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Oaks on William Melbourne

Home > Melbourne > Travel | Theatre | Romantic | Accommodation | Weekend Escapes
by All About Entertainment (subscribe)
Freelance entertainment, food, and travel writer. Feel free to follow my Facebook page All About Entertainment.
Published July 20th 2014
Feel Paris, London & New York From Your Private Balcony
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Melbourne - a destination you can visit all year round. Photo:

Melbourne always seems to come out on top as the world's most liveable city.

oaks on lonsdale trip advisor
Melbourne - a destination you can visit all year round. Photo: Wikimedia

With so many things on offer, it's no wonder there's a continuous stream of tourists visiting all year round. There's something for everybody - sport, exhibitions, quality restaurants, shopping, museums, galleries and an incredible arts precinct. My attraction to Melbourne? The theatre.

Melbourne is like Broadway, the heart of theatre and arts in Australia. Opening nights are spectacular, and shows run all year round.

Visiting Melbourne often to review theatre shows, I remember spending hours online trying to find a property with space, balcony, and close to the theatre precinct. I discovered the Oaks Hotel Resorts Group about a year ago, and haven't looked back.

Oaks on Lonsdale is close to Her Majesty's Theatre, Comedy Theatre, Regent Theatre and the Princess Theatre. From personal experience, I've walked to every one of them!

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Her Majesty's Theatre Melbourne. Photo: Matt Bell

Les Misérables - Ticketek Australia
Les Miserables opened in Melbourne 3 July 2014. Photo: AKA

For the opening of Les Miserables, I decided to try one of their relatively newer properties - Oaks on William. A year old to be precise.

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Oaks on William. Photo: Management

The one thing that keeps me coming back to the Oaks is the staff. Always welcoming and friendly, considering the overnight and early morning shifts they do, they're constantly smiling and happy to have a chat - and I can chat alright!

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Oaks on William entrance and lobby

Oaks on William is located on William Street opposite the stunning Flagstaff Gardens. After a smooth check in as I made my way to the 17th floor, my eye caught something I'd never seen in a hotel lobby - a collection of commissioned wall murals by Australian artists, each depicting different suburbs of Melbourne on each floor. The room card used in the lift to gain access to floors is similar to 'payWave'. I can't begin to think how many times I've had to swipe magnetic cards over and over to gain access into a room. With the keyless 'payWave' system one wave and I was in.

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Wall murals depicting suburbs of Melbourne on each floor

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Striking wall murals by Australian designers in the lobby area

Entering the park view studio room reminded me of a hotel I stayed at while visiting Paris. The wall mural painted behind the queen bed replicated the outside balcony view. The prominent phone tower seen in the far distance, reminded me of the Eiffel Tower. The silver based bed lamp when switched on created mood and warmth through the lime coloured shade. The bold colour scheme of ivory, silver, grey and lime blended beautifully throughout the modern chic contemporary style furnishings.

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Stunning colour scheme with wall mural of outside view

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Views out to Melbourne Wheel, Docklands, Flagstaff Gardens and Melbourne's historic buildings

Walking onto the private balcony the view could be described as a blend of Paris, New York and London. In the distance the Melbourne Star Observation Wheel (similar to the London Eye), water views over The Docklands, traffic below reminiscent of a busy New York street, the stunning Flagstaff Gardens nestled next to Melbourne's historic buildings took me back to Luxembourg Gardens in the Latin Quarter, and the West Gate Bridge reminded me of London's Southwark Bridge. A symphony of horns heard from trams, buses, cars, motorbikes and even container ships at Docklands reminding me how 'alive' the city really is.

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Private balcony view

The design of the balcony is enclosed so no other guests can see into your area. It's private, cosy and intimate. I enjoyed a glass of wine while soaking up the views over Melbourne.

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Night view over the CBD

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Views out to Melbourne from the 17th floor

The bathroom has plenty of room with toiletries supplied and a Vidal Sassoon hairdryer. But best of all, nothing beats a rain shower.

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Bathroom with rain shower

The lounge area has a full length mirror, big plasma TV, an iPod dock alarm clock, and a table that can be used as a work station or meals while taking in your very own city scape views.

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Lounge area looking out to the Docklands

The queen mattress is so comfortable and of high quality, I woke in the middle of the night thinking I was in my own bed. Even the pillows selected will ensure you get a perfect night's rest. When I complimented the reception staff on my restful night's sleep, they said many guests return purely for the beds alone!

The kitchen has modern stainless steel appliances with tea, coffee and milk supplied. You can prepare your own meals, however with every type of food cuisine represented in Melbourne there's a strong culture of eating out. There are more bloggers in Melbourne who write about food than any other capital city. Next door you'll find Brother Thomas Cafe and believe me, the breakfast is exceptional.

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This is what I call a breakfast

I'm so fussy when it comes to my brekkie, it needs to be healthy - especially the bread and eggs. I ordered the big breakfast with poached free range eggs, roast field mushrooms, crispy bacon, chipolata, slow roast tomato, beetroot relish, and organic sour dough toast. My friend ordered smashed avocado with spinach, mint, lemon and Yarra Valley Persian feta on organic sour dough toast. It looked so delicious, I ordered some on the side.

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Brother Thomas menu

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Coffee and drinks menu

Spending time away from home doesn't mean you have to let go of your exercise regime. The complex has a gymnasium, but if you're like me and like to get out for a walk or run, having the Flagstaff Gardens at your doorstep is a bonus.

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The stunning Flagstaff Gardens even has a playground area for children

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Perfect for a walk or jog

Oaks on William is walking distance from the Queen Victoria Market, the largest open air market in the southern hemisphere that opened in the 1850's. With so much on offer it's no wonder it's always abuzz with people flocking to buy souvenirs, clothes, shoes, accessories, candles, handmade arts and crafts, fruit and veggies, bread, meat, poultry, seafood, and a variety of gourmet and deli food - just to name a few.

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Queen Victoria Market Melbourne. Photo: Wikipedia

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Tom Yum Seafood at Canton in the food court

I took a stroll to the market around lunch time on a cold windy winter's day, with the sun shining I felt happy and energised walking through the busy streets of Melbourne. I ordered a delicious Tom Yum Seafood Soup at Canton in the food court. So tasty and coupled with the cosmopolitan atmosphere around me, I was content sitting solo while devouring it within five minutes.

After sampling the nuts at Chooh La La, I couldn't leave without buying almonds and macadamias - like Pringles, I couldn't stop at one!

Chooh La La Victoria Market
The lovely ladies from Chooh La La nuts at Victoria Market let you sample the nuts before you buy

Melbourne also boasts many high end shopping precincts with world leading brands as well as factory outlets for those who enjoy finding a bargain. It's the fashion capital, with major fashion shows yearly and the home of high profile local designers.

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Prada boutique Melbourne. Photo:

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Louis Vuitton Melbourne. Photo:

With world class sporting facilities, Victorians are known to be 'sport crazy'. Tennis, cricket, polo, AFL, The Melbourne Cup, and The Formula 1 Grand Prix, are just the start of a list of sporting events they host all year round.

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Melbourne Cup. Photo: AAP

Staying at Oaks on William gives you easy access to discover Melbourne's diverse laneways that feature restaurants, cafes, hole in the wall cafes, bars, street art, and historic buildings. These are the envy of other capital cities.

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Melbourne's laneways and arcades are a place of discovery. Photo:

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Stunning historic buildings everywhere you walk in the CBD

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Flinders Street station completed in 1909, is a cultural icon of Melbourne with its prominent dome, arched entrance, tower and clocks. It's one of the city's most recognisable landmarks and listed on the Victorian Heritage Register. Photo:

I met friends for dinner at modern authentic Italian restaurant Campari House in Hardware Lane, walking distance from the hotel. With a truly authentic Italian atmosphere, this felt like a real affair with Italy. Warmth from outdoor heaters created ambience, my prawn and chilli pasta went down well with a glass of red pinot, and crowds started to fill the laneway like a piazza in Italy.

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Campari House in Hardware Lane Melbourne

There's such a multicultural vibe in Melbourne with many of the world's nations represented everywhere you look around. The transport system is easy to access and the free City Circle Tram can take you to all the attractions.

Where many old theatres have been torn down elsewhere, Melbourne has retained her grand classic heritage theatres. Every time I attend a show, I'm in complete awe at how beautiful and unique each one of them are.

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Comedy Theatre Melbourne. Photo: Wikipedia

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Her Majesty's Theatre Melbourne. Photo: Wikipedia

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Palais Theatre, St Kilda, Melbourne. Photo: Wikimedia

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Princess Theatre Melbourne. Photo: Wikipedia

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Regent Theatre Melbourne. Photo: Wikipedia

Fortunate to attend the opening of Les Miserables, there were three other productions running at the same time - WICKED, the King and I and Rocky Horror. To commemorate the occasion, the cast and crew from each production gathered in full costume on the steps of Parliament House for a historic photographic record. The theatre precinct in the CBD was also named the East End Theatre District.

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Cast and crew gather from Les Miserables, Rocky Horror Picture Show, Wicked and The King and I for a historic photo. Photo:

Opening nights in Melbourne in my opinion are the best in Australia and Les Miserables was no exception. With the red carpet rolled out, roads closed, lights beaming from Her Majesty's Theatre into the night sky, the paparazzi and public were out in force hoping to catch a glimpse of their favourite celebrities, A-listers, and the who's who of Melbourne strutting the red carpet. The production did not disappoint, receiving rave reviews for its dynamic staging, costumes and stellar cast.

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Forum Theatre Melbourne. Photo: Wikipedia

Invited guests kicked on at the historic Forum Theatre for an after party, enjoying French champagne and H'orderves. The famous barricade was replicated as a feature in the centre of the theatre, captivating everybody's attention who set eyes on it.

Booking Information - Les Misérables
The famous barricade replicated in the centre of the theatre

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Nick Christo, musical theatre performer and myself at the opening of Les Miserables Melbourne

Another wonderful feature of the property is a fireplace next door away from the reception area. With a lovely relaxing feel to it a group of us enjoyed our coffee while taking in the ambient surroundings - the perfect nightcap. The lounging area is ideal while waiting for a cab, shuttle or even do some winding down of your own after a long day.

City of Melbourne – Home holiday packages
Relax around the fireplace in winter

Discover Melbourne at your own pace during any season, it's simply breathtaking.

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World's most liveable city - Melbourne. Photo:
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Why? There's Always Something Happening All Year Round
Where: Oaks on William
Your Comment
What theatre show will you be attending next?
by Belinda Nolan-Price (score: 2|446) 2517 days ago
You have some great historic architecture in Melbourne.
by Bryony Harrison (score: 4|12626) 2518 days ago
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