Stab Magazine | Stay Here in Melbourne: The Olsen

Stay Here in Melbourne: The Olsen

Setting the right tone for your trip.

style // May 9, 2017
Words by stab
Reading Time: 3 minutes

A surf-based sojourn to Victoria is never a bad idea. Winkipop, right next to the more popular Bells Beach, is a gem of a surf location, and there’s plenty of other flavours around like Thirteenth Beach. Winter in particular is when you’ll encounter the kind of conditions that best suit that part of the world (just don’t forget generous neoprene).

But perhaps, if you’re coming via aircraft, and you’re an intelligent person, you’ll stay a short stretch in Melbourne on your way through. This is a place that has been, at different times, voted world’s friendliest city and world’s most liveable city. In fact, if it were a little closer to surfable waves of a certain quality… well, that’s just a dream. Lack of surf aside (which may not be the case forever), Melbourne is a must-visit when you’re in any kind of close proximity. And if it’s an overnight trip, then Stab highly recommends you stay at The Olsen.

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The Olsen, named after artist John Olsen, is an exercise in affordable luxury, one of those places where you feel A-list without having to flex the Amex too severely. Part of the Art Series Hotel Group, where cultured comfort is the name of the game, try to arrive early evening for check-in, where you’ll be handed a gratis glass of bubbles. Feels of new age grandiose will be a constant motif. Much like everything on the ground floor restaurant’s menu, everything from the lobby up is in excellent taste.

There’s no such thing as a bad room in this hotel, more just different grades from good to exquisite, depending on your budget. Drop a little extra on something with a view of Chapel Street and its promising lights, if you can. The rooms are about the details, like a table surrounded by Philippe Starck’s Louis Ghost Chairs, or a bed of the softest feather, or the highly engaging books and artwork in the rooms. Plus, the mini-bar is considered (the vino in particular was certainly a drop above hotel standard).


Located on Chapel Street in South Yarra, The Olsen acts as a gateway at the start of one of the city’s most interesting streets, jammed with some incredible eats and bars. If you want a killer American cheeseburger and Australian craft beer, head to Huxtaburger on High Street. Or, if you’re after something a little more exotic, Hanoi Hannah deals out fabulous Vietnamese food. Stroll around the corner to Polish bar Borsch, Vodka and Tears for, uh, some borsch and vodka (sans tears). If you want to look a little further, The Olsen’s currently offering Smart Cars with certain suites, which is about as good a way to get around a city as any.

Anyhow, do a couple of nights over the weekend. Then, keep heading south for waves. You want to set a good tone early, right?

Get at The Olsen’s portal, here.

And this is the end game: Bells Beach, at its finest, featuring Jordy Smith and some highly pleasant light play. Photo: Trevor Moran


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