Chairman's Choice: Melbourne
Nestled on Port Phillip Bay along Australia's southeastern coast, Melbourne is the nation's second largest city. Capital of Victoria, it was established in 1835 on land John Batman purchased from aborigines (they believed they were granting only a right of way) and named for the British prime minister at that time. Unlike many of Australia's cities, Melbourne was settled by free men rather than by convicts and criminals. As a result, the city enjoyed an optimistic outlook from the beginning. Not long after Melbourne was founded, gold was discovered in Victoria's interior, and the city was flooded with prospectors and folks eager to accommodate their developing needs.
Melbourne features nonstop air service from North America with Qantas Airways offering both business and first class service. Qantas Airways features Skybed in business class on all Boeing 747-400 and Airbus 330-300 aircraft. The Qantas business class Skybed features extensive seat adjustment controls to ensure maximum comfort in any position regardless of height. Qantas Business Class passengers can also choose from the "Dine Later" menu on flights over 8 hours in length. The Qantas business class product also features a state-of-the-art entertainment system with touch screen controls. Qantas First Class offers most of the same amenities offered with Qantas Business Class but with more intimacy and comfort. Most cabins have twelve seats or fewer with a wider flat bed extending to 6ft 6 inches when fully reclined.
Once you're there……
Fantastic restaurants, unparalleled shopping, and a wealth of parks and gardens provide a distinctive character that's bolstered by such community events as the Melbourne Cup, the Australian Tennis Open, and Australian rule football. Plus, Melbourne's robust business climate attracts many of the country's most successful corporations and industries to its fold.
Crown Towers Hotel- Crown Towers sets the benchmark for luxury five star hotels in Melbourne, Australia. Located on the southern bank of the Yarra River in Melbourne, the extraordinary quality, standard of customer service and attention to detail have earned Crown Towers as a Premier Hotel Resort. Crown Towers offers 482 beautifully appointed guest rooms in Melbourne.
Grand Hyatt Melbourne Hotel- Located in the heart of bustling Melbourne, the Grand Hyatt Melbourne Hotel provides every type of comfort and convenience guests seek in a five star luxury hotel. The clientele of this Grand Hyatt Melbourne hotel are loyal and keep returning to the welcoming atmosphere of this property. Featuring 23 Grand Studios, 18 Executive Suites, four Deluxe Suites, three Diplomatic Suites, one Presidential Suite and the Hyatt Grand Club®, the Grand Hyatt Melbourne Hotel offers a total of 547 guest rooms.
Langham Hotel- The Langham Hotel Melbourne has undoubtedly the most enviable location on the banks of the famous Yarra River in Melbourne. Located in Southbank, this 5 star deluxe hotel is situated amid a variety of al fresco cafes, lively restaurants, bars and boutiques and only a short stroll to the National Gallery of Victoria, the Arts Centre, Federation Square and the Botanical Gardens as well as easily accessible to all major sporting venues in Melbourne. The classically elegant design is instantly evident from the grand marble staircase, cascading fountains and magnificent chandeliers.
Park Hyatt Melbourne- Distinctive in design and located close to the central business area, Fitzroy Gardens, Parliament House and Melbourne Museum. Guest rooms and suites of the Park Hyatt Melbourne are designed to be a haven of luxury and relaxation whilst fully functional for today's corporate traveler. 30 minutes to Melbourne International airport.
Melbourne Australia Must See Attractions
Australian Rules Football - During the Australia winter (which is the North American summer) the Telstra Dome at the Melbourne Cricket Ground is a weekend hotspot for Australian football. Both locals and visitors to Melbourne from around the globe catch "the wave" of excitement of the high energy games. While my first sporting passion is AC Milano followed by the storied New York Yankees, when on this end of the world Australia Rules football in Melbourne is not a bad alternate. The coliseum in Melbourne boasts a retractable roof and 97,000 seats.
Carlton Gardens/Royal Exhibition Building- These gardens in Melbourne, Australia are spectacular, featuring trees, plants, flowers, lakes and a stunning fountain. Originally built for the 1880 Melbourne International Exhibition the building has been inscribed on the World Heritage list.
Royal Botanical Gardens- In Melbourne, enjoy the beautiful surroundings of the Royal Botanical Gardens. Since 1846, these gardens have amazed visitors to Melbourne, Australia. Take the Aboriginal Heritage walk or one of the guided tours.
Melbourne Restaurant Suggestions
Grossi Florentino- After making the long flight from Europe or North America with Qantas Airways in either business or first class, Grossi Florentino is great way to unwind after your first night. Located on Bourke street in Melbourne, Grossi Florentino offers a casual downstairs bistro , the Cellar Bar, and an upstairs fine dining room. This Melbourne favorite offers Italian fare bursting with flavor, ranging from suckling lamb to roast breast of duck. You may also choose an 8 course tasting menu.
Arintji- Located on Federation square in Melbourne, this modern bistro offers an amazing view of the Yarra River and serves tapas in a hip yet relaxed environment. Arintji favorites for locals or visitors to Melbourne include tapas such as Catalan-style braised octopus and beef carpaccio with kimchi. This restaurant also features an extensive wine list that compliments the international air flavor. Both indoor and outdoor dining are available.
Donovans- Donovan's offers seaside dining in a casual, inviting environment in Melbourne that serves up terrific Italian and International eats. Originally a 1920's bathing house, this international structure showcases floor to ceiling windows, sandstone fireplaces, timber accents, and rich colors. Starters such as fresh squid with parsley stuffing and anchovy sage fritter lead up to delectable entrees that include the likes of pumpkin and parmesan ravioli and grilled swordfish.