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LUXURY HOTELS: Como Melbourne, AUSTRALIA 
Style: Bold, bright, modern
Scene: Stylish South Yarra
Seen in the lobby: Melbourne's glitterati are back
 
It is all change at the luxurious Como Melbourne in the city's South Yarra. Today (Thursday 30 August) the Como Melbourne becomes part of Accor's luxurious MGallery collection.

lobby
lobby
como
artwork
bar
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the como melbourne

But wait, there's more; the end of this month also sees the official unveiling of Como Melbourne funky new look. Serious money has been spent on a multi-million dollar refurbishment which breathes new life into what had become a tired, if much loved Melbourne landmark on the corner of Toorak Road and Chapel Street.
Not anymore. Thanks to a very stylish upgrade by Melbourne-based interior designers Elsie+Betty, Como Melbourne has got its groove back. When it first opened 22 years ago the luxury hotel was known for its cutting edge design - now its interiors have that 'wow' factor once again. Bold lighting, bright colours, (TLTB loves the fuchsia pink lobby), modernist furniture (from Space furniture) and wall murals all feature. While high tech, high-gloss kitchens in all of the guestrooms are practical as well as pretty. We're impressed. Elise + Betty have also fitted out Sebel Citigate in Melbourne's Albert Park, another Mirvac/Accor property. 
 
'The Como Melbourne has forever been a landmark hotel for many Australians, particularly Melbournians and for a large contingent of international guests," says The Como Melbourne's General Manager, Anne Marie Lennon. 'The renovation places The Como back in a winning position with discerning travellers and the enhancements guests will experience as a result of the hotel becoming part of the MGallery collection is going to be very exciting to see.'

TLTB especially likes the hotel's three signature penthouses... remodeled under the themes of 'Pearl', 'Gems' and 'Gold'.

The Luxury Travel Bible especially likes the hotel's three signature penthouses, which have  been remodeled under the themes of 'Pearl', 'Gems' and 'Gold'. We're going for Gold because the baby grand piano, which singer Robbie Williams famously played  as he entertained his entourage in the old suite, will reclaim its position in the new penthouse. Other songsters known to have metaphorically draped themselves over the baby grand (or at least sat on its piano stool) include Lily Allen, Kylie Minogue, Michael Bublé and Bruce Springsteen.
Best of all is the fact that The Como Hotel's signature duck motif is still going strong. Over the years TLTB staffers have collected their fair share of the rubber duckies that Como leave in every bathroom. Now the duck has a new lease of life appearing on everything from coffee cups to conference bags. Long live The Duck.

The MGallery already includes Melbourne's Grand Hotel as well as 50 other stylish hotels around the world; think Vie, Bangkok, The Convent, Amsterdam, and Hotel St Moritz to name a few of what MGallery calls its 'Memorable Hotels' . Following Accor's acquisition of the Mirvac hotel portfolio, at least five more luxury hotels will join the exclusive MGallery collection, including Melbourne's Hotel Lindrum which is to be rebranded before 2013. MGallery's website includes an endorsement by actress Kristen Scott Thomas who says they are 'unique hotels where every stay is filled with emotion and discovery'.  No doubt the Como Melbourne will please her too.

Lisa Temple 30/8/12
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