Foyer art at the Adelphi Hotel in Melbourne's Flinders Lane in 2019

Suite dreams in Melbourne | sugar & spice | Dessert-ed

Brainy and cheeky. Witty and inventive. Always smoking hot.

Edgy art, irresistible desserts and a bunch of nice neighbours make the Adelphi Hotel the pit-stop of choice

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Licorice allsorts turn up in the most unexpected places

They had me at the upholstered stools that looked like oversized licorice allsorts. And the bowls with all the Chupa Chups, Red Skins, Fantales, Sherbies, and Minties that a sweet-tooth’s heart could desire. The refurbished 34-room Adelphi  in Melbourne’s Flinders Lane (look up to locate it by the glass-bottomed rooftop pool that juts two metres out from the facade) has a sense of humour and an arty aesthetic.

It’s been a years since Excess shacked up at the Adelphi and it’s had a facelift in the interim. We are lodged in the Palatial Suite, which at 100 square metres is indeed palatial. The lounge room and the king-bedroom and separated by a marble “stage”, and riff on patterns and texture – shaggy, fleecy, felted upholstery, zig-zags in the carpets and safari prints wherever. Books, coffee machine, shelves full of objets d’art to make you feel at home.

There’s a graffiti edge to much of the art at the hotel. Guests are greeted in the lobby by a Barry Drinan painting affectionately known as “Lucy”. In the Palatial Suite bedroom, the “diva” is a spray painting by Dan Wenn, co-founder of 90 Degrees Graffiti. Renae Geddes, who also has a background in graphic design, is another local artist whose work is featured in the hotel. Geddes works with oil paint, oil sticks, and gilding.

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Zig-zag carpet, shaggy throws in the Palatial Suite lounge-room

The Adelphi restaurant, Om Nom Kitchen, which abuts the check-in desk, is a warm space with dark polished wood, lifted with chartreuse chairs, a metallic pink wall and mirrored ceiling. Theatrical desserts from executive pastry chef Joanne Ward are its calling card. Example – “Autumn in Japan 28”, a concoction of Valrhona dulcey and popcorn parfait, miso caramel, mandarin and yuzu sorbet. Hedonists will want the Dessert Degustation and no doubt a box of chocolates to take home.

In case you don’t get that this is a dessert-themed hotel, with designer Fady Hachem at the controls, the foyer has its own bespoke scent – a kind of yeasty-vanilla baking aroma, which could go a little easier on the sugar. There are free movies, free wi-fi, free chocolate, too.

The bathroom is huge – double vanities – and features walls that might just be a clever nod to white and dark chocolate.

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Bathtub glam at the Adelphi Hotel

In the ‘hood are great eateries such as Ezard, Supernormal, Coda, Movida (Original and Next Door), and Cumulus Inc; art galleries including Anna Schwartz Gallery, Arc One Gallery, and No Vacancy. And the famous graffiti-clad Hosier Lane.

A bonus is that the Adelphi  is almost next door to Christine, the Emporium of Lust. No visit to Melbourne is complete without a guerrilla shop here – the latest Amouage perfume, a Lanvin neckpiece, Philip Treacy hat, Pierre Hardy shoes or some Martin Grant tailoring. Look for the red door at 181 Flinders Lane. EAA has never yet failed to find a cool pair of black ankle boots on sale in the back corner.

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Evoking a sweet, sweet childhood

A Premier King suite at the Adelphi Hotel starts at $275 per night.

The Adelphi Hotel, 187 Flinders Lane, Melbourne; more information at; (03) 8080 8888.



Editor. Writer. Traveller. Keeping tabs on all things fab.

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Copyright © Susan Skelly 2020.