By Graeme Kemlo

Melbourne’s newest CBD hotel quietly opened its doors last week with one floor of accommodation in the Paris end of town in the new fashion/influencer precinct at 80 Collins Street, although the hotel’s entrance is at 105 Little Collins Street.

Apart from the limited accommodation during the soft opening, the hotel has a club level serving breakfast plus a street-side coffee shop, Ingresso.

Next is part of the Next Story hotel group that includes Sage, Ink, Chifley and Country Comfort hotels, plus a resort in Luanng Prabang, Laos.  In 2019, the group opened Kafnu Alexandria in an IT and industrial hub five minutes from Sydney airport, offering 16 guest rooms and a range of meeting and workspaces, announcing at the time that they had 40 operating and pipeline properties under development including properties in Sri Lanka and Vietnam.

By the end of March, all 255 rooms and suites are expected to be open at Next Melbourne, revealing the designer’s touch in creating an elegant understatement that seeks to tap into Melbourne style.  Rooms are said to offer a “sanctuary” for work and play.

In-room Next offers espresso coffee machines, Dyson hair dryers and Bose sound systems.  There are five accommodation types – a 27 sqm entry level Next room, a 30 sqm Next Level room, 42 sqm Club room plus Club one and two bedroom suites of 80 sqm.

However, it may be the food offering that gains attention from Melbourne city diners with the opening of La Madonna by a duo of highly regarded local chefs (one of Sicilian heritage the other Hong Kong) –  Daniel Natoli and Adrian Li have joined their culinary styles offering share plates at the bar or private dinners in a booth. The two chefs originally met at the famed Donovan’s in St Kilda.

Beverages are also served with style at The Barrel Room where wood aged spirits are available.

Next is offering complimentary club access for their Next and Next Level rooms when booked directly with the hotel, including hot or cold breakfast and all-day drinks and canapes.