The first grand slam tennis event of the year, the Australian Open is a must-attend event for any tennis fan. In 2016, the Australian Open will celebrate inspirational women in the sport, along with those in the arts, media, human rights and medical fields. The sporting event will also feature performances by British India, Diesel and James Reyne, Dan Sultan, Vanguard, The Rubens, and the Pierce Brothers. If the tournaments don’t fill your schedule, take the time to check out nearby attractions. As one of the largest and wealthiest cities in the world, Melbourne is also one of the most livable and friendliest. Clear your calendar between the 18th and 31st of January, fuel up your private jet and enjoy the best that Melburnians offer. Keep in mind that Melbourne is in the middle of the summer season in January, so pack the sunscreen and your summer wardrobe.
The Hotel Windsor
Overlooking Parliament House, the Hotel Windsor drips with Victoria character. The iconic accommodation is the last remaining grand heritage hotel on the continent. Book the opulent Royal Suite with view of the Treasury Gardens and Spring Street. Equally magnificent are the Victorian Suites with views of Parliament House. Make it a point to experience the Traditional Afternoon Tea service.
Park Hyatt Melbourne
Opposite St. Patrick’s Cathedral, next to Fitzroy Gardens, the Park Hyatt Melbourne is a popular choice among celebrities and the traveling elite. The hotel’s babysitting services make it a top choice for those traveling with family. For the best experience, book the Presidential, Ambassador, Diplomat or Terrace Suite.
Located within the Adelphi Hotel (another good accommodation choice), Ezard features chef Teage Ezard’s “Australian freestyle” cuisine, which blends Eastern and Western flavors in an ever-evolving eight-course tasting dinner menu, a pre-theater dinner menu, and an “express” three-course lunch menu. The dessert menu gives you a taste of refined indulgence.
A pinnacle of Melbourne hospitality, Florentino is a 2016 World Luxury Restaurant Award nominee. Ask for a table in the Upstairs mural room, which features renaissance-style murals painted by Napier Waller in 1933 that amplify the dining experience. Sample traditional Italian cuisine or order the Grand Tour, a five-course tasting menu.
Shop the Vic
With nearly a dozen major markets, Melbourne offers a variety of quality shopping experiences. Visit the Queen Victoria Market, or “the Vic,” to check out the selection of fresh produce, boutique street shops, cafes and artisan workshops. If the sun is too hot during the day, check out the Summer Night Market to sample the best street food in the city and, on Wednesday nights, enjoy live performances.
Located in one of Melbourne’s wealthiest neighborhoods, Brighton Beach is the home of the iconic, bright Dendy Street Beach bathing houses that date back to 1862. Rent a bicycle and ride along Beach Road or follow the coastline along the Bay Trial. Then stop in at the Royal Brighton Yacht Club for lunch or a cup of coffee.
Art and Culture
A civic landmark for Melburnians, Federation Square is a modern piazza that encompasses a city block. Within the square, you’ll find the National Gallery of Victoria’s second branch and over 2,000 events each year, including major art festivals. With residents making up the majority of the square’s visitors, this is definitely where Melburninas go to hang out. During the Australian Open, Fed Square will feature its weekly book market, Rigg Design Prize winners, an evening with activist Maajid Nawaz, live music, and a variety of exhibits by local artists, giving you the prime opportunity to add to your art collection.