Melbourne’s game-changing new boutique hotel

United Places offers a dedicated concierge per guest, modernist interiors, exceptional food and an unbeatable location by the Royal Botanic Gardens location

The interiors at Melbourne’s 12-suite United Places have a pared-back style
The interiors at Melbourne’s 12-suite United Places have a pared-back style

In Australia, Sydney has begun to assert itself as an emerging independent-hotel city, but Melbourne seems to be on its heels with the arrival of United Places (unitedplaces.com.au; from about £190), a 12-suite boutique property like no other in town. There’s no reception, to start with; each guest is checked in and looked after by a concierge dedicated to them for their stay. The local architect Sue Carr – esteemed since the 1970s for a dialled-back style that’s become virtually synonymous with contemporary Australian design – is responsible for the interiors, which are long on concrete and monochrome tones and very light on frippery. Among the many things going for it (ceramics by artist Shari Lowndes; a restaurant, Matilda 159, manned by alumni of three of Melbourne’s top kitchens) is the unbeatable location, right on the Royal Botanic Gardens in the leafy suburb of South Yarra.

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