Michael and I don’t go away very much. In fact I am having trouble remembering when we last had a break. I think it was 18 months ago when I was asked to speak at an MLA workshop and we took a few days and went up the Sunshine Coast. In fact I don’t think we have been anywhere in the last 5 years that didn’t involve me speaking at a conference. Sad but true but then we do live in paradise so I am not complaining too much.
When we do go away we like to pretend we are the Packers on the first and last day. So we booked into the Crown Towers Melbourne on the way to the conference and finished the week at the Blackman Hotel (part of the Art Series of Hotels) in St Kilda Rd and what a contrast of extremes that proved to be.
Maybe it is the fact that the Packers own the Crown Towers and really know how to give you the Packer Experience. It was magnificent, from the man opening the front door, to service at the front desk, to the room service to the choice of all those magnificent restaurants along the Yarra to the shops.
The shopping experience at the Crown Towers.( FYI I left my credit card in the room)
The Blackman on the other hand couldn’t be a more ordinary experience. The cost of the room was 50% more, no-one opened the door, the person at the front desk is the concierge, the “Guest Experience” person ( still to figure out what that is) and from what I could see doubles as a waiter in the restaurant conveniently located next to the check in desk.
Let me show you a few classic so you can the gist
When I saw this machine in the cupboard of our room at the Blackman I go you beauty I can make an espresso. Now to do this you have to put the machine on the washing machine ( yes that was the only power point where you could actually reach the espresso machine) but there were no instructions, no cups small enough to fit under the spout let alone a jug to froth the milk. Oh well nice idea just impossible to execute
Then there was the bathroom!!!! it was so small I couldn’t get an angle to get a picture to show you what it was like, unlike the Crown Towers where you could even watch TV in the bath
Luxury Packer Style. The bathroom at the Crown Towers
I am beginning to think you can tell the quality of a hotel by the flowers. Yes you guessed it there was plenty of art at the Blackman matched only by vases and vases of plastic flowers.
The Blackman Hotel where all the plastic flowers go to party
The Crown Towers on the other hand looked like Floriade had come to party. Divine
It goes without saying we wont be visiting the Blackman again but I will be praying for another conference gig in Melbourne where we can have our first and last night in bliss at the Crown Towers.
Note to self when you book the hotel don’t just ask for them to put REAL milk in the fridge, ask whether the flowers are real or lifetime polluters
We like to eat like the Packers every now and then so my next post will share with you the culinary delights of Melbourne