March 9, 2023 | By Graeme Kemlo

A bright star has emerged at Docklands in the form of a Nesuto apartment hotel which has opened right next to the faded star that was the 120m tall Melbourne Observation Wheel, which shut down in September 2021.

The new hotel, which cost $100 million – the same figure is estimated as the cost of the observation wheel – offers 211 keys in a mix of studio, one and two bedroom apartments across 13 floors.

Of interest to some meeting planners may be the “Zip King” beds, which can be separated into two singles for extra accommodation.

It has a 24 hour reception, gym, housekeeping services and free WiFi.

While it is expected to be popular for longer stay conference attendees, there’s no indication of meeting space like those available at Nesuto’s Sydney and Perth properties. However, it is a 10-minute drive or 30-minute walk from Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC).

Seeking to meet the growing guest demand for sustainability Nesuto Docklands incorporates solar panels in the building, in-room temperature and lighting sensors while rainwater capture is used to flush toilets.

Said to be the Southern Hemisphere’s answer to the London Eye, the Melbourne Observation Wheel opened in 2008 and promised to breathe life into the Waterfront City precinct of Docklands, joining Costco, a discount shopping mall and an ice skating rink in luring visitors. It closed down in February 2009 after cracks were found in the structure, blamed initially on extreme summer heat, but later an engineer’s report blamed a design fault.