The Blackman

The Blackman

Art Series hotels have a knack of doing luxury with personality.  There is plenty to delight – and The Blackman is like a hip home away from home.

Where:  The Blackman, 452 St Kilda Road MELBOURNE

Cost: We stayed in a Deluxe Studio Suite Balcony Twin room (with 2 king sized beds) which is about $310/night, check their website for best deals.

It’s always a treat to stay somewhere where the bed is comfortable, you’re surrounded by nice things and people look after you!  The Blackman is one of the Art Series hotels and it easily ticks all of those boxes.

The Art Series have paid a great deal of attention to the fine detail.  From the theme throughout (taken from the namesake artist) to the wording on the shampoo bottle – every single detail has been considered.  As a guest, this detail provides a wonderful personality throughout – and so where other hotels might offer a similar level of service and quality, they are, in comparison, bland.

But it wasn’t just me that loved all the touches – the kids also took great pleasure.  From the little bunnies hiding in odd spots in all the corridors and public spaces, to the gallery of art painted by the hotels guests.  It felt like every corner we turned there was a new and delightful discovery – Ben & Jerry’s ice-cream in the foyer, complimentary scooters to use during our stay, canvas’ they could do their own paintings on, Charles Blackman artwork on every spare bit of wall, bunnies as lamps and so on.

After we checked in the duty manager (whose previous job had been at the Disney hotel in Orlando) took us for a quick tour.  The hotel itself isn’t boasting loads of amenities (there is a gym, board room and basement carpark) but it does have many reproductions of Charles Blackman’s artwork – and if you’re keen to know more you can organise a tour of the prints and they are even able to be purchased.

Naturally the kids were desperate to check out our room – we had a Deluxe Studio Suite Balcony Twin room – which means we had two king size beds and two balconies, and plenty of space for everyone to comfortably move about.  The beds were amazingly comfortable and the view fabulous.  Our TV also came with in-house movies – so the plan for the night was sorted.  Bath’s, room service and a movie in bed.  Oh, the bath had a spa jet function and we very quickly made a crazy amount of bubbles!

After our room had been examined by the kids we took off down to reception to collect the Blackman’s two scooters (and luckily we’d actually packed one of our own scooters in the car as it turns out The Blackman only has two scooters to borrow – and there were three kids in our party).  From the hotel it’s a quick hop and skip across St Kilda Road into Fawkner Park – scooting heaven.  Long boulevard paths criss-cross 10 acres of parkland, including one of our favourite playgrounds (over on the far side next to South Yarra Primary).  When the kids were babies we lived on Fawkner Park and to be able to be out in all that green breathing in the scents of the trees and grass whilst being on the edge of the CBD is pretty special.  This staycation was a lovely excuse to just wander aimlessly about the park while the kids all raced each other in the distance…

The room service menu is taken from the Italian restaurant downstairs, Classico – the food was at restaurant prices (and yet we could eat it in our PJs) and delicious!  We ordered a margarita pizza, gnocchi, rocket salad and a Vietnamese chicken slaw = about $70.  And we struggled to finish it all.  Dessert was Ben & Jerry’s  😉

And then we sunk into the beds and watched Maleficent.  It really was a perfect afternoon and evening.  And thankfully when the movie ended the kids were cosy and sleepy and were all snoring 15 minutes later… being only 8.45pm it was a tad early for me to go to bed – and I couldn’t really watch TV.  I had bought my laptop with me so I ended up checking social media and emails for a bit before having a shower and an early night.

Holidays with kids (especially if you’re sharing a room) typically means no sleeping in, and so by 7am our day had started.  Before breakfast, the kids began work on their canvas’ and then we let the first coat of paint dry while we grabbed some breakfast downstairs in the French cafe Fleur – my avocado mash was delicious.  And after breakfast we took off into Fawkner Park for some more scooting – and I managed a cheeky takeaway from a fab coffee shop over the road called Slater Street Bench.

We didn’t have loads of time to hang in the park.. because we were due at the Art Series school holiday workshop with Beci Orpin – happening (very handily for us) in The Blackman’s conference room at 10am.

And so once the scooters were returned to reception we headed off to meet Beci and do some pretty awesome paper art.

A couple of other things I should mention.

  • There are adjoining rooms available (which works out at about $400 a night)
  • There are bikes and Smart Cars available to hire
  • There is a Bugaboo pram available to use (you might want to check if you can reserve this when you make your booking)
  • It’s about an 8 minute tram ride (or 25 minute walk) to Federation Square or St Kilda
  • It’s a short stroll to The Shrine, The Botanical Gardens and Albert Park Lake
  • Onsite car parking is $25/day
  • Wifi is $3/hour
  • Art canvas kits are FREE for kids, $6 for everyone else
  • Our room was beautifully quiet and the blackout curtains were fabulous
  • The Blackman offer some great family packages that include late check out, breakfast, car-parking and more.

Commercial Disclosure: during our stay at The Blackman we were provided with accommodation and tickets to the Beci Orpin workshop.