A few years ago Mr SY called me from a hotel in Melbourne where his employers had put him up for the night.
To tell me how GREAT it was and how much I would love to stay there.
So instead of cooking dinner or something equally mundane, I took to Google to take a look for myself.
Mmmm. Thanks for that, Mr SY.
Yes, I would very much love to stay there. Maybe you could organise a getaway very soon?
That hotel was the Crown Metropol Melbourne.
And years later I finally got to fall in love for myself this past weekend.
No, Mr SY did not organise it for me. I took those matters into my own hands when word was sent round that a Parkinson family reunion would be on the cards in Melbourne for March 21.
Now, my Dad’s family is not a small one. The branches of this tree extend wide and far. A bit like the old poinciana tree that used to dominate my Gran – Dad’s mum’s – front yard.
Dad was the youngest of seven kids. Those seven kids had 23 grandchildren between them (me being one of them) and most of those grandchildren now have children, some even have grandchildren.
With these kind of numbers, we don’t ALL get together for Christmas or any other occasion but two years ago someone declared that it had been way too long since there was a gathering of as many in the clan as possible.
That gathering was in Noosa on the Sunshine Coast and everyone had such a good time it was declared there had to be an annual get-together. Last year it was in Brisbane; this year it was in Melbourne.
Most of the family lives in Queensland but the Melbourne contingent was keen for us to travel south. Something that we all jumped at.
Tick, tick, tickety tick.
Anyhoo, I took the Melbourne reunion destination as a sign that I was finally going to get to stay at the Crown Metropol.
My “need” to stay in this hotel became even greater after the hotel and the infinity pool featured in the TV show, Offspring (and yes, I’m still in denial that it won’t be back … a girl’s got to dream).
It was such a poignant and downright sad episode … even the ghost of Patrick’s was there to comfort Nina but I was still blown away by the beauty of the pool in the sky – something that didn’t disappoint when I did finally get to see – and swim in it – in person.
We’d landed in Melbourne very late the night before but – like clockwork and despite the block-out curtains – we were all awake with the sun.
Mr SY was keen to hit the gym so Master SY and I headed up to the 27th floor for a sunrise swim. I use the term swim quite loosely as I didn’t actually want to get my hair wet on account of the fresh blow dry and the family reunion lunch later that day. Master SY got wet enough for the both of us.
Only one other family with children was there when we arrived but over the next hour more families arrived – and couples hoping for a little alone time. Much like the couple in the corner of this photo below … enjoying the serenity … of the kids in the spa next to them.
I very much would like to return to the Crown Metropol as one of those loved up couples, to take advantage of some of the more fancy rooms available but on this trip I booked a luxe twin room to accommodate the three of us in one room. The nine-year-old very much enjoyed having a Queen-sized bed to himself. Comfortable beds topped with big, soft feather pillows they were too … a good sleep was had as you can tell by the state we left the beds in on that first morning.
The male SYs consider themselves quite the connoisseurs when it comes sizing up and judging a hotel breakfast buffet. The Crown Metropol’s offering in its Mr Hive Kitchen and Bar restaurant received big ticks for the fresh pancakes with Nutella; hot breakfast food that was freshened up regularly; bacon that was crisp and a price that included barista coffee with each person’s breakfast.
In the interests of keeping up my Spa Rat status, I’d booked ahead for a little Saturday morning treat.
I don’t know how exactly this happened but as someone who prides herself on Spa Rat management, I disappointed myself.
I rocked up at 9.45am to the Isaka Spa in the Crown Metropol, all chirpy and ready for my 10am appointment only to discover that somehow I’d booked the WRONG spa. That somehow my internet wandering had led me instead to the Crown Spa.
Thankfully, said spa was only a 10-minute walk away past the fancy shops and restaurants that make up the Crown Casino complex. The La Prairie White Caviar Illuminating Manicure was everything I’d hoped it would be. Totally luxe and delicious for my over-worked hands and fingers. With a peel, exfoliant, firming mask, massage and spot treatment all part of the package, it was like a facial for my hands. Something my hands are still thanking me for days later.
While I was indulging myself at the wrong spa, the boys took themselves off to Australian cricket’s holy grail – the MCG. Master SY cannot walk two metres without swinging an arm over to “bowl a ball”. He’s well and truly got the fever.
Here’s a visual with the balls in the hotel lobby, awaiting the excitement of the World Cup finals in Melbourne this weekend.
The lobby also offered a soccer table …
… and superior cushioning.
The only part of the hotel we didn’t get to explore was the 28 Skybar Lounge. Some lucky fellow called George was having his birthday there on Saturday night was it was closed to the public.
We opted for the second best thing … room service and and in-room movie.
Sure, the view may have been across to the next building with a glimpse of the bay – not quite the city skyline from the 28th floor – but it did mean I could slip into some soft pants and drift off to sleep without anyone calling security.
Have you ever stayed at the Crown Metropol Melbourne? What your favourite thing to do when staying in the area?
PS. There was little time for shopping on this trip. I KNOW – I don’t know who I am either. If you’re after shopping tips for Melbourne, check out this post here.