As far as boutique hotel locations go, Lancemore Crossley St. could hardly be more desirable. Not even diehard Melburnians will likely know where Crossley St. is located but when you check into this freshly minted hotel, you immediately feel checked into the beating heart of the city’s food, culture and buzz.
That is if it wasn’t for Covid.
Lancemore Crossley St. opened its doors December 2020. It may not have been in the midst of the deepest, darkest lockdown but Melbourne retail, entertainment and hospitality was still reeling. In other words, it’s a tough time to launch.
Thankfully, Lancemore is in it for the long haul and the fundamentals are excellent, and bode well for a high-occupancy future.
The hotel is designed by one of Australia’s most celebrated architects, Carr, which has run with the theatrical theme set by the property’s location a short walk from Melbourne’s historical theatres. The kamikaze Phantom-crashed chandelier in the foyer sets the tone of the design — it’s playful, edgy and memorable (the chandelier came out of the old Georges department store, if you need any further authentic-Melbourne design credentials!).
The hotel isn’t a new build. Carr has worked with the old Graeme Gunn building and has allowed elements of structure to poke through, hinting at the uncompromising look of the labarythine guts of theatre wardrobe and green rooms.
“Lancemore Crossley St. is here to welcome guests with the grit, glamour and vibrancy we’ve missed about our city. Carr has perfectly captured the creative essence of Melbourne with its boundary pushing design concept and the property’s prime location is the ideal base to uncover the food, fashion, and little known gems that make the cultural fabric of our home city,” said Lancemore CEO, Julian Clark.
CHECK IN & RELAX
There’s no formal check-in, instead circular pod reception points sit in front of theatrical velvet blue curtains. The lobby’s furniture contrasts plush textures and tones with raw finishes. Side tables with mirrored or confetti finishes meet low back armchairs in lush call-curtain red, glamour that is juxtaposed by gritty polished concrete flooring, stone and steel high-top tables. It’s a great area to grab a while-you-wait cocktail or take an extended weekend breakfast.
There are artwork highlights dotted throughout the fitout… sometimes in places you least expect. Such as in an elevator, where dramatic video art by Roynae Mayes had us enthralled.
“With Lancemore, we shared an ambition to dissolve traditional divisions between guest and staff, to provide a relaxed and welcoming guest experience. Lancemore’s commitment to unique offerings led us to work with a number of local artists to create unexpected moments of delight,” said Sue Carr, Principal Carr.
“Nuances within the existing architecture drove us into new territory, and the property’s incredible location, in the heart of the theatre district, inspired a rich conceptual narrative, drawing on themes of performance and drama,” continued Sue.
Continuing the Melbourne theme, a bunch of local furniture suppliers are spotlighted, including Jardan, Design Nation, Design by Them, Grazia and Co, King Furniture, Stylecraft, and Tait Furniture. Local artists (Roynae Mayes, Andre Donadio, Laura Woodward, Tristan Kerr) throughout the property lending it a distinct personality. The four room types, William, Henry, Juliet and Romeo all offer a high-comfort level, from an L.M Signature King Bed and carefully considered comforts, including a Bose sound dock, Hunter Lab amenities, a 55-inch Samsung Smart TV and a well-stocked mini-bar at retail prices.
ROOF TOP: SO MELBOURNE
A quintessentially Melbourne addition to the hotel, the rooftop terrace features oversized illuminated pots with established greenery, and large outdoor beds and lounges for guests to relax on as they take in vistas of city rooftops, skyscrapers and lots of sky, while curved benches wrap an open fireplace that will entice guests outside in Melbourne’s cooler months. Curated specifically for the rooftop is a striking kinetic sculpture by local award-winning artist Laura Woodward, consisting of a light focusing central vessel that uses water as a lens to cast light. With the strong geographical link to the Theatre District, guests will also take notice of a mural by Melbourne artist Tristan Kerr, which draws on influences found in old theatre print advertisements.
LITTLE BOURKE. LITTLE CHINA
As 2021 ushers in more relaxed restrictions and lower anxiety, we’re all hoping for the lifeblood of Melbourne hospitality and entertainment scene to once again pump through the dozens of bars, theatres, cafes and restaurants. When it does, Lancemore Crossley St. will be right there, right in the thick of the excitement and action. When venue stopped by, our room looked down to Collins St. and the legendary Pellegrinis Espresso Bar. Gingerboy is downstairs as is Bodega Underground. The options are endless, all on the doorstep of a hotel that’s as much embraced by Melbourne as it has embraced it with the troupe of designers and suppliers.