Westin Melbourne and the Press Club

Melbourne.  For me, the Seattle of Australia.  Laid back coffee culture, hipsters, and amazing cuisine.  Music and nightlife to boot make this a great city and one that needs time to be properly explored.

Introduction
Alaska Airlines First Class from Seattle (SEA) to Los Angeles (LAX)
Star Alliance Lounge Los Angeles
Virgin Australia Business Class from Los Angeles (LAX) to Brisbane (BNE)
Virgin Australia Lounge Brisbane
Virgin Australia First Class from Brisbane (BNE) to Cairns (CNS)
Cairns, Great Barrier Reef, and Surrounding Areas
Virgin Australia Lounge Cairns
Virgin Australia First Class from Cairns (CNS) to Melbourne (MEL)
Westin Melbourne and the Press Club
Garuda Indonesia Business Class from Melbourne (MEL) to Denpasar, Bali (DPS)
Sheraton Kuta, Bali (Wow, Wow, Wow!!)
Korean Air Business Class from Denpasar (DPS) to Seoul (ICN)
Korean Air Lounge, Seoul
Free! Cultural Experience in Seoul
Korean Air Business Class from Seoul (ICN) to Seattle (SEA)

Back in 2013 when Ben and I went to Melbourne for the first time, I burned some points at the Westin Melbourne.  I was a gold level elite at the time with Starwood, but managed to sweet talk my way into a free breakfast.  I insisted, at the time, that Crossover Rewards from Starwood and Delta guaranteed me two benefits, including breakfast.  It didn’t work before anywhere, but that didn’t mean I was going to stop trying ๐Ÿ™‚

I tried it at the Westin and the front desk agent happily obliged to give me the free breakfast.  We were in for a treat.  It was so amazing, in fact, that we went out of our way to come back to this hotel and stay here, this time as Platinum guests and no need to finagle our way into breakfast!

When we arrived to the hotel around 6pm it was getting dark, and we went straight for the checkin counter.  We had our reservations for dinner at the Press Club restaurant a few blocks away at 8:30 and wanted to make sure we had time to meet up with our friend.

One of the things I’ve been noticing consistently when I check in to Starwood hotels is the PRESENCE of a SPG dedicated checkin counter, but the lack of people manning it.  Many times it’s just one person attending to guests, and a line forming behind that one person.  I think I’ve decided that from now on, I’m going to walk straight up to the desk and stand there until someone comes out to assist.  I mean after all, yea it’s an entitled jerk move, but why else have the dedicated counter if you’re not going to man it?  But I digress…

Empty SPG checkin

Empty SPG checkin

When we were finally checked in, we were informed that as Platinum guests we had been upgraded to a corner suite with a fantastic view of the city.  I was excited for this, as most people are with upgrades, only because all of our other experiences with the hotel have been equally as amazing.  Oh, and of course, how could I forget, we chose the breakfast as our platinum amenity ๐Ÿ™‚

We got our room keys and headed to the 8th floor, and down the ridiculously long hallway to our corner suite.

Wow.  What a room.

Upon entering the room you headed down your hallway, with the bathroom door on the left and the room straight ahead.

Entry Hallway

Entry Hallway

The bathroom was immense with standing shower, tub, and gorgeous windows with views into downtown and the surrounding gorgeous buildings.

Bathroom soaking tub

Bathroom soaking tub

Vanity mirror with a view

Vanity mirror with a view

View from the bathroom

View from the bathroom

The bedroom was incredibly spacious with plenty of room to move around and store your items.  A full mirrored closet, desk, and dresser to store all your clothes.

Westin Heavenly Bed

Westin Heavenly Bed

Flatscreen and Dresser/Desk

Flatscreen and Dresser/Desk

Mirrored closet

Mirrored closet

Here’s the floor plan so you can get an idea of the layout.  The lobby was located clear to the right hand side of the map where the four elevators are located, but the breakfast area was right near our elevators ๐Ÿ™‚

Corner plan

 

Shortly after getting cleaned up and gussied up, we headed to The Press Club in Melbourne.  For the uninitiated, the Press Club is the flagship restaurant of George Calombaris from MasterChef Australia, one of our favorite shows.  The food is exquisite, well presented, and truly amazing.  We’ve wanted to experience this for a while now, and what the perfect opportunity to do so.

Press Club Menu

Press Club Menu

Between the three of us, we got to sample most things, below is some of the artwork food.

IMG_1796 IMG_1797 IMG_1798 IMG_1799 IMG_1800 IMG_1801 IMG_1802

I’m not even going to begin to try and describe all the food, because that would be an injustice.  Never had I had such small portions fill me up and taste so amazing.  Seriously, do yourself a favor and make a reservation for this stunning restaurant.

The next morning for us was truly the main event.  The Westin Melbourne has, to this point, been one of the best hotel breakfasts that we’ve encountered in our travels.  As a platinum member, the full buffet was on offer, at an amount of AU$40 each.  The restaurant opened at 6:30, and since we had a 9:00 flight to catch, you can bet we were there at 6:29 waiting for the doors to open.

Restaurant Hallway

Restaurant Hallway

Opening Hours

Opening Hours

Once the host came to open the doors, we were promptly greeted, thanked for being platinum members, and shown to our table.  Our coffee order was taken (double espressos) and directed towards the buffet.  The very large, and complete, and tasty buffet that we wanted to experience since our last visit in 2013 ๐Ÿ™‚

Bread Station

Bread Station

Fresh juices and smoothies

Fresh juices and smoothies

Cereal Station

Cereal Station

Fresh Cut Fruit - Kiwi and Watermelon YES PLEASE

Fresh Cut Fruit – Kiwi and Watermelon YES PLEASE

Fresh made Waffles and Pancakes

Fresh made Waffles and Pancakes

If you didn’t like the selection, they would make you a new batch while you waited.  This included the Eggs-to-Order station where you could get a poached, soft boiled, omelette, etc, made to order however you like.

Hot meats and cook to order station

Hot meats and cook to order station

I love the cold cut and cheese spreads found outside of the US.  They are amazing and the quality is top notch.

Cold cut and cheese station

Cold cut and cheese station

Fresh baked pastries

Fresh baked pastries

The FIRST trip :)

The FIRST trip ๐Ÿ™‚

And of course, as you can see, final bill $0.

Free, yes please!

Free, yes please!

The Westin Melbourne has it all; a perfect location, excellent service, killer views, and a fantastic platinum breakfast.  The price when we stayed was AU $289 or 6000 points + AU$110.  We opted for the latter, trying to stretch our dollar a little bit farther as Melbourne can be an expensive city, even with the strong US dollar.

Do yourself a favor, first off by traveling to Australia and making sure to include Melbourne, and secondly by making sure to stay at the Westin when you visit.  We’ll be going back for sure, but this time to spend more time with our friends (as he’s already guilted us for making this trip too short).

Stay tuned for more from the trip!

Author: Jon Nickel-D'Andrea

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