned by M&L Hospitality, also proprietor of DoubleTree by Hilton Melbourne–Flinders Street, this 244-room hotel occupies the former Melbourne Equity Chambers, built in 1931. Known for its Italian Romanesque and Gothic detailing, the building has been reimagined by architecture and design studio Bates Smart, which has restored its original features and injected new life by way of a contemporary six-floor extension and 16-level tower.

A colourful mural by local graffiti artist Kitt Bennett, meanwhile, can be seen in the entrance’s angled bronze panels.

“Hilton Hotels & Resorts has been setting the benchmark for hospitality in the world’s most sought-after destinations for over a century, offering innovative guest experiences and meaningful service to meet guests’ evolving needs,” said Alexandra Jaritz, senior vice president, brand management, Asia Pacific, Hilton. “With the opening of Hilton Melbourne Little Queen Street, this legacy is set to continue.”

A superb location in Melbourne

Flawlessly positioned on the corner of Little Queen and Bourke Streets, within Melbourne’s arts, theatre and dining precincts – and not far from popular attractions such as the National Gallery of Victoria, the Royal Botanical Gardens and Melbourne Cricket Ground – the hotel boosts the city’s drinking and dining scene with a seductive lounge bar called The Douglas Club and a smart restaurant by the name of Luci. Occupying the building’s former banking hall, the latter’s helmed by executive chef Sam Moore, who serves up an Italian-flecked modern Australian menu that nods to Melbourne’s history of Italian immigrants.

Upstairs, the design of the guestrooms – stocked with modern in-room amenities including coffee curated by local outfit Dukes Coffee Roasters, and bath products by Hunter Lab – is inspired by the building’s heritage as well as its urban location. As such, there are leather wardrobe handles that take their cues from vintage luggage, the carpet design mirrors patterns found in the Equity Chambers façade, and photography by Roger Arnall showcases Melbourne’s distinctive architecture.

Elsewhere, the seven meeting and event spaces range from 24 to 143 sq m and are kitted out with the latest technology, while level five features an open-air balcony with city views and a wall mural by Kitt Bennett.

“It is with immense pleasure we announce the return of our flagship brand Hilton Hotels & Resorts to Melbourne, with the opening of the stunning Hilton Melbourne Little Queen Street,” said Heidi Kunkel, vice president, operations, Australasia, Hilton. “The hotel is set to be an icon of Melbourne’s CBD with its reimagining of the heritage Equity Chambers building.

“Melbourne is a priority destination for Hilton and the hotel joins DoubleTree by Hilton Melbourne-Flinders Street, also owned by valued business partners M&L Hospitality. Our commitment to the city is further evidenced by our development pipeline, which includes Hilton Garden Inn Bundoora, expected in 2022, and DoubleTree by Hilton Box Hill and Hilton Melbourne Square, both expected in 2024.”

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