Some people jet to Melbourne for a quick business trip: fly in, stay one or two nights, fly out again. Others visit the culture capital for a long weekend of galleries, shows and shopping. Then there are longer stays: anything from a week that blurs into a weekend, to several weeks or more at a stretch.
Now there’s a hotel which aims to cater for every type of traveller by offering a unique mix of rooms, studios and self-contained serviced apartments: a ‘hybrid hotel’ concept with equal appeal to the overnight guest as much as one needing to stay for months.
The Oakwood Premier Melbourne, explains General Manager Andrew Donadel, aims to deliver “the best of both worlds”.
“It's half hotel, half serviced apartment, so we can cater to short-stay guests” such as the typical business traveller or weekender, “but also relocation companies and executive assistants that are looking at booking long-term accommodation for executives.”
There’s also the growing trend, especially in the new era of remote working, for people to combine business trips and a leisurely getaway.
Southbank, and Melbourne, at your doorstep
The Oakwood Premier Melbourne’s prized position in the heart of the vibrant Southbank entertainment and lifestyle hub is about as perfect a fit as you could imagine for such a ‘business & pleasure’ stay.
Oakwood has historically been about luxury serviced apartments, but for its new Melbourne venture – set in a spectacular 40-storey tower alongside the Yarra – the company worked traditional short-stay hotel rooms into the mix.
“We think there is going to be quite a lot of demand for your regular hotel-style room, given the location, the proximity of the Southbank and all of the companies within the vicinity,” Donadel says.
“We also think that while it's Southbank, it's also on the verge of South Melbourne as well, so it's actually a very attractive location for people who want to come and stay for extended periods, or even families wanting a serviced apartment to come and stay for a weekend, or a week, rather than booking multiple hotel rooms.”
“So people can travel safely and comfortably with their family, especially with Covid and all the restrictions around that. You want to stay together and be able to do things within the comfort of your own apartment.”
Room to move, or room to stay
The 132 hotel rooms at Oakwood Premier sit under the banners of Superior, Deluxe and Executive, varying in size from 26-30 square metres.
Longer stay studios grow to up to 42sqm and include a full-size fridge, microwave, washer, dryer and a kitchen with oven and cooktop.
One-bedroom apartments are larger still, at up to 51sqm, with a separate living room and bedroom plus a generously-proportioned larger kitchen with dishwasher and laundry facilities.
Need more room to stretch out? The Oakwood Premier Melbourne’s two-bedroom apartments feature two ensuites plus an open-plan lounge and dining area.
Donadel is especially pleased at the inclusion of full-size fridges. “Maybe it's just me,” he laughs, “but how many times have you travelled, and you've gone somewhere and bought a bottle of wine or some beers, then you go back and it doesn't fit in the fridge?”
And while guests can head to the markets or grocery store to pick up everything they need to cook dinner in their fully-stocked kitchen, the restaurant serving modern Australian cuisine is a reliable Plan B, if not a tempting Plan A.
If you’re hiring a car to get around, or have driven to Melbourne, the Oakwood Premier also includes parking spots and plans to install two EV charging stations.
Lounges and co-working spaces
The Oakwood Premier’s dual pitch to worker-bees and holiday-makers extends to different types lounges.
There’s the conventional Executive Lounge – with breakfast, snacks throughout the day and cocktails and canapes in the evening – plus a Residents Lounge open to all guests, and Donadel says they’ll find this as “an extension of their living room”.
“They can go down there to relax and read a book, watch some TV or a movie; there’s also a games room if they want to play snooker.”
A seperate co-working space called The Hub adds to the Oakwood Premier Melbourne’s versatility for business travellers.
“You can use the co-working space as your office for the day or the week, and then invite people to come and join you for a cup of coffee or lunch at the restaurant or a drink at the rooftop bar,” Donadel says.
Another modern touch, which complements the property’s Clean 360 hygiene program, is the use of contactless technology such as smartphone-based room keys and room service menus, and being able to view your bill and check out through the phone.
“It’s all of these various areas where there would be physical contact touchpoints that we're taking back, so that people feel safer and more comfortable to come and stay with us.”
And to keep fit, you can head to the state-of-the-art 110 square metre gym equipped with a range of the latest cardio and workout gear.
With such a homely feel associated with Oakwood Premier Melbourne, it’s a tempting proposition to transition that business trip into a weekend away, bring your partner or family down and tack on a little holiday too.