The trio of Crown Hotels in Melbourne – comprising of the luxurious Crown Towers, contemporary Crown Metropol, as well as the classic Crown Promenade property – altogether encompass two and a half blocks in the city's CBD.
Set beside the winding Yarra river; the hotels, restaurants, casino and bars offer everything that a business traveller could need when staying in the city for work. In addition, between the three properties there is every conceivable meeting space available; whether you need a room with a table for five or a ballroom for a plenary session for 5,000 – the team at Crown can cater to your business' every need.
What was your room like?
I stayed in the original building, Crown Towers, which opened officially in 1997 and despite being nearly 20 years old – the Premier King room I stayed in (thanks to a refurb in 2011) was spacious, contemporary and stylish with a touch of Vegas-like glamour which was a real treat. After entering and walking past the beautiful bathroom (more on that later) I found a fantastic little nook with room for two suitcases and hanging area for jackets and shirts – I really liked this feature because it meant that once in the proper room, my suitcase was out of sight and out of mind – no messy clothes strewn about the place! On level 26, I was afforded a wonderful view of the river and flame pillars (which I never get tired of) and Melbourne's CBD beyond. All in all it was really quite amazing.
What was the bathroom like?
The bathroom was very modern and clean with lots of mirrors... like – so many mirrors – I struggled to take pictures without me in the reflection (got there in the end!). Featuring a double basin, a large bath with a television and separate toilet – the bathroom was opulent and spacious. The amenities provided were amazing; there was the standard shampoo, conditioner, soap etc. But it seemed every draw I opened there was another kit; shaving kit, hair brush kit, beauty kit, toothbrush and toothpaste. This is perfect for the traveller like me who always manages to forget something!!
Was there a conference room and other facilities that made it suitable for a corporate getaway?
As mentioned earlier, the Crown hotels between the three properties, offer literally every type of meeting room required. We took a tour with the wonderful sales manager and an hour later (and a pretty decent cardio work out I might add) we completed a full circuit of the three hotels.
Crown Towers of course is home to the Palladium, which is the location of some of Australia's most well-known and prestigious award ceremonies including the Brownlow awards and the Logies. This giant room can be split into three and at its full capacity can host up to 1,600 persons. The other Crown buildings include an exhibition centre, business centre as well as a wide range of meeting rooms to satisfy all your MICE requirements.
A great feature about the Crown properties is that each hotel has its own separate group check in, lobby bar and buffet restaurant which makes group logistics simpler when managing a large number of delegates.
What other facilities were there?
Quite literally everything! Again each hotel has its own pool and gym for those who like to stay active while away. The pools are all indoors so you can even enjoy a swim on Melbourne's frosty winter days. There is a kids zone, tenpin bowling, a large retail area, as well as two food courts, a multi-level car park for easy accessibility and a wide variety of premium and casual dining spaces which can be booked out for corporate events. One such of these spaces is Club 23 which has a 1920's gentleman's club vibe and capacity for 500 making it the perfect conference after party or Christmas party venue.
Did you enjoy the food?
There are so many choices with more than 40 restaurants and cafes offering an incredible variety of cuisines and atmospheres. The room service menu is all operated via a tablet and delivered quickly to the room and once you're done you can arrange collection of your plates using the tablet also. With only two days at the hotel, I only had the opportunity to visit a couple of places however a stand out was Mr. Hive Kitchen and Bar in the Metropol building which offers a warm and rustic dining experience complete with a wide selection of cocktails and shared platters.
Any eating or entertainment nearby that corporate travellers might want to visit?
If you're hosting a large event or just looking for a place to have an early evening drink with colleagues, a definite must see is the 28 Skybar Lounge – which offers picturesque views of the city from the highest bar of its type in Melbourne. If you're looking to get away from the hotel for a bit there is an endless array of options within walking distance (but bring a coat June-September) or an easy tram ride using your Myki card.
Who would you recommend this property for?
Honestly this hotel has everything. I know sometimes people are put off because they don't want to stay at a Casino, but at Crown there's so much available you don't even have to set foot in the casino. Actually the way it has been designed – unlike Vegas – the Casino is quite separate so those travelling with small children needn't worry about losing them to the flashing lights.
Crown Towers is definitely a destination hotel for anyone; romantic holiday, family getaway, random group of friends fun weekend – its perfect for all of these. But the hotels really step to the fore for their meetings and events offering. With such a wide array of choice and a very experienced and efficient events team, it's the perfect choice for your next corporate do.
What's your overall rating out of 5 and any final comments
I have to give Crown Towers 5 stars. It's luxury meets the cool, creative edge of Melbourne. I would definitely stay again whether of my own accord or for business.
Images: FCM & Crown Hotels