AC Hotels by Marriott Opens Melbourne Outpost

A rooftop infinity pool and Spanish-inspired dining venues await at a 40-story tower in the Southbank neighborhood.

Inside the AC Lounge at AC Melbourne Southbank. (All photos courtesy of AC Hotels by Marriott)

Millennial-minded AC Hotels by Marriott has made its brand debut in Australia with a high-rise property located just across the river from Melbourne’s CBD. Occupying part of a mixed-use building on the doorstep of the South Wharf development (and the Melbourne Convention Center), AC Melbourne Southbank is well-suited to remote workers and “bleisure” travelers seeking out fuss-free stays.

The hotel was designed by locally based studio DKO Architecture in tandem with developer Capital Alliance. Guests can expect a sleek, functional design using muted tones and open layouts in the rooms and social spaces. The main entrance is marked by a sculptural canopy, while the tower’s geometric glass facade comes alive after sundown with special LED lighting.

Upstairs, the 205 clutter-free guest rooms and suites afford sweeping views of the city skyline and the Yarra River. Beds with Sealy mattresses guarantee a good night’s sleep, while the calming decor incorporates natural stone tiling, textured timber, metal details, layers of drapery, and brass accents. The mood reflects the industrial warehouse scenes of South Melbourne and hints at the Spanish roots of the AC brand, which was founded in Madrid back in 1998.

A Deluxe King room at AC Melbourne Southbank.

Pared-back sophistication at Bar Triana.

The social hub of AC Melbourne Southbank is AC Lounge, a co-working space by day that morphs into a tapas bar after dark. Breakfast and dinner are served at seventh-floor venue Sorolla, whose chefs plate up dishes from a globe-trotting menu in the open kitchen; Bar Triana tempts patrons with its views, craft cocktails, and a long freestanding bar where guests can mingle; and poolside Bar de Buceo offers drinks and light bites in an alfresco setting. The brand’s signature AC Gin & Tonic experience is available throughout all dining and bar venues at the hotel: the specialty cocktail is served in a custom-made glass by American artist Adam Walmon, created specifically to heighten the taste, aroma, and palate experience for the drinker.

Other leisure facilities at the hotel include an outdoor infinity-edge swimming pool spanning the width of the building and a 24-hour gym. The hotel houses 576 square meters of flexible event space, with floor-to-ceiling windows in all meeting rooms, and an outdoor terrace beside the infinity pool that can serve as a pre-function space for up to 200 guests in cocktail format.

AC Melbourne Southbank is Marriott International’s ninth hotel in the Victorian capital and its third new hotel to debut there over the last 12 months. Melbourne Marriott Hotel Docklands — also designed by DKO Architecture — welcomed its first guests last November, while W Melbourne opened in February 2021.

Doubles from US$145; marriott.com

The exterior of AC Melbourne Southbank.

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