Art and culture lovers will enjoy the boutique flair on show at this South Yarra hotel, with the walls splashed with art from one of the nation's most prolific artists.

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The hotel 

This 224-suite boutique hotel in South Yarra was the second establishment under the Art Series banner — and it features the distinctive artist-focused signature that’s become the trademark of the group. The understated colour palette acts as blank backdrop for the bright pieces that adorn the hallways and suites — all of which are done by the hotel’s namesake artist, Dr John Olsen. Spoonbill Restaurant & Bar shines a light on Australia’s fresh regional produce, which has helped the establishment make a name for itself in Melbourne.

The location

A dawdle from the Yarra River and a 4.5km walk from Melbourne’s CBD, the hotel’s location at the top of buzzy Chapel Street is perfectly situated for shopaholics. The hotel is 29 kilometres from Melbourne’s Tullamarine airport; trams towards the city via St Kilda are less than a minute walk away.

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The rooms

In the suites, you’ll find a muted colour palette and metallic accents – together they evoke a welcome sense of calm. Rooms are open-plan, light-filled and understated; each is beautified with an Olsen print. There’s a separate living area, a snug bathroom, and kitchenette — complete with a microwave, stove top and mini-fridge — which comes stocked with local goodies should a midnight snack be required.

Food and drink

Fusing modern-Australian culinary mastery and Italian flair, the hotel’s resident paddock to plate restaurant, Spoonbill, is the perfect spot for people watching on Chapel Street. Open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, menu standouts include beetroot risotto with sage and walnut butter, smoked barramundi and a succulent za’atar infused lamb rump with hummus and smoked eggplant. For breakfast, look no further than Spoonbill’s version of avo on toast, where the green gold is smashed and teamed with spinach, marinated feta, a poached egg and dukkah, served on sourdough.

For business traveller

The Olsen has a variety of meeting spaces that can adapt to daylong conferences and large corporate events. There’s wireless internet, flat screen TVs and your own conferencing concierge, who will look after you and your event personally.

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For wellness traveller

Onsite spa Norbü caters for everything from a 30-minute facial to a six-hour spa experience called “Happy Daze”, which includes a personally designed program that can encompass everything from a facial to infrared treatments. There is also a spa and partially glass-bottomed lap pool onsite.

The fab factor

Need a way to cruise around the city? Hire one of The Olsen’s smart cars. If driving isn’t your speed, the hotel also has bicycles and scooters on offer.

Best for: artistic types

Number of rooms:  224

Rates from: $249 / night

Wi-fi: Fast and free

Parking: Available on site, but limited and $40 valet/day, $32 self-parked.

Address: 637 – 641 Chapel Street, South Yarra VIC 3141

Telephone: (03) 9040 12222

SEE ALSO: A Top Chef and a Food Critic on Where to Eat in Melbourne

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