Located in Melbourne’s Central Business District, Ovolo is as much a business hotel as anything — and yet, where the typical business hotel is drab and sterile and entirely unappealing for anything more than a quick passing-through, Ovolo’s apartment-style rooms invite as long a stay as you like. The mood is a homey one in the style of Australia’s creative capital, where it seems perfectly plausible that living like a local means having a sunny, open-plan apartment full of bold, brightly colored art. Some of the rooms are tiny while others are vast penthouses with amenities like a hot tub on the private rooftop patio, but all share a rare blend of whimsy and livability.
If you keep an eye out, you’ll notice quirky touches like a recurring shiny-silver-ball motif, repeated in the metal globules floating across the lobby like mercury loosed in outer space, in the futuristic metal tchotchkes in the fruit basket, and, if you’ve got the right penthouse suite, in the pinballs clanging around that in-room pinball machine. The point is they’ve put some effort into the design, though it’s sufficiently reined in that you’re more likely to let it all wash over than to dissect all their clever ideas. And fortunately, Ovolo is as thoughtful as it is clever: free minibars, Apple TVs, black-out curtains. In the better rooms, where full-size kitchens and room to entertain come standard, it’s easy to feel at home even if you’re away for work.
One of the trade-offs of a hotel that’s closer to an apartment than a resort is that you won’t be swimming in on-site amenities like spas and restaurants. If you want a feeling of complete escape to Vacationland, of pampering, this might not be the place; but if it’s enough to be taken care of, to have your laundry done and to walk out your door to a nearby restaurant like the rest of Melbourne’s hip polloi, you won’t be disappointed by Ovolo.
Text courtesy of Tablet Hotels