The Motley Hotel in Melbourne’s Richmond has opened its doors, and we have two words: Five star and fashionable. Opened on February 13, the boutique hotel pays homage in its décor to the building’s former occupant: a local seamstress and costumier named Ms Mary Parker.
“The opening of The Motley marked a significant milestone for the revitalisation of Bridge Road that’s seeing tremendous change,” said the hotel’s General Manager, Jeremy Nordkamp.
Nordkamp said that aside from a one-size-fits-all approach, The Motley aspires to continue the traditions of its original seamstress tenant and to extend to its guests a truly tailored and memorable experience that embodies the best of Richmond.
Interior design studio CHADA was tasked with the job of weaving Richmond’s sights, sounds and tastes into the hotel, blending it with the site’s heritage. The resulting hotel has eight levels and 80 rooms, including the Motley King, Deluxe, Courtyard King, City View King and Motley Suite— a one-bedroom suite with a living space and separate bedroom with sweeping views across South Yarra and to the east.
One of the major draws of the Motley Hotel is the recently unveiled Heritage Rooms. Be warned, they can be a sensory overload, but each heritage room is like stepping into the madam seamstress’s studio, each with its own character.
The most popular, and our personal favourite, is the Tiger Room. Step into your personal jungle-inspired escape with a dreamy star-lit ceiling and bold tiger-striped everything. The Camilla bedsheets have pictures of tigers, while the bathroom has a wall-size tiger face made of tiles. It’s definitely something you need to see.
In Mary’s Room, the hotel’s namesake, expect a Dr Seuss-like world of monochrome threads woven into the bold art features, bathrobes, and even the light fixtures. The Textured Room, the final Heritage Room, also channels Mary’s eye for fashion by cloaking the room in diverse textures. Expect florals on the bed, large brush strokes with dot art, and so much more. If you thought the Tiger Room was a sensory overload, wait until you see this fashion-inspired room.
“It was important for us to create a textural experience that guests will notice from the moment they arrive,” says Nordkamp.
“Motley, by definition, is a clothing textile made up of a variety of colours, an incongruous mix of people or interaction of interesting groups. So, we embrace being inclusive and are not afraid to show our local, colourful character for a taste of all that is great in this part of Melbourne.”
Named after the former costumier that once occupied this location, Ms Parker is an enchanting dining destination that draws inspiration from the opulent fabrics and exquisite needlework that once graced the building.
Grab a seat in a booth and settle in for a night of good food and even better wine. The menu spans the globe, with Angus beef steak sitting on top of a pile of creamy, buttery Paris mash, or it can be as delicate as barramundi with burnt leeks and smoked mussels sauce.
Don’t skip the duck liver parfait, which is best mopped up with some charred sourdough. The Kingfish ceviche is also a hit, with little pearls of native blood lime that add a hint of citrus.
As for the wine, get a little adventurous and pick a random bottle from the wine fridge or ask the staff for help in picking the ideal tipple for your dinner menu.
Post-dinner, slink upstairs to Threads Bar, a vibrant hidden speakeasy bar serving everything from handpicked wine to local beer and crafty cocktails. Echoing the hotel’s theme of fashion and textiles, the bar is just as intriguing and tantalising as the rest of the hotel.
The Motel Hotel is near Bridge Road and Chapel Street shops, a 15-minute walk from the MCG, a 7-minute drive from AAMI Park and a 12-minute drive from the NGV and the Royal Botanic Gardens. Conveniently, it’s next to a tram spot, so you’ll easily be able to get where ever you want to go — though, changes are, once you walk in, you may not even want to leave.