Grand Old Lady Gets a Makeover

Accor Vacation Club celebrated the 90th birthday of the Grand Mercure Melbourne, Flinders Lane building by recently completing a multi-million dollar makeover of the hotel.

The project is the most ambitious in the history of owners, Accor Vacation Club, who have spent $4.3 million to bring the property back to its glamorous glory, so well known by stars of stage and screen over the past two decades.

The building was built in 1921 on the former Dr Jaeger’s Sanitary Woollen System Co Ltd site, the company later evolving in to the internationally renowned Jaeger fashion House. The building was first tenanted in 1923 and housed various textile and fashion retailers including Wallace Buck & Goodes P/L, the founder of Henry Bucks & Co P/L.

The design philosophy of Penny Del Castillo’s from In Design International drew inspiration from those early “fashion house” days with a view of creating an expression of sophisticated elegance, through an individual design concept that would remain unique to Grand Mercure Melbourne, Flinders Lane.

The result has turned this “all suite” apartment hotel into a market leading boutique product that presents a contemporary range of sophisticated suites that infuse modern design philosophies with the architectural and historical heritage of the building.

AN31-4-DN-M-Flinders Lane 2Craig Wood CEO of Accor Vacation Club commented “The fashion designers who occupied the building in days gone by would have appreciated the creative elements and chic flair used in the overall design and we would like to believe they would be proud knowing that their influences live on today! That said when they occupied the building in 1923 they could lease an entire floor of the building for only £1900 per annum, fortunately for us times and room rates have changed”.

The design elements of the rooms and public areas continues the theme, the intricate detail of the carpet is custom made in Germany specifically for this hotel and ties into the German heritage of Dr Jaeger who originated form Stuttgart. Historical Melbourne scenes are displayed in the black and white artwork that adorns the corridors, evolving into a celebration of Melbourne’s modern icons throughout the suites.

The building’s heritage has been captured through the retention of the original detailed cornice, architraves and skirtings, however blended with contemporary designer furniture and fittings in conjunction with modern state of the art appliances. The sophisticated colour palette is the key design element, from charcoal European bathroom tiles, contrasted by the white, chrome and glass designer fixtures to the use of dark veneers, stainless steel, leather and stone throughout the design.

Suite sizes vary and all are generously appointed, including a designer urban kitchenette, a dining area with stone top dining table, a leather chaise lounge with sofa bed, a work desk with cow hide chair, large screen LCD TVs in both the lounge and bedroom, media hub connectivity, iPod docking station and a luxurious bedroom with oversized fully upholstered bed head. All courtyard view rooms have faux European styled balconies that overlook the Parisian styled, private green oasis.

While the days of fashion are well in the past at 321 Flinders Lane, those looking for a modern Melbourne fashion experience will not be disappointed, with the Grand Mercure Melbourne, Flinders Lane’s location perfectly set amongst the blocks of department stores, boutiques, outlet shopping and rag-traders, five star restaurants and bars and cafes.

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