It’s a match made in hotel heaven: the country’s quirkiest accommodation brand and a city renowned for its creative bent. Throughout the public spaces and 188 rooms at QT Melbourne there’s a sense of artistic discovery, from the lustrous copper entry to the lifts offering cheeky chat-up lines and the naughty wallpaper decorating corners of Pascale Bar & Grill. It’s the sort of bolthole one could happily nose around for days, although that would be a shame, since it’s located close to Chinatown, laneways of street art and the theatre district. 

On a site previously occupied by a cinema, this new build by Sydney-based architect Angelo Candalepas is a first for the group. The double-height foyer features an etched brass reception desk, the Cake Shop, where desserts are created in a ‘pastry cube’, and towering stacks of paperbacks fashioned into a wall that edges the staircase to the first floor. The rooms feature herringbone dark timber floors, raw concrete ceilings and sliding panels that reveal the bathroom to the sleeping zone (if you’re that way inclined). There are all the QT touches, too: Malin + Goetz amenities, locally sourced brews and bites in the mini bar, and curated video art on the televisions. 

Taking advantage of Melbourne’s laneway culture are two outlets hidden at the side of the hotel: a store selling Japanese Tanto knives, and Hot Sauce, where cravings for bao, Asahi beer and bangin’ K-pop can be satiated until 2am. The jewel in QT’s crown, however, may be the rooftop bar, with its views of Melbourne’s skyline.