SWEET RENDERINGS

Written by support. Posted in FEATURES

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Published on March 22, 2015 with No Comments

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Melbourne’s first dessert hotel, Adelphi, does not disappoint.

Words EMMA RAMSAY
Images ADELPHI

How does one step up to the moniker of “world’s first dessert hotel”? In the case of Adelphi, it starts at the lobby. Jars of lollies and bowls of colourful candies greet guests at reception. As do colourful giant cushions patterned like cakes and licorice-style stools in the tiny waiting area – little teasers for what guests can expect for the rest of their stay with the hotel.

But, wait. There’s more. The surprise element continues in the room, where everything in the minibar is complimentary and, a huge glass jar filled with more sugary temptations (think nougat, candy bar and fairy-floss) is there to enjoy. The staff don’t seem to worry about hyperactive guests on a sugar high. For downstairs, their Om Nom dessert restaurant and bar is ready to entertain you with – you guessed it – more desserts.

Adelphi’s sweet renderings are as much its signature as it is upholding a tradition of once being one of Melbourne’s hippest hotels. The original Adelphi began in 1938 in Flinders Lane, an area that was once at the heart of Melbourne’s thriving garment trade. Originally home to a soft goods and garments business, the warehouse was a simple yet elegantly styled building featuring a glazed terracotta tile base and metal windows.

Playing up on these ‘natural assets’, architects Denton Corker Marshall bought the warehouse in 1989 and converted it to a small boutique hotel with 34 rooms. The refurbishment, completed in 1993, was reflective of the building’s heritage, carefully layering the contrast of new additions with the existing fabric, marrying old and new.

The hotel attracted celebrity guests and became known as one of the world’s hippest establishments. Sadly over the years, it became neglected and went into forced liquidation in 2013. That same year, Adelphi was snapped up by new owners who then went on to re-invent the hotel and give it a complete makeover.

The new look Adelphi opened this year and immediately filled the niche for a boutique hotel in Melbourne. While cake-designed carpets and scattered sweet treats across the hotel could be seen as a gimmick, Adelphi was committed to ensure guests are treated to a unique Adelphi experience.

Pairing the hotel’s design genius concept is Adelphi’s tagline: “Engage your senses”. It encapsulates everything the hotel has to offer, from the textures to the visuals, the sounds, the smells and tastes, dessert-inspired art and sweet fragrances. Especially at the aforementioned Om Nom, the pulse of Adelphi and all it embodies.

Beginning with the bar, the staff use their skills and imagination to inject scents and spices into their signature mocktails. From cinnamon to rosemary, chilli and wood chips, drinks are concocted not only to taste good but also to envelop your senses with layers of flavours and scents. A lime-lemongrass mocktail was jazzed up in a glass scented with flamed rosemary. Another, an eggy concoction inspired by the Christmas eggnog, is surprisingly light and refreshing, sweetened with dark chocolate bits and edible flowers.

Om Nom has garnered an impressive following among Melbournians. Its dessert menu takes centrestage, with fans arguing the avocado mousse and peanut butter gateau to be the best in the city. The look and feel of Om Nom mirrors the luxe feel of the hotel, with a rich tapestry of textures, patterns and colours used throughout.

The iconic glass-bottomed lap pool and deck area on the rooftop is another fan favourite. It provides a unique space for guests to relax and watch Melbourne’s engaging skyline.

Staff are affable and friendly, always in the mood to strike up a chat with guests yet balance discretion with ease. They are the stars of this character-filled hotel. But don’t let them distract you from the real reason why a visit to Adelphi is a must. Rooms have a New York funk to it, styled more like a pad than a traditional hotel abode. Sofas are surprisingly comfortable and the carpet toe-sinking soft. As part of its no-fuss ‘all-inclusive’ pricing, complimentary in-room snacks and refreshments, welcome drink at the bar, Wi-Fi and local phone calls are included in all room rates.

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