Romantic Melbourne: Romancing at the Adelphi
I wrote about the new-look Adelphi’s new dessert hotel status a while back. Recently, my husband and I had the chance to actually stay in the hotel’s seventh floor suite. It’s a fabulous, modern space with plenty of room to sprawl and relax. The Adelphi has the delightful policy, too, of providing complimentary drinks and jars of sweets in the room.
The Adelphi’s famous pool upstairs juts out over Flinders Lane, and it was fun to finally be able to swim in it. I’ve wanted to do that ever since I saw Mitchell Butel swimming laps in it in the film Strange Fits of Passion (1999). (The pool will be closed for refurbishment later this year, but it will still overhang the building when the refurb is done – next time I’ll take goggles to I can peer down at the passers-by as they peer up!)
As a dessert hotel, the Adelphi obviously also excels in treats. The high tea ($65) consists of three tiers of savoury and sweet bites, and comes with a glass of Veuve Cliquot and coffee or tea. I loved the sense of play around some of the items, and the peanut butter, chocolate and raspberry gateau was a definite highlight!
With such a focus on treats and the little delights, it’s no surprise that the Adelphi is considered a romantic destination for couples. The hotel staff area all on board with that notion too, and love to help guests out.
Operations Manager, Lance Lagudi, asked his staff to share some of their favourite romantic stories with me.
Duty Manager, Michael Bailey, tells of the guest who wanted to propose to his girlfriend. The guest was keen to check in before 2pm to get things set up. Once he’d explained his plans – he wanted to leave a new bikini laid out on the bed as a surprise for his girlfriend – Michael suggested a few extra touches the Adelphi could provide.
“I escorted the guest to the room and gave him a choice of what gets written on his mirror – we use a brightly coloured posca pen. The guest didn’t know what to write so I suggested letting his girlfriend see her potential new name written down as a way of asking. He liked this and we went with it.”
After preparing the room, Michael showed the guest the rooftop pool and then arranged to reserve seats for the couple. Michael also gave the guest his personal mobile number so he could be alerted when the couple were heading up to the pool. Michael reserved the pool chairs and laid out towels and a table for them. When the signal came that the guests were coming up, a waiter popped a bottle of complimentary champagne and poured it for them.
“While the guests were at the pool, we arranged for a selection of deserts to be placed in the room to discover later. We’d set mood lighting and had soft music playing for their return. The hotel also prepared a card and we all signed it.”
Receptionist Kim Batto has a story to tell, too. A guest from the Mornington Peninsula called to make a booking for a 25th wedding anniversary. He explained that this would be one of their few nights without the kids, and shared an idea he’d had about filling the room with 25 helium balloons, each with a picture of he and his wife, and on the back of each picture, a reason why this had been the best 25 years of his life.
The hotel immediately set about making that happen so it would be all ready on the couple’s arrival.
“We helped him get balloons and he mailed pictures via the post. To add to the already romantic feel of the room, we scattered rose petals around. We also prepared a complimentary bottle of bubbles. They had dinner at Om Nom (the hotel eatery), and with the dessert that the husband pre-ordered was a message: ’25 years was a breeze, a hundred to go.’ The lovely couple upon check-out couldn’t thank everyone enough. They have decided on driving to Melbourne to stay at Adelphi every year to celebrate their upcoming 100 years!”
The Adelphi has a freshness and playfulness about it, and it’s at a great central location (and has that terrific swimming pool!). With the staff’s openness to helping people create memorable occasions, it might be a good place to lob into for Valentine’s Day – or any day you want to make special with a bit of fun. And gateau.
- Read Tim’s Bed Report review of the Adelphi Hotel.
187 Flinders Lane, Melbourne VIC 3000, Australia
Phone: 03 8080 8888 (International +61 3 8080 8888)
Rates: Rooms from $260 per night; suite from $690 per night.
Tim and I were hosted by the Adelphi Hotel.
Do you know of a romantic Melbourne experience? Let me know and I will selflessly explore it. SELFLESSLY.