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We Checked Out Melbourne’s New Rooftop Caravan Hotel

We Checked Out Melbourne’s New Rooftop Caravan Hotel

Notel Melbourne – the city’s newest urban glamping experience – launched last night, and we went to see it for ourselves. Here are our first impressions.

Although the foot traffic passing below wouldn’t know it, six vintage airstreams have recently been planted on a rooftop above a car park in Melbourne’s CBD. Their purpose? To offer alternative accommodation in Melbourne’s CBD, a city that seems determined to out-quirk itself. Notel joins a long list of companies found in Melbourne’s canopy – trains and canvas tents are already rooftop faves – but it still manages to standout in a city known for its ability to surprise.

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Naturally, Notel is tucked away in a laneway – and a big one at that. Its location on Flinders Lane means that guests are a hop, skip and a jump away from the likes of Federation Square, Flinders Street Station and Chin Chin.

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Walking towards the nondescript Fast Park garage above which Notel sits, I’m struck by how easy it would be to overlook a place like this. Unless you’ve got your eyes glued to the sky, you’d be forgiven for remaining ignorant to the enormous mural that serves as a background to the caravan park.

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The “Airstream with benefits” has it’s own open-air spa with views of Eureka Tower. But, like, NBD.

Up on the roof, red astroturf covers the concrete floor and lays a path to the circle of five shiny silver Airstreams. While it’s great right now in winter, it’s clear that Notel will thrive in the warmer months. Each Airstream comes with its own little deck and patio furniture, which reads like an invitation to watch the sunset with a drink in hand.

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The Airstreams themselves are refurbished to perfection. Each includes a cosy double bed, premium linen, throws and robes, a minibar for late-night nibbles, an iPad for entertainment and a futuristic looking bathroom with a toilet and full-height shower. An individual split-system will keep you warm and there’s complimentary craft beer from Shiki if you’re in the mood for a tipple. The rooms are pink with touches of red (which matches the outdoor artwork by local lad Ash Keating) and there’s blinds to block out the morning sun (or the people in the surrounding office buildings having a peek).

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Mmm. Comfy.

Unlike a regular hotel, there’s no check-in desk or a concierge to help you lug your bags up the stairs – but that’s OK. In a real age-of-technology move, guests instead download the Notel app to receive directions and an “air key” to access their accommodation. The in-room iPads function as a virtual concierge and guide to the city, with tips on restaurants, attractions and activities in the area.

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How very 2016.

Notel provides an unusual accommodation option that’s just like Melbourne – off-beat, a little showy, but decidedly cool.

Prices for Notel start at $395 a night. For bookings and more information head here.

(All images: Notel Melbourne)

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