Gazing up at the 246m high Premier Tower, I was struck not only by how futuristic the Mövenpick Hotel Melbourne on Spencer appeared but also by how organic it seemed.
So, it was no surprise to learn that its curves were inspired by the music video for Beyoncé’s “Ghost”. It’s a perfect complement to the undulating skate-park-like roof of Southern Cross Station located directly opposite the hotel, whose 172 rooms take up floors 1 to 6 of the tower.
Mövenpick Hotel Melbourne on Spencer is in a fantastic location in Melbourne CBD’s southwest.
Both metro and regional trains depart Southern Cross, as well as regional coaches and the SkyBus to Melbourne airport, while a tram stop directly outside the hotel connects you to the tram network, including the free City Circle tram. (NB All tram rides within Melbourne CBD are free.)
But you may not need public transport at all because there’s so much within easy walking (or wheeling) distance: Sea Life Melbourne Aquarium, Marvel Stadium, the Crown Casino complex and the Southbank promenade.
Not much further afield are some of Melbourne’s iconic laneways and fabled eateries, Federation Square and Melbourne’s arts complex, as well as Queen Victoria and South Melbourne markets.
At Mövenpick Hotel Melbourne on Spencer, the heated 25m swimming pool, hot tub and sauna are all open until 10 PM. The compact but well-equipped gym is open 24 hours. There’s ramp access to the gym and a portable pool hoist available on request.
Sadly, the Asian fusion Miss Mi restaurant was closed when we stayed, and the breakfast was à la carte rather than buffet, but I thoroughly enjoyed my swimmer crab scrambled eggs topped with prawns and a side of roasted mushrooms.
Having opened only two months prior to my visit, the Mövenpick Hotel Melbourne on Spencer is showroom pristine – the bed linen crisp and the bathroom linen soft and lush – with its corridors lined not by conventional abstract “art” but instead by photographs of Melbourne’s street art and cafe scenes taken by noted local photographers.
The TVs are state- of-the-art, controllable with your smartphone and loaded with all the streaming apps, although you need to log in with your own account. Alternatively, you can connect your computer or phone and stream music or video from your own devices.
With a homage to Mövenpick Hotel Melbourne on Spencer’s Swiss and ice cream heritage, a small mountain of Rocky Road and two empty waffle ice cream cones – to be filled downstairs at the ice cream bar – awaited me on the table. I left them there to dash downstairs to experience the hotel’s daily Chocolate Hour, which was somewhat overhyped, although the (paid for) chocolate parfait (with macaroons, marshmallows and three different types of ice cream) was deliciously decadent! I never did manage to eat the Rocky Road.
The Mövenpick Hotel Melbourne on Spencer’s Superior King Accessible Room was enormous – appreciably larger than the regular rooms – with plenty of circulation space around the king-sized bed since the furniture was sensibly arranged against the walls. It was a delight not to have to insert and remove a key card to enter the room – almost impossible with my hand function – as you simply tap your card to unlock the door.
The air conditioning controller was also thoughtfully placed at waist level, and the bedside table had a plug socket – both ideal for wheelchair users. Cabinets, shelves and hangers were also all lowered.
The accessible bathroom was equally spacious and well designed. The tap and shower hose were conveniently situated right next to the long, fold-down shower bench, with the soap and shampoo also within reach. With a big tick for sustainability these dispensers are refillable rather than single use. There were plenty of grab rails, a fully retractable shower curtain and no annoying lips on the bathroom floor.
There’s a disabled parking spot in the car park that has space for a side entry. There are Braille buttons in the lift as well as audible announcements. The super-friendly staff were more than happy to come and collect my bags from the car park.
I was most impressed by the willingness of management to take on feedback regarding accessibility at Mövenpick Hotel Melbourne on Spencer. Although independent pool access for wheelchair users is impossible at the moment, management is working on a solution, and Deaf guests can look forward to vibrating pillow alarms in the near future!
With 10 accessible rooms, I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend the Mövenpick Hotel Melbourne on Spencer to any wheelchair user who wants to stay in the heart of Melbourne.
This story first appeared in Travel Without Limits magazine. You can subscribe here.