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Punthill Apartment Hotel Ivanhoe

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by Nadine Cresswell-Myatt (subscribe)
Freelance writer exploring Melbourne and beyond. If you enjoy the following article click on the Like button, Facebook it to your friends or subscribe. I'll update you with yummy and often free events. Like my photos? I instagram @redbagwilltravel
Published September 29th 2018
Stunning views and opening specials
Punthill Ivanhoe Apartment Hotel
Source: Punthill Ivanhoe Apartment Hotel

Driving along Bell Street, one can hardly miss the standout Punthill Ivanhoe building. But we almost did. 'Ivanhoe is that way,' said Sal. 'But the directions say this way,' I replied whilst doing a crazy turn.

When we arrived, the lovely manager at Punthill Apartment Hotels Leah Watson explained our confusion. Her explanation may also be helpful for those querying this hotel's location. It is not that people don't love their stay in this amazing building. They do.

It is just that some insinuate a fallacy in listing the property in Ivanhoe, one of Melbourne's more upmarket suburbs when it is sited on the other side of Bell Street.

''Truth is,' said Leah, 'we do make it into the upmarket postcode. We are on a parcel of land left over from the intersection of three roads. Step outside and even a few metres across the street and you are standing in Heidelberg but our triangular island of land is technically still Ivanhoe.'

Punthill Ivanhoe Apartment Hotel
Photo @nadinecresswellmyatt

As for the hotel's claim that the apartments are in a leafy suburb, this fact is also true. Although not in the way you might think. You are not walking around tree-lined streets. It is more that when you enter your apartment, you have breathtaking views over canopies of trees

Punthill Ivanhoe Apartment Hotel straddles one of Melbourne's highest points so that even though the apartment hotel only takes up the first three floors, all rooms have spectacular views.

Punthill Ivanhoe Apartment Hotel

In one direction, you look out to the subtle blue of the Dandenong Range where Melbourne's leafy eastern suburbs meet the mountains and forests On the other side, you look to the leafy hues of Ivanhoe and then the almost continuous green belt that aprons Melbourne's skyscraper skyline like a grass skirt.

Punthill Ivanhoe Apartment Hotel
View from my window. Photo @nadinecresswellmyatt

One could just imagine the magnificent panorama of the city's fireworks from one of these apartments on New Year's Eve.

Fender Katsalidis Architects (of Eureka Tower fame) designed the complex meeting the challenge of using the difficult triangular shaped parcel of land. They have ended up showcasing the site to incredible effect.

Their design made me think of the legendary architect Frank Lloyd Wright and how he abhorred box shapes, the traditional basis of most architecture. Instead, he based his designs on organic shapes. His circular/spiral Guggenheim Museum is such an example.

Fender Katsalidis Architects have also moved away from standard shapes creating a triangular shape building albeit one softened by rounded edges.

Punthill Ivanhoe Apartment Hotel has a changing silhouette depending on your approach with striking verticals on the façade that have sweeping and unexpected curves.

Punthill Ivanhoe Apartments Hotel
Photo @nadinecresswellmyatt

The integrated whole blends elements with the natural curvature of the area but also makes a striking architectural statement with a tower crowning the top of the hill. Internally there is a huge triangular atrium that provides a well of daylight to the centre of the structure.

Our check-in was stress-free. We were given an electronic device to open the secure basement parking and operate the lift but we were also given a physical key to open our apartment.

Punthill Ivanhoe Apartment Hotel
Walking in to the apartments it is the framed views that hit you photo @nadinecresswellmyatt

I usually spend hotel stays running up and down to reception asking reception to reactivate my room card, so having a key to insert into the lock was cause for jubilation.

Punthill Ivanhoe Apartment Hotel
Photo @nadinecresswellmyatt

Entering our apartment, our first impressions were not of the interior but of the outside views. The building has been designed to bring the outside in, with floor to ceiling windows and views are framed by the rib-cage-like rods that sit on the outside of the building like an exoskeleton.

Punthill Ivanhoe Apartment Hotel
Streams of sunlight and lovely views - photo @nadinecresswellmyatt

There was also another cause for jubilation. 'You can open the windows', cried Sal. Others who love fresh air and detest the feelings of confinement hotels sometimes give will also appreciate this thoughtfulness.

Punthill Ivanhoe Apartments Hotel
Photo @nadinecresswellmyatt

While we were in a two-bedroom apartment, there was the luxury of two bathrooms meaning a private bathroom each. Our bedrooms both had queen-sized beds. This configuration would also be a perfect space for two couples or it could be reconfigured to single beds for a family.

We spent a lot of our afternoon inside the apartment because of the mesmerising views and relaxing atmosphere. There were huge wall TV screens in the lounge and in the bedroom. While there were free Netflix and WI-F,I we sat quietly catching up on reading and entranced by the views.

Punthill Ivanhoe Apartment Hotel
The balcony was a triangular shape -photo @nadincresswellmyatt

It also gave me time to survey the fascinating layout of the apartment. Apparently, not all the apartments are based on triangles but this one had more intricate intersections of a geometric shape than any maths class.

Punthill Ivanhoe Apartment Hotel
Photo Punthill Ivanhoe Apartment Hotel Facebook

One angle was cut across to form a triangular outside balcony another angle was used to create a bathroom. The longest side was created by an ultra-long bench stove and cupboards.

Punthill Ivanhoe Apartment Hotel
The longest side was created by an ultra-long bench stove and cupboards - photo @nadinecresswellmyatt

Yet everywhere was softened by circles such as in the round bathroom mirrors, table and table mat.

Punthill Apartments Ivanhoe
Photo @nadinecresswellmyatt

Most walls and tiles were white but the accents were black, such as the striking black taps.

Punthill Ivanhoe Apartments Hotel
The accents were black such as the striking black taps- photo @nadinecresswellmyatt

Furniture fit-out experts Move-in had given a striking and modern contemporary feel to the apartment. It was almost like staying in an Art Series Hotel with all the carefully selected shapes and colours. The company had collaborated with local artist Ellie Malin, who produced a series of limited edition prints exclusively for Punthill Ivanhoe apartments.

Punthill Apartments Ivanhoe
The decor was beautiful -photo @nadinecresswellmyatt

There were woven mats on the flooring of the living area but the bedrooms were carpeted for a softer feel. The furniture was ultra-chic and in muted tones of blue and charcoal.

Punthill Ivanhoe Apartment Hotel
Ultra-chic furniture - photo @nadinecresswellmyatt

Mattresses were excellent and there were huge pull-down blinds to block out the light. I'd taken a few photos earlier of Bell Street which I could see if I looked down rather than across through the window. I found the sight fascinating but did wonder whether traffic noise might interrupt my sleep. However, there is special glazing that rebuffs noise. I had an excellent sleep.

Punthill Apartments Ivanhoe
Even though I am a light sleeper it was easy to get some zeds at Punthill Ivanhoe Apartments - photo @nadinecresswellmyatt

Places to Eat

We did venture out for dinner. There are many eatery options just down the road in Burgundy Street. Leah, the manager, gave us a host of suggestions for that evening and the next day. These included the Train Yard Café that has a beer garden and house smoked BBQ meats from a Radar Hill smoker and live music on Friday nights, The Alleyway offering burgers and beers and good vibes or the upmarket Va Tutto an award-winning restaurant offering both a bistro and grander dining in nearby Upper Heidelberg Rd.

But we chose her recommendation of Proof Pizzeria (100 Burgundy Street), partly because it also matched a restaurant suggestion another local in our acquaintance had raved about.

And yes, it was super popular. We noted during our leisurely meal that other tables were immediately filled with new customers within minutes of being vacated. We had a mixed starter plate ($20) of assorted entrees including warmed olives, prosciutto wrapped melon, meatballs, cured meats and cheeses. The dips were a total standout especially the ricotta whipped variety that was infused with a little honey and toasted walnuts.

Proof Pizzeria
Photo @nadinecresswellmyatt

The wood-fired pizzas were bubbling beauties. Apparently, it is the red gum and silver boxwood used to fire the oven that creates the incredible flavour and the pizzas that brown to perfection.

Proof Pizzeria
The wood fired pizzas from Proof Pizzeria are perfect @nadinecresswellmyatt

They must go through heaps of wood as it is neatly stacked up everywhere in the restaurant giving the restaurant a rustic charm.

Proof Pizzeria
A family friendly restaurant with a rustic charm - photo @nadinecresswellmyatt

Our waiter, Harry, was lots of fun. Always at a loss when reading a new menu I could see he was gently guiding us in our choices and he wasn't shy in pinching his boss's cap and posing for this pizza oven shot below.

Proof Pizzeria
Our waiter Harry- photo @nadinecresswellmyatt


There will be a cafe onsite shortly but at the moment The Chairman Cafe is only 450 metres away and you can arrange room service. Their selection is also far more interesting than standard hotel breakfasts.

I'm GF and they brought me a rosti stack loaded with excellent quality smoked salmon, cream cheese, capers, a poached egg and decorated with chopped Spanish onion topped ($20.50). Sal had smashed avo, with fresh herbs, crumbled feta, toasted seeds and a poached egg on multigrain ($17.50).

The Chairman Cafe
Photo The Chairman Cafe Facebook

There was also a selection of pastries including one of the GF muffins loaded with blueberries shown below. For their full menu click here.

The Chairman Cafe
Source Chairman Cafe Facebook

Breakfast was so good we walked down, later on, to not only to say thank you but also to enjoy another of their great coffees. We found a trendy cafe where staff members occasionally broke into song. Well, the playlist was catchy!

Tia the manager said because of Punthill Ivanhoe's proximity to the hospital precinct a lot of guests stayed to visit loved ones who might be in for long-term treatment.

'We often help out with food deliveries when families find themselves in stressful situations such as after visiting elderly relatives. The last thing they want is to worry about cooking their own food' she said.

The Chairman Cafe
My GF blueberry muffin- photo @nadinecresswellmyatt

It was easy to see her empathy for those who come to Punthill Ivanhoe to be close to loved ones in need. It was also something I picked up with the hotel staff.

In the foyer, I met a woman who was staying at the apartments regularly while her premature grandson received the care he needed. She was appreciative of the concern the hotel staff offered her which is why she kept coming back to stay in the apartments.

One never knows what life will throw at us and I thought it was lovely to find such warmth and concern.


Punthill Ivanhoe's guests come to visit friends in the locality or to visit sick relatives as the hotel is opposite the Austin Health precinct and the world-class Olivia Newton-John Cancer Wellness & Research Centre as well as Warringal Private and the nearby Heidelberg Repatriation Hospital.

Stays can often be quite lengthy so it is wonderful that these apartments have the feeling of home. There are plenty of cupboards, a full-size fridge and a washing machine and drye, but no housework as rooms are serviced daily.

Punthill Ivanhoe Apartments Hotel
Everything you need for a 'home away from home' although the drawers might be a little tidier than at home -photo @nadinecresswellmyatt

Business travellers can enjoy excellent access to the expansive North Eastern suburbs' corporate catchment area, and it is an easy drive to Melbourne airport via Bell Street. The building also offers secure parking and a soon to be opened gym. The excellent 18-hole Ivanhoe Public Golf Course is nearby.

You can book one-bedroom apartments, one-bedroom executive apartments (with workstations) or two bedroom apartments. All offer fantastic sweeping views.

Punthill Ivanhoe Apartment Hotel combines apartment living and the perks of staying in a hotel, making them a great option for couples and families, but also for tourists wanting to experience a different side of Melbourne. Visitors with a few hours downtime will find there are some great attractions in the area including:

The Heide Museum of Modern Art

One of the best house museums in Melbourne. Established in the 1930s this is where Sidney Nolan painted his famous Ned Kelly series under the watchful eye of his benefactors John and Sunday Reed. You can wander through an impressive modernist art gallery, a vast sculpture park and extensive gardens leading down to the Yarra River. Heide offers an excellent café and is open Tuesday – Sunday and public holidays. There is also a
Heide Makers Market held on the second Saturday of every month where you'll find an eclectic mix of art, design and handcrafted goods.

Jeff Thomson, Cows 1987, painted corrugated iron, Heide Museum of Modern Art ,
Jeff Thomson, Cows 1987, painted corrugated iron, source website Heide Museum of Modern Art

Yarra Flats Park

Great for walking as there is natural bushland, wetlands, abundant birdlife and a number of picnic areas with wood barbecues

Bulleen Art & Garden

Bulleen Art & Garden is possibly Melbourne's quirkiest nursery with fascinating garden sculptures made from recycled bits and pieces and great horticultural advice that focuses on the environment. You don't shop at this venue, you experience it.

Eaglemont Village

Charming village shopping area with independently owned small businesses, cafes and restaurants. Eaglemont has always been an artistic area and there are some great architectural walks where you can take in architecture by Walter Burley Griffin and Desbrowe-Annear as well as well as some of the famous views painted by the 'Heidelberg School' of artists.

Ivanhoe But if you really want to wander the tree-lined streets of Ivanhoe and visit upmarket boutiques and day spas, this area is only five minutes drive away.

Punthill Ivanhoe Apartment Hotel
The entrance Punthill Ivanhoe Apartment Hotel - photo @nadinecresswellmyatt

Tips for great rooms and prices

Leah says it is best to contact the hotel directly so you can work out with them your preferred room in terms of views. The photos in this article were taken from 301.

As the apartments only opened in July 2018 there is still a housewarming special of 15% off but if you book at least 14 days in advance the bookings are 20% off. Click here. Prices, of course, may change.

They also offer special corporate rates when you book through the hotel and if you can get your company to put you up here, you really will find a lavish 'home away from home.'

Punthill Ivanhoe Apartments Hotel
Reception area.-photo @nadinecresswellmyatt

Punthill Ivanhoe is 12 kilometres from Melbourne's CBD and an 11-minute walk to the Heidelberg train station. Express trains will whisk you into Flinders Street Melbourne in 28 minutes.
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Why? Stunning views and opening specials
Phone: T (03) 9132 7777 L 1300 964 821 E
Where: 21 Bell Street, Ivanhoe. Punthill Ivanhoe is 12 kilometres from Melbourne's CBD, and only an 11-minute walk to the Heidelberg train station. Express trains will get you into Flinders Street Melbourne in 28 minutes.
Cost: Approx. $170 to $335 but check out their website for some great specials
Your Comment
Comprehensive article, with lots of great recommendations!
by elivi (score: 1|80) 1032 days ago
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