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LUXURY HOTELS: The Blackman, Melbourne, Australia
``I am a romantic painter, (but not sweet) - oh no. That's wrong. Dreams are what you're made of, and very often nightmares, too. A dream is quintessentially a reality when it is fulfilled.'' - Charles Blackman (quote found in The Blackman)

The latest in the Australia's innovative Art Series of hotels opens today (August 16). Built within the historic Airlie Mansion on St Kilda Road, a suitable trendy part of town the edgy boutique hotel (207 rooms and suits all up) is arty sister to The Cullen and The Olsen.

deluxe studio blackman
deluxe studio blackman
studio balcony
executive twin
penthouse blackman
blackman painting
blackman art

The hotel is homage to Charles Blackman (b.1928) who was awarded an OBE for his services to art in 1997 and prints and original artworks from this major post-war Australian artist adorn the walls. A champion of figurative art he is most famous for his fantastical images of women and girls, absorbedin daydreams, most especially his Alice in Wonderland paintings, copies of which in haunting shades of blue draw you further into the hotel, as if through the looking glass.

The Luxury Travel Bible especially likes the penthouse suites where vivid artworks and a library of art books help you get lost in Blackman's enchanting world. The rooftop balconies with spectacular views of the city skyline and spa baths are pretty enchanting too.
...rooftop balconies with spectacular views of the city skyline and spa baths are pretty enchanting too.

All the rooms from the Penthouse down have a wonderful mix of futuristic and fantastic furniture and all the techo-whizzery you could wish for; iPod docking stations, with music programmed specifically for The Blackman by Sony music, HD flat screen TVs (with special art channel) and decent Saeco coffee machines. The rooms also have kitchenettes so staging your own Mad Hatters tea party is no problem.

The Blackman has a gym and guests have access to Norbü at the nearby Art Series Olsen Hotel in Chapel Street, an urban oasis offering a whole range of health and beauty experiences. One of our The Luxury Travel Bible correspondents is just back from The Olsen and is much taken with the "airy and serene Norbü day spa".

Friends with other well-known Australian artists such as Arthur Boyd, John Perceval and Joy Hester, Blackman was born in Sydney and spent his childhood in Queensland but it is fitting that the hotel which bears his name should be in Melbourne since he lived in the city suburb of Hawthorn for many years. In early work he painted Melbourne's streets and the surrounding countryside after he stayed at Avonsleigh in the Dandenong Ranges during the early 1950s. He also co -founded the Melbourne Contemporary Art Society.

You could take a run out trip to the Dandenongs or The Great Ocean Road in one of The Blackman's environmentally friendly 'Art Series Smart Cars'. Or just hire one to drive to a nearby gallery (and staying at an Art Series hotel you naturally want to head to a gallery don't you?). The tiny smart car is perfect for weaving in and out of Melbourne's iconic laneways and squeezing into that impossibly snug parking space outsider a great Melbourne Cafe. Melburnians take their coffee seriously...and often, The Luxury Travel Bible especially likes Fitzroy Street in St Kilda for our caffeine hits. If you want to be even kinder to the environment the hotel also hires Classic Kronan bikes (the upright ones with old fashioned baskets on the front) so you can really explore the local area.

Until the end of August The Blackman is offering a special opening rate starting from $AUD169 so book now.

Check in:  The Blackman, 452 St Kilda Road , Melbourne, Victoria 3004. Australia. Tel: + 61 (0) 3 9039 1444, Fax: +61 (0)3 9039 1445
Luxury Hotels Link: www.artserieshotels.com.au
Amy Cooper 15/8/10
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