In Arts + Entertainment

Luxury Melbourne Experiences Everyone Should Have At Least Once

There’s no shortage of luxury Melbourne experiences everyone should have at least once in their lifetime. The city of graffitied laneways, hidden rooftop bars and world-class dining plays host to much more, oft-overlooked by locals and tourists alike.

To help you navigate your way around the glitzy Melbourne you probably didn’t know about, we’ve compiled the best of the best.

Enjoy a staycation at an upscale hotel

To ensure you’re well placed to enjoy the full line-up of luxury Melbourne experiences, clear your diary and settle in for a staycation at one of the city’s best luxury hotels. There’s a slew of options on offer ranging from smaller boutique hotels such as Hotel Lindrum Melbourne – MGallery by Sofitel and The Sebel Melbourne on Flinders Lane to much larger upscale accommodation such as Novotel Melbourne Central located smack bang in the heart of the CBD.

The newest addition in Accor’s Novotel collection, Novotel Melbourne Central has everything you’ll need for a lush stay. Think the latest in-room tech – read: 55inch LG flatscreens, tablet-operated in-room services, chromecast and free wi-fi – and panoramic views out across Melbourne; be sure to keep those curtains drawn all day and night to take full advantage of the dazzling skyline. Visitors can also expect premium dining options courtesy of the hotel’s three restaurants: Pretty Boy Italian Steakhouse, Floyds Aperitivo Bar, and Goldie Asian Canteen + Brews.

Looking to up the luxury stakes even further? Iconic Rialto Melbourne and Crown Towers Melbourne will have you covered.

Take flight in a private helicopter tour

luxury melbourne experiences, microflite, private helicopter tour

Image: Microflite / Facebook

What better way to take in the city’s glorious sites than by air? Microflite operates a range of private helicopter tours of Melbourne catering to a range of tastes. Its Melbourne City Tour ($585 for two passengers) takes off from a premium CBD location and offers views of the city’s growing metropolis, beautiful parks, famous landmarks and beaches. Nature and wildlife more your thing? The 12 Apostles tour ($4,390 for two passengers) or the Penguin Parade ($3,390 for two passengers) will see you touring the Great Ocean Road and Phillip Island from the sky.

Dine at the world’s best restaurants

Melbourne is home to a number of world-class restaurants that continue to top ‘world’s best’ lists year in, year out. Attica, Vue de monde, Cutler & Co., and Dinner by Heston Blumenthal are among the best.

The degustation at Attica will set you back $295 per head (matching wine is an additional $185 per head) with a menu sporting goods like hand-picked crab and wattle bread, maron with desert lime XO and black ant lamington. Rialto’s Vue de monde dishes up a seasonal tasting menu for $275 per head and you can expect to indulge mud crab with pesto and koji and dry aged duck with leatherwood honey, leek and desert lime if you opt for the Chef’s tasting menu.

For something more on the luxe-casual side of the spectrum, Cutler & Co. is located in an old metal works factory in grungy Fitzroy. “Cutler & Co. strikes a balance between elegance and simplicity,” runs the slogan and it’s definitely worth a visit to the city’s North. Menu options include seasonal a la carte dishes or a daily changing Chef’s menu. A boozy long Sunday lunch take your fancy? Settle in for one of the restaurant’s classic Sunday lunches for a relaxed take on menu staples.

But if you want to go all out, Dinner by Heston Blumenthal is for you. Choose from bespoke cocktails at The Bar, a five-course lunch (available Saturday and Sunday) or the full shebang at a dinner sitting. If you want to splurge even more, consider the Chef’s Table, perched directly opposite the custom-build glass-walled kitchen to get in on all the action as the masters bang about the pans.

Known for experimental techniques and out-there flavour combinations, guests can expect daring fare ranging from ‘meat fruit’ (mandarin, chicken liver parfait, and grilled bread), ‘salamagundy’ (chicken oysters, braised radish, horseradish cream, marrowbone, and pickled walnuts), and powdered duck breast with smoked beetroot, grilled red cabbage, umbles and pickled cherries.

Create your own fragrance

luxury melbourne experiences, fleurage

Image: Fleurage

Nothing is more luxurious than something personalised. Enter Fleurage – the Melbourne perfume studio where customers are invited into the lab to experience the ingredients, knowledge and techniques used to create bespoke scents.

Individuals or groups can experience the studio at the discretion of the perfumer before fragrances are made by hand for visitors to take home. At the scent design studio, you’ll have access to 80 high-quality ingredients to create a personalised scent with the help of a Fleurage perfumer. The session runs for two hours and will set you $300 per individual or $500 for two.

Hot air balloon flight

luxury melbourne experiences hot air balloon

Image: Picture This Ballooning / Facebook

The MCG, the Shrine of Remembrance, the Albert Park Formula 1 racetrack and the Yarra River are among the sites you’ll take in when you experience a Picture This Ballooning hot air flight.

From one view to the next, you’ll then enjoy breakfast on Level 35 of the Sofitel Hotel to bask in the glorious morning skyline. Be prepared for an early start, though. Meeting time is an hour before sunrise and if you’re taking flight in winter, best come rugged up.

Climb Lake Mountain in a Ferrari

Ever wanted to get behind the wheels of a luxury European supercar? Well now’s your chance. For the Autumn ’19 season, Prancing Horse is giving drivers the chance to wind their way through a valley of mists and shadows in the Yarra Valley in a brand new Ferrari 488 GTB or Lamborghini Huracan LP 610-4. Imagine starting out at Chateau Yering before experiencing one of Australia’s most prestigious wine regions.

Want more? Along the 200kms+ drive, you’ll pass through Marysville, ascent dramatic Lake Mountain, and climb to the southern tip of the Great Dividing Range before descending for a five-course lunch at the exclusive Ezard at Levantine Hill. To finish, drivers will venture deep into Toolangi State Forest before witnessing the sunset as they pull back into Chateau Yering. The drive experience costs $2,750 per couple.

The writer stayed as a guest of Novotel Melbourne Central.

(Lead image: Prancing Horse / supplied)

Published 24 April, 2019