No one knows Melbourne like our concierge team and they are our go-to resource to discover the next big thing or hidden favourite. To celebrate the recent promotion of James Spielvogel to Assistant Chief Concierge (congratulations James!) we sat down with him to take a journey through his Melbourne.
What I love about Melbourne is the people. A great city starts with its people and Melbourne is full of friendly faces, always ready with a smile and to help you out. It’s a large city but doesn’t have that hustle and bustle; there are so many places to relax and green spaces.
The city is known for its art and culture, there is always the opportunity to go see the ballet, opera, live music and entertainment every night of the week. Plus, as a huge sports fan, Melbourne is my kind of city. I love that we get big international tournaments as well as edge-of-your-seat weekly footy or cricket. Getting around is easy with public transport and there is good coffee in every laneway, so what else do you need.
When people ask me my recommendations for a perfect 24 hours in Melbourne, I have a go-to itinerary. Start the day with an early morning visit to the Queen Victoria Markets and then have breakfast at Hardware Societe. Once you are full and ready to explore, take a stroll south toward the river and walk along Southbank, through Alexandra Garden into the Royal Botanic Gardens and enjoy a relaxing gondola ride. While you are here, also make sure to visit the Shrine of Remembrance. For lunch, I love +39 Pizzeria and then it’s time to discover the urban city landscape including the laneways, arcades and street art. Federation Square is also an iconic location and one of my favourite parts of it is the NGV Ian Potter Centre, spend time here in the afternoon or if you need an inside activity for inclement weather.
One of my favourite things about Melbourne is the varied nightlife, my ideal evening starts with pre-dinner drinks at Lui Bar drinking in that amazing view from level 55 of the Rialto building next door to the hotel. Then dinner at either French Brasserie or Movida Aqui depending on what you are in the mood for. For evening entertainment, enjoy some Melbourne jazz at Bird Basement or a seasonal musical experience at one of a number of our heritage theatres in Melbourne.
If you don’t have a whole day to explore, there’s a lot you can fit into a lunch break or a free evening. Take a walk through the iconic laneways, go shopping at Emporium Melbourne or see a game of footy or cricket at the hallowed MCG.
James Spielvogel has been with IHG since 2005 and with the hotel since 2008 and it is a huge pleasure to see him in the new role of Assistant Chief Concierge. Look out for James on your next visit and get some personalised recommendations. James is your go-to for sporting knowledge, as he is a huge AFL and Collingwood fan plus cricket connoisseur. As a Les Clefs d’Or Concierge member James sees it as a wonderful privilege to know and associate with a society of such consummate service professionals, both locally and throughout the world.
Plan your next Melbourne getaway by exploring our accommodation packages here.