In Part 1 of our guide to Melboure, Australia, we told you which of Melbourne’s great golf courses should make your short list. Now we’ll help you narrow down where to stay, eat, and drink in Australia’s second-largest city.
Where to stay in Melbourne: Best hotels and resorts
- Widely regarded as Melbourne’s finest hotel, the Park Hyatt Melbourne, is situated in a peaceful area just east of the bustling city center, adjacent to the lush Fitzroy Gardens. The luxury hotel boasts impressively large rooms, many of which offer panoramic city views. In addition to the gardens and the historic St. Patrick’s Cathedral, which also abuts the hotel, the Melbourne Cricket Ground, host to test cricket and the local Australian rules football team, is nearby, meaning there’s never a shortage of things to do once your round is over.
- The Adelphi Hotel on Flinders Lane is about as central as they come, just steps from some of Melbourne’s finest shopping and entertainment. The hotel’s 34 rooms maintain an Art Deco style, while its Om Nom restaurant & bar serves up a delightful mix of sweet and savory dishes. The hotel’s rooftop pool is a real stunner, with a unique cantilevered design.
- Just a 15-20 minute walk from downtown Melbourne, the Larwill Studio is a refreshing retreat from the city center, backing up to the Royal Park, which includes the Melbourne Zoo. The hotel draws its inspiration from the late Australian artist David Larwill, whose paintings are found throughout the building. The hotel’s décor has a modern, Scandinavian feel to it, a style which blends well with the art studio theme.
Where to eat in Melbourne: Best restaurants
- Sushi lovers flock to Minamishima, whose unassuming exterior in the quiet residential neighborhood of Richmond belies the culinary wonders within. The rice, which they say is the essence of great sushi, is sublime, but the deftly-sliced fish is the real star. For the best experience, grab one of the 12 seats at the counter and marvel as the chefs prepare your 15-course omakase meal.
- As the name might suggest, Vue de Monde offers some pretty spectacular views of Melbourne from on high. Perched on the 55th floor of the elegant Rialto building, this swanky French fine-dining experience incorporates a number of classic Australian ingredients into its menu, from kangaroo to wallaby, but the focus is always on technique. The menu is a work of art, the wine list is out of this world, and, at the price you’ll be paying, it had better be.
- For something a little more affordable, Tina’s Noodle Kitchen offers diners delicious homemade fare at a reasonable price. The ingredients can be unfamiliar to some, but place your trust in the menu and leave your inhibitions at the door. If that’s too big an ask, Tina’s also makes some mean fried chicken.
Where to drink in Melbourne: Best bars
- For a relaxing waterfront drink, look no further than Arbory Bar & Eatery. The centrally-located bar has the longest patio on the Yarra River, which means you’ll never have to wait long, if at all, for a seat with a view. The drink of choice here is wine, and the selection is extensive, with bottles from such far-flung places as Mongolia and Slovenia. There’s also some great eats, as well as nicely curated selection of craft brews to make the beer drinkers happy.
- For those who prefer some elevation to their views, Rooftop Bar offers imbibers a relaxed option atop the iconic Curtin House building in downtown Melbourne. The building’s lower floors are home to some excellent eateries, which you will have the option of trudging past on your seven-story journey or while waiting for the building’s slow-moving elevator. Once at the top, you will be rewarded with a stunning view of the surrounding cityscape, as well as some of the city’s friendliest fellow drinkers. Note that the roof turns into an impromptu cinema five nights a week from December through March, with rooftop access restricted to ticket holders after 8 pm.
- Cocktails are king at the Everleigh, a seated service-only bar in the historic neighborhood of Fitzroy. The establishment harkens back to a different era, with snappily dressed staff who will guide you through a dizzying menu of sophisticated drinks which run the gamut from light and refreshing to dark and boozy. Your best bet is probably just to tell your waiter a little bit about what you like and have them come up with a curated cocktail just for you, an option which never fails to satisfy while broadening your horizons.
Ravi Coutinho is a contributor at Golf News Net and the founder of Worldwide Golf Adventures, a golf travel company based in Austin, TX that offers dream vacations to the world's top golf destinations.