Romance your valentine, Melbourne style
Romantic Melbourne, with its wide tree-lined streets, stylish architecture and love of indulgence provides the perfect backdrop to celebrate Valentine’s Day.
The city is alive with galleries, theatres, exhibitions, concerts, international arts festivals and street entertainment with a range of ways to enjoy the romantic side of Melbourne. From cycling through the city on a vintage bike, gliding along the Yarra River in a gondola or dining at Vue de Monde on Level 55 of the Rialto tower in Collins Street, there is plenty to choose from.
There’s nothing more romantic than catching a movie under the stars at Rooftop Cinema in the heart of Melbourne’s city centre. With spectacular views of the city skyline, Rooftop Cinema is the perfect place for a first date. Showcasing an eclectic collection of art house, classics and recently released films, the rooftop is surrounded by the glowing lights of Melbourne and offers catering from Melbourne’s sought after food-cart connoisseur, Raph Rashid of Beatbox Kitchen fame.
Renowned as the foodie capital of Australia, there are plenty of romantic dining experiences to be had in Melbourne. There are dazzling up-scale restaurants and groovy casual cafes scattered throughout the city centre and surrounds. Delight in the delicate flavours of France at PM 24, the casual chic Vietnamese inspired cuisine at Golden Fields, sumptuous seafood at The Atlantic to Italian cuisine with a cheeky twist at Merchant.
For those who prefer spending time outdoors with that special someone, Melbourne’s Humble Vintage Bike Co offers a selection of unique classic and vintage racers, city bikes and lady’s bikes for short term rental – the perfect way to explore Melbourne on two vintage wheels. For just AUD$30 per day or AUD$80 per week, the service includes bike, helmet, lights, locks and a map with handy hints of what to see and do around the city.
For true romantics, a ride along Melbourne’s Yarra River on a gondola is the ultimate gesture. Venice on the Yarra offers a ritzy experience, replete with chilled champagne, velvet seats and plush cushions. Perhaps you prefer a ride in a horse and carriage beneath the spires, steeples, turrets and towers of Victorian-era Melbourne? Carriages wait along Swanston Street, near the corner of Bourke Street.
When you and your ‘plus one’ are ready to rest your weary heads, there’s no shortage of five-star luxury to create the mood, or stylish boutiques if you want something more intimate.
The Langham, Melbourne is luxurious riverside hotel offering elegance and sumptuous comfort. The Langham has a natural sense of sophistication and a great position on the Yarra River, close to the National Gallery of Victoria, Federation Square and Crown Casino. If that’s not enough to convince you, the Langham has also been voted top city hotel in Australia, New Zealand and South Pacific by readers of Travel + Leisure three years running.
The grand dame of Melbourne’s hotels, The Windsor is a traditional five-star hotel set among the twelve-foot-high ceilings of Victorian-era architecture. Afternoon tea at the Windsor is a legendary experience and a lovely way to treat your beloved to an afternoon of decadence.
The sophisticated, yet contemporary Park Hyatt offers oversized rooms with open fireplaces, terraces, a double spa, walk-in wardrobes and a TV in the bathroom while the Grand Hyatt is perfectly located at the luxury end of stylish Collins Street surrounded by some of the chicest shopping in town. All the rooms boast sweeping city or bay views, deco-inspired furniture and marble bathrooms.
Take in exhilarating views of Melbourne at the Sofitel Melbourne, where all rooms start at the 36th floor and have floor to ceiling windows. The striking Venetian façade and Gothic balconies date back to 1891 when it was a wool store and a number of original tools and structures remain including wrought iron balustrades, bluestone cobble paths and stained-glass windows. All the rooms have an oversized bath, perfect for sharing.
The Mornington Peninsula
Further afield there are plenty of romantic country retreats worth visiting with that special someone. A strong part of Melbourne’s appeal comes from its close proximity to a number of superb regional attractions. Visitors taking the time to venture a little further and explore Victoria’s diversity will be rewarded.
The Mornington Peninsula offers charming seaside towns and scenic golf courses. The area also boasts native wildlife, walking trails, fabulous golf courses many set in beautiful resorts, a myriad of surfing and swimming spots as well as wineries, spectacular beaches, spa resorts and wonderful dining. The Peninsula, an easy sixty-minute drive from Melbourne, is also a popular playground for visitors throughout the year.
Boasting one of the largest clusters of highly trained holistic therapists in Australia, Victoria’s spa country of Daylesford and Hepburn Springs is a centre of indulgence and romance where you can savour gourmet food, enjoy the calm of a hot natural mineral spa or relax under the hands of a massage therapist.
Just 90 minutes’ drive from Melbourne, the region is also home to the largest concentration of naturally occurring mineral springs in Australia and was regarded as an area of healing by local Aboriginal tribes.
Kuoni has plenty of great holidays to Melbourne.