2018 has been a big year for my 5-and-a-half-year-old. Starting school, breaking her arm and getting headlice in the first week was a highlight I’d rather forget.
Life with two young kids and a full-time job is constantly hectic, and I usually feel like I am being pulled in a million directions pretty much every day of the week. I wanted to treat her to some mummy-daughter time, and so a one-night staycation was planned.
Crown Towers in Melbourne was built as part of the Crown Casino complex opening in 1997 and 21 years later it is still rated amongst the top 3 hotels in the city.
We began by taking a Trunki ride into the lobby which has to be seen to be believed. Huge and imposing, it is all plush velvet armchairs and glamour, flanked by an enormous chandelier in the middle. Miss 5 was suitably impressed.
We checked into a deluxe twin room with city views right on the banks of the Yarra River. Two deliciously soft beds with enough pillows for ten people is my kind of heaven. The furnishings are luxurious, tasteful and of the style you would expect from a 5-star property.
Out tentative game plan was to chillax in robes and slippers, assault the room service menu like the bosses that we are and have a swim. Oh, and maybe a cheeky visit to Nobu, one of the dozens of premium restaurants in the Crown complex.
Let me first explain the robes. They each weigh several kilos and are the fattest, softest, most luxurious robes I have ever seen. Despite its hilarity, we both managed to waddle down to the pool area in our robes for a dip.
You can even buy one to take home for the princely sum of AU $150. Seriously tempting.
The pool is enormous and despite its indoor location right near the famed Dinner by Heston restaurant, it is flooded with natural light and is truly spectacular.
After our dip, we wandered along the riverbank for a little while before having a quick snack at the casual Japanese cafe Gochi. I can’t understand the unfavourable reviews online for this place, I have been here several times and it never fails to please. Poke bowl for me, sushi rolls for the little madam. Yum. Cheap, quick and fresh.
Back to the room for more relaxing and a little room service snack. No more ringing up to place an order, you do it online using the state of the art Samsung tablet system. Usually, I shed a little tear at the price of room service, but I thought $10 a serve of Mövenpick delivered was pretty reasonable. So I added some wine….
One thing Crown Towers is famous for is the bathtub televisions. This was a massive win for the little lady and she couldn’t wait to have a bath and watch cartoons. If you are travelling with kids you would be hard-pressed to find a better way to keep them quiet for a bit in the comfort of your own room while you get ready for dinner. Big tick.
Over the years I have noticed vanity items in hotels diminishing somewhat. Even in the higher end hotels you sometimes have to ask for a comb or a razor. Not so at Crown. This is without a doubt the best-stocked vanity case I have seen in my travels. They even have a hair elastic! A full sewing kit with scissors and shoe shining pads are amongst the pickings.
The Crown complex is somewhere you could stay for a week and never have to walk outside. Apart from the obvious Casino (never an issue for us, we simply walked past it on our way to other spots), there are literally dozens of restaurants of all categories, a movie theatre, a video game hall, shopping, sports courts, a live theatre, a spa and more.
We decided to have a quick drink in The Waiting Room downstairs in the lobby before heading out for dinner at Nobu which I had been desperate to try.
We were given some delicious nut snacks while we waited for our drinks, and the wait staff had no trouble providing a “mocktail” for my little girl. The drinks menu is impressive and the cakes in the cabinet looked absolutely amazing (and very reasonably priced).
Nobu was an excellent choice, though because my daughter was extremely tired by then I wasn’t able to order what I would have done had she not been with me. So I took the advice of the excellent wait staff and ordered the steamed fish with miso and a selection of appetisers for my daughter. She spotted some other guests eating some fried rice balls with fish and they even customised that dish for her and ordered a half serve. I was not expecting that! I can’t wait to go back with my husband and try the more adventurous meals.
Breakfast at The Conservatory was a standout. Every food imaginable was there in the stunning setting overlooking the Yarra.
We had a terrific time and really enjoyed the attentive service, the obvious care and courtesy towards my little girl and the look on her face, while she got to experience true 5-star luxury (with me all to herself) was simply priceless. They even sent her home with a little doorman bear which was a lovely touch.
I’ll certainly return to Crown for special occasions and have no hesitation in recommending a stay here.
Visit https://www.crownmelbourne.com.au/ for more information.
We were guests of Crown Towers and my opinions are all my own.