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The promise

Take a break from your everyday life and spend a night in a new and luxurious boutique hotel.

The reality

I’d never tried a staycation – a mini-break in my home city – and now that I have, I’m not sure why I waited so long.

We arrive at the QT Melbourne on a rainy Friday afternoon ready to shake off the week. The decor features nods to Melbourne’s rag trade heyday in the 1920s. The entry staircase is carpeted in blue, there are bright sofas in the lobby and crocodile leather-walled lifts.

Our room is on the sixth floor of the former Greater Union Cinemas building, and its industrial chic fit-out – with parquetry floors, generous bed, sleek en suite and view of the CBD’s rooftops – melts away the week’s stress.

The pay-off

We’re tempted to hook into the minibar, but we meet friends downstairs for a drink instead before heading to the hotel restaurant, Pascale Bar and Grill, for dinner. It’s a generous space, all leather and dark wood, and we dine on delicious crab cakes and perfectly cooked steak with all the trimmings. We skip dessert and retire to our room to relax with some in-house movies. QT Melbourne has a tempting room service menu and there’s nothing more extravagant than eating eclairs in bed.

The pain factor


Who should try it?
Anyone who wants a break or a romantic weekend without the hassle of airports, pet-sitters and long car trips home.

The bill?
$330 per night for the QT King room.

Would I do it again?
Now I’m dying to check out QT’s other hotels in Sydney, the Gold Coast and Canberra.