All Images Credit Sofitel or Chadstone Mall
Australia has a wealth of experiences from the Outback, Barrier Reef, miles and miles of coastline and uber-cosmopolitan urban centers. When we think of Australia, first-class shopping probably does not come to mind, however, it probably should. The largest mall in the southern hemisphere, Chadstone Mall -The Fashion Capital, is located in Melbourne and is filled with a mind-numbing offering of outlets selling everything from bespoke jewels to pets. No need to worry about staying far away in between shopping forays, one of Melbourne’s newest and most luxurious hotels is located adjacent to the mall, the Hotel Chadstone Melbourne MGallery by Sofitel.
The hotel is an architectural and design gem from afar and from within. Bronze colored mirrored surfaces curve around the building to create a fetching exterior design. Inside the dramatic architecture continues in common areas as well as in the 250 rooms and suites, the two restaurants, lounge, and decadent rooftop pool. This functioning piece of art and beacon atop a hill is just on the outskirts of town and about 25 minutes away from the central business district.
The Chadstone- the Fashion Mall, or as locals call it, The Chaddy, is nothing short of a shopaholic mecca. 24 million people visit the mall each year-yes, that’s right, 24 million-to peruse their countless number of stores and for the food and entertainment offerings. There are over 550 stores there that literally offer something for everyone.
The Chadstone -The Fashion Capital is really a group of malls within a mall and divided into sections that have their own design, types of stores, and vibe. The toniest section of the mall has a design inspired by the glass domes of Victorian-era architecture allowing natural light to dapple the mall’s two levels of opulent brands. 35 of the world’s most exalted luxury brands have outposts in the Chadstone with marques including Burberry, Dior, Prada, Tiffany & Co Chanel and there’s even a Tesla dealership in the mall. This is a mall that one can spend a day in with entertainment and eateries from fast food to fine dining.
After a day of shopping, the Chadstone by Sofitel is a mere five-minute walk from the mall’s luxury avenue. The opulence of those luxury brands is on par with what you’ll find in the hotel with the decadence of its own to rival. Once inside, a display of all things haute is what you’ll encounter from the avant-guard Art Deco-influenced décor, riveting digital art installations, and a sitting area that looks more like a library in a fine chateau replete with coffee tables books, objects d’art, and bespoke furnishings. The theme throughout the hotel is fashion as reflected in the couture-focused artwork in the common spaces as well as in the accommodations.
Arguably the hotel’s most captivating feature is the dining and entertainment area on the top floor. The Altus wine bar is a throwback to a speak-easy club from the 1920s with exquisite design details and artwork, a terrazzo bar, and a wall of spirits behind the bar with too many libations to count. The venue is indoor and outdoor wrapped in curved glass windows. Sunsets are magical, enjoying one of their famed signature cocktails while taking in the fantastical views over the Melbourne skyline and Port Phillip Bay.
In addition to a fine dining restaurant Altus, the top floor also features the hotel’s other standout feature, the 12th floor heated indoor pool. The indoor pool area is nothing short of dramatic with curved windows offering panoramic city views beyond. This is a place where one can while the day away taking laps in the pool, rejuvenating in the large jacuzzi, or lazing about in the indoor cabanas as the service staff attends with afternoon lunch and drinks.
The haute design continues in each of the 250 guest rooms with a nuevo art deco design style with textured wall surfaces, gorgeous fashion themed artwork, dusty rose-colored and brass accents, and ultra-modern furnishings. The views are stunning as well through curved floor to ceiling glass windows offering panoramic sights of the Melbourne skyline or Phillips Bay in the distance. The conveniences don’t end there with high tech electronics, electric curtains, and intelligent lighting. Bathrooms are decadent with an oversized egg-shaped bathtub and separate shower and designer bathroom amenities.
The Chadstone is a hotel that seeks to do everything right so it is no surprise that the dining experience is top-notch as well. For the culinary favors of their guests, the hotel has enlisted one of Australia’s top celebrity chefs, Scott Pickett, to do the honors. The restaurant is Pastore and features Italian cuisine created with Australian influences and ingredients. The setting is, as expected, uber chic with a fancy bar area and booths and tables spread out. The open kitchen provides dining as an entertainment aspect to the experience as chefs bustle about barking orders with the sounds of sizzling and steaming pots creating the soundtrack.
Pastore is Italian for shepard so expect a full range of paddock to plate meats and veggies grilled to succulent perfection. The local ingredients are cooked using an open woodfire that infuses charred and smoked flavors throughout each morsel. The dishes include traditional handmade pasta and small plates made for sharing. Not to miss appies are the grilled octopus with green tomato and kipfler potato or the great ocean road duck prosciutto with davidson plum. For the mains you’ll want to go with the sood-grilled barramundi with burnt blood oranges and fennel. Also not to miss are the succulent grilled dry-aged lamb, Wagyu lasagne, or the dry-aged bistecca fiorentina steak.
The hotel’s second dining option is the aforementioned Altus that serves up an upscale-European menu as well as light bites as guests dine while overlooking the Melbourne and Port Phillip Bay skyline.
After the shopping day is done, the Chadstone by Sofitel offers a sanctuary and pampering retreat for the weary and worn-out shopper. Holism is a day spa and rejuvenation center that goes far beyond your typical spa experiences. They offer a wide range of treatments pampering massages, body wraps, to beauty treatments, and also offer highly regarded meditation and yoga classes.
Their signature experiences such as their Balinese inspired body massage which is a must-have option for rejuvenation and pampering. Their talented and highly trained staff provide 90 minutes of pure pampering using a selection of techniques from Swedish to Balinese and work deep into sore muscles releasing stress and tightness. Guest leave revived, relaxed, and recharged with an overall feeling of well-being. Holism is a unique spa experience that has the uncommon ability to provide a high level of service that creates a sense of peace for the mind, body, and spirit.
The Chadstone- The Fashion Mall is more than a place to shop. It is a place to explore, find something special, and take home memories. The Hotel Chadstone Melbourne MGallery by Sofitel offers a sanctuary to come back to after a long day of shopping or taking in all that the Melbourne area has to offer.
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