Having lived in Melbourne for over 12 years now, I often have friends and family visit from overseas and I proudly give them my tour around Melbourne showing the usual hot spots and trending eateries. Several weekends ago though, it was a refreshing change as I got to experience Melbourne as a traveller instead, as I spent the night at Sheraton Hotel in the CBD. I explored laneways I thought I knew but had totally changed, and took up experiences I never knew existed. As it was the Melbourne Cup weekend as well, the crowds were at the races so the city was far less quiet, it felt like I had it all to myself!
More on those experiences later as food comes first! Upon checking in, the first thing on me and Adrian’s mind was to get some much needed lunch but we were in no way prepared for the scrumptious seafood that awaited us. I’ll let the photos do the talking but Little Collins St Kitchen, the resident restaurant at Sheraton now tops my list with their signature seafood buffet spread, that also came with very pleasant hot dishes and French influenced desserts. Here’s what we had.
I won’t lie, my stomach isn’t built for buffets and as much as we wanted to head out, we had to retreat back to our room first to check out the room and take a breather after a big meal. Our room was on the top floor and it had an amazing view of beautiful Melbourne, and a beautiful bathtub! There was also a lovely fruit bowl and macarons to welcome us, as if we weren’t full enough but we still devoured them without hesitation
While chilling in the room and checking out their room service menu (don’t judge, you do it too!), I came across Sheraton’s PackPoint app which is a smart packing list app which I recommend for travellers out there. It puts together a list of things for you to pack quite quickly based on minor details about your upcoming trip. I normally end up packing into the late night a day before my travels and I forgot to bring several items for my recent trip to Italy. Will be giving this app a go for my next trip and so far it looks pretty ingenious. Anyways, here’s what our room looks like, and after making a quick booking, we were off to our first activity of the day, a scenic flight of Melbourne!
We took a tram to the Crown Casino end of the city and spotted our ride waiting on the helipad by the river. After a brief procedural run down at Heli-Serv, we were up in the air! It wasn’t scary at all and to be honest it was really a good ride to experience Melbourne from 1,000 feet in the air and learn a bit of its history from the pilot who gives a brief tour of each landmark. It was about a 20 minute ride and is probably something I’ll get my parents on the next time they visit.
Next stop, laneway exploring! Flinders Lane is a popular hotspot that needs to be on any travelers itinerary, there’s tons of cafes crammed together in the lanes along with quirky stores and graffiti walls. If you appreciate graffiti art the best spot is actually several blocks away on Hosier Lane.
The eastern end of Collins St is popularly known as the “Paris End” due to the flagship stores of high end fashion labels and alfresco dining culture. We spent the rest of the afternoon shopping here before calling it a day with a lighter meal for dinner. Some recommended food spots in this area of the city would be Chin Chin for fantastic Asian-Fusion food, or Movida for tapas and drinks.
After dinner, we retreated back to the hotel for a swim and a workout and called it a night. We definitely could have squeezed in more activities to explore, but overall I think it was a perfect chill day and I think the best way to experience Melbourne is to plan your itinerary loosely and just get lost in the city, roaming the laneways or making your way to one of the many rooftop bars. The city definitely has lots of hidden gems and surprises to satisfy the wanderlust in you! Hope you enjoyed this one! Check out Sheraton’s One Hour Gem page for further inspiration on interesting experiences in key destinations around the world!