Marriott's Melbourne Docklands hotel will be the brand's first Marriott to be built in Australia in 20 years, and when it opens mid-June it'll also sport the first M Club lounge in Australia.
M Clubs are a fresh take on the group's former Marriott Concierge lounges, and in the same way that the Docklands property's 189 rooms trade the tired old stodginess of worn carpet and clunky furniture for contemporary, residential styling, the M Club lounge gets a chic vibe better suited to a new generation of travellers.
Offering key-based 24/7 access to Platinum and Titanium members of the Marriott Bonvoy rewards program, or guests booked into an M Club room, the space embraces modern design through a combination of timber and marble and a flowing, open floorplan.
There's a library for quiet reading and contemplation, secluded spaces for solo travellers, a dining room with a live cooking station fired up for breakfast and evening canapés, and an al fresco terrace opening out to fresh air and panoramic views.
Marriott describes its M Clubs as "an exclusive sanctuary to relax, socialise or meet for business."
"This is a significant milestone for Marriott International as this M Club is the very first in the region," notes Sean Hunt, Marriott International's Area Vice President, Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific.
"We consistently strive to be leaders in the industry and take great pleasure in sharing the new standard of Marriott Hotels for the future. As we return to travel, we are committed to providing our guests with flexible and elevated experiences to suit individual lifestyles."
A centrepiece of the $250 million mixed-use The Docklands project, the hotel is perched atop the District Docklands shopping centre to provide spectacular views of the sunset in the west over the Bolte Bridge or views back towards the city centre.
The rooms will make other concessions to the latest trends in hotel design, such as a small table for dining rather than a formal desk.
"We've reinvented the hotel room as we've found that hotel guests don't use desks in hotel rooms, preferring to lounge on beds or sofas or work in well-designed communal spaces with a relaxed atmosphere," explains Richard Crawford, Marriott International's senior director development for the Australia-Pacific region.
Similarly, traditional closets have been replaced by 'retail-influenced' wall racks with exposed joinery to showcase the guests' wardrobe rather than have them hidden behind a closed door – perhaps a subtle nod to Melbourne's status as Australia's fashion capital.
"They don’t want their clothes and possessions hidden away in storage," Crawford reasons, adding that Marriott's guests "have a strong appreciation of great design, and want to stay in high-end hotels that are luxurious while also reflecting the unique character of their location."