Luxury side lock up Apr 2024
Luxury side lock up Apr 2024


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Hotel review: The Royce, Melbourne

On the border of Melbourne’s CBD and South Yarra sits the 94-key luxury hotel The Royce which reopened in February 2023 after a two-year full refurbishment.

On the border of Melbourne’s CBD and South Yarra sits the 94-key luxury hotel The Royce which reopened in February 2023 after a two-year full refurbishment.

The heritage-listed Art Deco building was designed in 1928 by renowned architect Harry Norris and the leading agent for prestige cars, Kellow Falkiner (reputedly the first person in Melbourne to own a car). 

The building was once one of Australia’s most prestigious automobile showrooms and the original home of Rolls Royce in Melbourne. 

From the hotel, which is a sister property to The Lyall, it’s just a short walk from the Royal Botanical Gardens, Albert Park and National Gallery of Victoria – or a 10-minute tram ride to the heart of the CBD. 

Check-in and beyond

The Royce exterior. Credit: Katrina Holden.

Check in takes place at reception. My taxi driver dropped me around the side street instead of using the designated front porte-cochère… something the hotel staff explains happens often. 

Staff are very friendly, well presented and my room is ready immediately. My key is cut and I’m personally escorted up to level four where I’m staying in one of the four Royce Suites. 

Lobby at The Royce. Credit: Katrina Holden.

I love the smell of the hotel’s signature ‘white fig’ fragrance that permeates the public spaces. Being a fan of vintage design, I immediately love the Art Deco design touches that tastefully play homage to the building’s origins as a former Rolls Royce showroom.

The rooms

Lounge in a Royce suite. Credit: Katrina Holden.

Talk about generous proportions! There’s plenty of room here in the Royce Suite, with its long corridor that leads to the bedroom, walk-in robe and lounge area. 

A large, white Italian Carrera marble bathroom is positioned off the hallway and has a separate freestanding Victoria + Albert bathtub, shower and double basin. As with the main public areas, there are design nods to the origins of the building being a former Rolls Royce showroom: with chrome tapware, black accents and opaque panelling details.  

Bathroom amenities are by London’s Molton Brown.  I take a soak in the large tub, sprinkling the water with cypress and sea fennel bath salts. In the morning, I appreciate the power of the Dyson hair dryer and the well-lit LED magnified shaving and make up mirror.

Bedroom of a Royce suite. Credit: Katrina Holden.

In the lounge and bedroom area, I walk on thick woollen plum-coloured textured carpets that features a design inspired by the nearby Royal Botanical Gardens. Above the couch hangs an enormous and striking artwork of botanics and a peacock. The bedhead is a textured maple grey fabric; my suitcase is placed on a large, leather ottoman. 

Details in room at The Royce Hotel_credit Katrina Holden
In the room. Credit: Katrina Holden.

The mini bar includes full size bottles of Champagne Taittinger and local Victorian goodies such as Caledonia Australia Chardonnay from Gippsland; Tar & Roses Pinot Noir from Mornington Peninsula; and Koko Black chocolates, cashews and nuts. I sip on a cup of Supreme Earl Grey by local Melbourne-founded tea company, Tea Drop. 

There’s plenty of technology features in the room including multiple charging ports, a large LED TV, bedside tables with full lighting and curtain controls and USB ports.

Food and drink

Showroom Bar from above. Credit: Katrina Holden.

Dinner feels like an old-world affair as I sashay into Showroom Bar, open seven days for a la carte lunch, dinner and cocktails. Guests include couples, groups of friends and family who are well-dressed – some in black tie, enjoying pre-dinner drinks. 

Showroom Bar.

It’s Deco glamour all the way here – with a  nine-metre-long bar counter topped with dark marble, leather upholstered bar stools, Deco-style chrome curved chairs topped with velvet, display cabinets of crystal glassware, and a sweeping marble staircase that curves upwards to The Royce’s Library and Ballroom available for private event and featuring a stage feature of panelled chrome inspired by the design of a classic Rolls Royce grill. 

Art Deco-style furniture at Showroom Bar. Credit: Katrina Holden.

In room dining is available 24/7. Wines and champagne by the glass in the room are available to order. 

I enjoy breakfast at The Terrace… some guests are enjoying The Royce Champagne Breakfast, with a glass of NV Champagne Taittinger Cuveé Prestige Brut.

The Terrace restaurant.

I try the goats curd and avocado, pickled beetroot, peas, mix seeds, sourdough and egg; plus homemade almond and vanilla granola with yoghurt.

The extras

Fireplace on ground level. Credit: Katrina Holden.

As the hotel’s Events Manager Laura Dauphin explains to me during my hotel tour, they aim to provide guests with a truly boutique stay. There’s no music, branding or welcome notes on the LED screens when you enter your room. I appreciate the newspaper-style storytelling and illustrations about the hotel in the wrap that surrounds the hotel’s compendium. 

The hotel includes six, two-storey loft-suites that feature original cornicing and were once home to the original Rolls Royce mechanic workshop.

Several terrace rooms on one side of the hotel overlook the picturesque grounds of Melbourne Grammar School.


The-Terrace-restaurant_Katrina-Holden_The Royce
The Terrace Restaurant. Credit: Katrina Holden.

Valet parking is available, as are Royce Lekker Bicycles which are free to hire and roam nearby attractions such as Royal Botanic Gardens, along the Yarra River, or Albert Lane Park.

Concierge is open 24 hours – press the Guest Services button on your room’s phone for service.


The hotel has a gym on level two, open 24/7. There is no pool or spa.

Views from a balcony room at The Royce.

The verdict

This luxury boutique hotel is a great fit for those who appreciate good design; like a touch of vintage glamour and storytelling artistry; and would prefer an urban neighbourhood vibe to being in the city centre. And, if you happen to love classic cars, it’s bound to get you all revved up!

The details

Address: 379 St Kilda Road, Melbourne, VIC 3004
Room type: One of the four Royce suites on Level 4
Check in: 2pm / Check-out: 11am
Starting room rate:   Entry level room (King Room) rates start at $305 (per room, per night). Rates for the Royce Suite start at $955 (per room, per night).

The writer stayed as a guest of the hotel

As revealed by the CEO of Visit Victoria at the 2024 Australian Tourism Exchange, Melbourne now has Australia’s largest hotel market with 26,121 rooms – which is 20.9 per cent higher than January 2020.