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Le Méridien Melbourne Review | Image: Marriot Bonvoy

Le Méridien Review: Inside Melbourne’s French-Inspired Luxury Hotel

In early 2023, Le Méridien Melbourne made its return to the Australian market. Located at the distinguished “Paris End” of Bourke Street, Le Méridien is part of the Marriott Bonvoy collection, which includes the likes of The Ritz-Carlton, St. Regis, JW Marriott, Sheraton, Westin and Renaissance Hotels.

Drawing inspiration from its Parisian roots in the 1960s, Le Méridien aims to provide guests with a slice of European luxury. It also offers a nod to Melbourne‘s theatre and art district, successfully blending Art Deco charm with modern elegance. I recently was invited to review the new hotel, putting the destination’s claims as a leading luxury hotel in Melbourne to the test. Here’s my take on whether it lives up to its ambitions.

Le meridien intermission cafe 1
Intermission Cafe in the Le Méridien lobby.

Le Méridian At a Glance

  • General overview: For a comfortable stay near Melbourne’s CBD and close to all the action (including some of the best fine dining on Flinders Lane) this is a solid choice.
  • Price: Rooms start from $299 per night.
  • Address: 20 Bourke Street, Melbourne.
  • Score / 5: ★★★
  • Highlight: Rooftop pool Le Splash – offering killer views of Melbourne CBD & Parliament House.
  • Take Note: While on-site restaurant Dolly is making efforts to refine its offerings, there’s room for further improvement to truly distinguish itself among the other fine dining options available nearby. 

Location & Getting to Le Méridian

As mentioned, Le Méridien is located in the ritzy “Paris End” of Melbourne CBD, close to theatres like The Princess Theatre and Her Majesty’s Theatre, and surrounded by a slew of amazing eateries and fine dining restaurants.

This part of the CBD is known for its old-school charm, great luxury shops, and cosy street cafes. You’ve also got the well-known Morris House a 4 minute walk away, which is a great spot for a pub bite and some comedy on Friday and Saturday nights.

If you’re up for a walk, the Yarra River is just 10 minutes away, or the Royal Botanical Gardens is about 30 minutes (worth it). You’re also smack bang in the middle of the best shopping spots in Melbourne, located on Swanston Street, Elizabeth Street, and Lonsdale Street.

For getting around, there are tram stops right outside (the 3, 5, 6, 64 and 67), making it super easy to explore more of Melbourne. And if you’re driving, no worries – there’s parking available at the hotel for $70 a night.

Le meridien lobby
The lobby features cool art deco pieces throughout.

Initial Thoughts & Check-in Process

The moment I stepped into the hotel, I was greeted by the enchanting atmosphere of Intermission Cafe and the lobby bar, a cosy and retro space adorned with green marble counters, theatrical lighting, and vintage menu boards, adding to the hotel’s unique charm. There is also Le Scoop, with several tasty-looking gelato flavours to choose from.

I distinctly noted that the ambience here is all decidedly grand with a theatrical flair, featuring stylish retro-modern furniture including plush seating, rich wooden accents, and terrazzo floors, all complemented by gleaming polished chrome accents throughout.

Checking in ias a breeze, starting at 3 pm on on booking day. The front desk team warmly welcomed me and provided helpful information about the hotel amenities and features before directing me to my room.

Le meridian king deluxe
The King Deluxe Suite starts from $299 per night and is the cheapest room.

King Deluxe Suite Review

I stayed in the King Deluxe Suite – the base room offering at Le Méridian. Starting at $299, it’s fairly affordable for a luxury hotel, especially if you’re just after a one-night urban escape like we had.

Each of the 235 rooms at the hotel features Malin + Goetz bath products (a very lovely touch), comfortable Le Méridien beds, large 55-inch LCD TVs, unique bottled cocktails from The Everleigh Bottling Co., and a coffee machine with artisan pods.

My room was on level 3, which offered a glimpse into the city’s dynamic laneways and historic architecture. Higher floors are treated to expansive views over the pool and towards Melbourne’s east.

Choosing a premium suite offers added luxury, featuring a kitchenette with black stone countertops, Smeg appliances, stylish barware, art books, classic oak board games, and a Yamaha MusicCast 500 turntable.

Although I appreciated the comforts of the King Deluxe Suite, there was an unfortunate smell coming from the bathroom during our stay. Also, I discovered a sizable stain on the bed comforter, which, while not a major issue, was not something I anticipated finding.

Room Amenities:

  • King-size bed
  • Allergy-free and soundproof environment
  • Sitting area with coffee table and basic chairs
  • Complimentary wireless internet
  • Coffee/tea maker
  • Mini-fridge
  • Ensuite bathroom with Malin + Goetz toiletries
  • Marshall Bluetooth speaker
  • Safety deposit box (for a fee)
  • Iron and ironing board
  • Bottled water (for a fee)
  • Mini-bar
  • Hair dryer, makeup mirror, robe, slippers
  • Desk
  • Air-conditioning
Le meridien dolly
Dolly certainly looks the part of old-school Hollywood glam.

Dining at Le Méridian’s Restaurant – Dolly 

At Dolly, the downstairs restaurant attached to Le Méridian, the menu by Executive Chef Hervé Borghini mixes Mediterranean and Australian influences. The restaurant aims for a classic cinema vibe, with the menu set split into ‘Act 1, Act 2, The Main Act and The Grand Finale’. It’s a fun touch, but my experience didn’t fully meet expectations.

Service was on the slower side, especially for the welcome ‘Artful Cocktails’ (though they were yummy when they did arrive). The set menu stretched up to 2.5 hours in total, which was a bit longer than my ideal dinner duration. From my experiences with fine dining, I find that 90 minutes, or at most two hours, is the sweet spot for a comfortable meal.

Le meridien dolly beef
The Beef Wellington – a signature dish at Dolly.

Perhaps what stood out to me the most, and not in a good way, was that my dietary requirements were not always carefully considered, causing a few instances where we had to send dishes back. Meanwhile, the meals like the Beef Wellington, Snapper Crudo, and a theatrical dessert like the Bombe Alaska were simply decent.

In my honest opinion, if Dolly aims to stand amongst the fine dining heavyweights in Melbourne’s CBD, improvements across the board need to be made (which I hear are afoot – so stay tuned).

Le meridien le splash
You can’t fault this beautiful (heated) rooftop pool!

Amenities: Pool, Gym & Sauna 

Rooftop pool Le Splash was definitely a highlight, but dropping by on a Thursday when it was only 20 degrees might not have shown it at its best. The scene was pretty quiet: an almost empty pool, no one in the open-air cabanas, and a deserted bar area (but that was on me).

It’s good that you can order food straight from your sun lounger with a QR code, but it’s just not the same vibe as having an actual waiter buzzing around the bar (maybe that’s reserved for the flurry of weekend guests?)

The 24-hour gym and sauna, though, is a solid win. It’s stocked with all the gear you need for a decent workout, and having a sauna just down the hall is a nice touch – perfect for unwinding after getting your sweat on.

Le meridien dolly 1
The final stages of the Bombe Alaska features a table-side flambé.


Hospitality might be where Le Méridien shines brightest. Every member I interacted with was attentive, making sure we had everything we needed without being overbearing. They struck the perfect balance between being friendly and professional. It’s clear they’re well-trained and really care about guest experience.

Bottom Line: Should You Stay Here?

Should you stay here? For its location, starting price, and the amenities it offers, I’d say Le Meridien gets a thumbs up from me. Now, if you’re asking whether it ranks among the top luxury hotels in Melbourne, it’s not quite there for me. The hotel clearly has a lot going for it and the initial impression were quality, however, I feel there are some improvements that need to be made but I’m confident that the destination will evolve with time. Wath this space!

Why Trust Us

As a Melbourne resident and experienced travel writer, Ally Burnie is an expert on hotels, tourism and domestic experiences. The established journalist has had her hotel and travel reviews published in Weekend Notes, We Are Explorers and The Australian, and has spent several years in the industry.

The writer of this article, Ally Burnie, was invited to stay one night at Le Méridien as a guest of the hotel for the purpose of a review.