Historic Melbourne hotel completes multimillion-dollar refurbishment

by | 02 Dec 2021 | Design

Rendezvous Hotel Melbourne (imagery: © Simon Shiff)

Rendezvous Hotel Melbourne, which occupies a landmark building in the Edwardian baroque style, has been successfully revamped with help from Studio del Castillo.

A prominent hospitality scheme in the heart of Victoria’s state capital is set to reap the rewards of a sensitive modernisation programme.

Refreshing 320 rooms, the lobby and the restaurant

Rendezvous Hotel Melbourne has emerged from a multimillion-dollar refurbishment that involved refreshing 320 of its 340 rooms, as well as the lobby and restaurant. The project also sought to improve the sense of continuity between the heritage tower built in the early 20th century and the newer CTA wing constructed in 1922 and extended in the 1990s.

Much of the property is housed within the Commercial Travellers Association Building, designed by architect Harry Tompkins in 1912 and completed in 1913, which is widely regarded as one of the finest examples of the Edwardian baroque style in Melbourne. Interior designer Penny del Castillo from Studio del Castillo worked on the sensitive renovation.

She said: “In designs like these, there has to be an element of understanding and respect for what’s gone before. So, ours was not an attitude of seek and destroy. Rather, we salvaged what we could of the original features – like the lovely stained-glass windows in the Travellers’ Lounge – to get the absolute best end result.”

A celebration of elegance and decadence

The rooms employ natural lighting and local photography to good effect, while seeking to retain the elegance and decadence of bygone times. As such, visitors can expect to find quilted velvet headboards, custom-designed desks and mirrors with stylish detailing. In response to guest feedback, meanwhile, the swing doors in the bathrooms have been replaced with barn doors to make better use of the space available.

Digitally printed carpets and 3D-printed wallpaper that creates a trompe-l’œil effect have also been introduced.

In terms of F&B, the rebranded 110-seat Mr Tompkins restaurant, helmed by executive chef Giannu Pisu, is scheduled to launch in February 2022. There’s also The Travellers Bar, open from Thursdays to Saturdays, and a high tea service available on weekends only.

TFE Hotels prepares to welcome back guests

Owned by Far East Hospitality, Rendezvous Melbourne is operated by TFE Hotels.

“There’s been a lot of hard work that’s gone into this project under what has been extremely trying conditions,” said Chris Sedgwick, TFE Hotels group chief operating officer. “And we look forward to welcoming back our loyal guests who love the Rendezvous for its superb location, the grandeur of the hotel and the friendly hospitality of our team, alongside new customers who want to come back and experience the romance of Melbourne city post-lockdown.”

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TFE Hotels (Toga Far East Hotels) is a leading hotel operator in Australia, New Zealand and Europe

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