April 22, 2022 | By Joyce DiMascio

As Melbourne’s glorious beating heart comes back to life it is revealing more and more of its newer hidden treasures.

Among them is Hilton Melbourne Little Queen Street, a magnificent heritage revitalisation of the former Equity Trustees Company located on the corner of Little Queen and Bourke Streets.

It’s a microcosm of Melbourne, capturing laneway art, heritage architecture and sassy hospitality.

During the Asia Pacific Incentives and Meetings Event (AIME), Melbourne Convention Bureau (MCB) hosted one of its stakeholder dinners at the hotel’s grand restaurant, Luci.

MCB says it is a real fusion – a place with a strong heritage brought back to life with a seamless blurring of the past and its new contemporary cool identity.

Luci is located in the main chamber of the 1930s building designed by architects Oakley & Parkes.

Hilton Melbourne says Luci forms the heart of the hotel.

“The restaurant takes full advantage of the large volume space, complete with a double height coffered ceiling, ornate plaster work and distinguished columns.

“Inspired by the history of the building, the design aims to impart the glamour and luxury of the past with a contemporary interpretation.”

For incentive and corporate meetings planners looking for a customised “wow” experience, Luci delivers an impressive degustation dinner accompanied by matching wines.

MCB CEO Julia Swanson says Melbourne rewards exploration with hidden gems.

“The Hilton Melbourne Little Queen Street is that and more. It’s a must see, stay, eat and play for your next group itinerary,” she said.

“Groups will thoroughly enjoy the hotel’s history tour which will reveal the colourful past and significance of the site.”

Apart from its iconic grand hall, Luci and the hotel’s Douglas Club lounge bar, Swanson says the large open-air rooftop balcony on level five which offers city skyline views would also appeal to groups.

Executive Chef Sam Moore has excellent pedigree too – Pier in Rose Bay, Sydney, and No.35 at Sofitel Melbourne on Collins. His menu is contemporary Australian with European accents.

He says the focus is a cross between modern and classic.

“We highlight quality ingredients prepared with an elegant simplicity at the fore. From ocean fresh seafood or vegetables just out of the soil, I am proud to deliver this menu to our diners,” Moore said.

The property has a further hint of 30s glamour in The Douglas Club, its sassy cocktail den where the cocktails include ingredients like fig and rosemary syrup, cinnamon, nutmeg and bitters smoked with maple wood.

Nothing about Hilton Melbourne Little Queen Street is accidental. It’s obsessively beautiful and detailed and filled with contrasts that start at its entrance where the laneway features a grand-scale mural by local artist Kitt Bennett and award-winning Melbourne street art collaborator Juddy Roller.

For planners looking for a boutique meetings experience, Hilton Melbourne Little Queen Street has arrived. For incentive organisers, Luci can deliver something bespoke that really ignites the senses in a “very Melbourne” way.

The property has 244 guest rooms, including 10 suites, a gym, an executive lounge and five event spaces.

Swanson said Melbourne had many hidden gems like this latest Hilton experience in the city centre.

“MCB excels in crafting bespoke itineraries designed to suit every group and if you want to take your corporate incentive activities to the next level, let us be your eyes and ears on the ground help you get started.”

Hilton Little Queen St’s lounge bar, The Douglas Club | Image credit: Sean Fennessy