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Wish You Were Here: The Blackman, St. Kilda

Wish You Were Here: The Blackman, St. Kilda

“Hotel art” has certainly upped its game – no longer must you start longingly at the abstract painting above your rented bed wondering why on earth someone decided to do yet another muted watercolour of a bunch of flowers. Art in hotel rooms has expanded so much in recent years that hotels are even becoming legitimate art galleries now. One hotel group that’s leading the charge Down Under is Art Series Hotels, whose downtown hub The Blackman in sunny St. Kilda works as both a hip hotel and a boutique gallery space exhibiting the works of famed Aussie artist Charles Blackman.

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Walking into the Blackman will have you filled to the brim with Australian art pride. Focussing solely on the works of Antipodean painter Charles Blackman, the hotel is covered wall to wall with some of the artist’s greatest artworks as well as an overall style that draws heavily from the bright colours and strong linear strokes in Blackman’s works.

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With stunning views over St. Kilda, The Blackman offers both luxury and culture. You’ll be just a stone’s throw from Melbourne’s CBD, and there’s over 200 different suites on offer to let your creative imagination run wild. Cosy on up on your private balcony with a good book, or wander down the halls of the hotel to peruse Blackman’s iconic collections, including pieces from his famed ‘Schoolgirl’ series.

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Located around Melbourne, Bendigo and Adelaide, each Art Series Hotel is inspired by and dedicated to a particular Australian contemporary artist. In Melbourne there’s the Cullen in Prahran (inspired by the late contemporary artist Adam Cullen), the Olsen in South Yarra (inspired by abstract artist John Olsen) and the Larwill Studio in Parkville (inspired by quirky painter David Larwill). The Schaller Studio in Bendigo is inspired by contemporary artist Mark Schaller, and the Watson in Adelaide, inspired by local aboriginal artist Tommy Watson.

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The hotel chain have recently introduced a new on-site amenity at their hotels, offering guests the option to ‘Overstay’ at their chosen destination, a forward thinking concept that’s forgoing the traditional hotel checkout time. Instead of being forced out of your hotel room at the regular check out time of 10 or 11am, Art Series hotel staff will let you know how late you can check out – 2pm? 4pm? The next day? It all works on a sort of first in, best dressed sort of system and it’s revolutionising the way hotel checkouts work. Smart thinking, indeed.

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Prices for the Blackman start at around $250 a night. Snooze and peruse your heart out.

(All images: The Blackman/Art Series Hotels)

Check out Qantas flights to Melbourne here. 

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