Sometimes a break from the routine is a good thing for the soul.

So even though I live, work and play in Melbourne I relished the opportunity to take a weekend break at The Hatton Hotel thanks to my friend K.

The Hatton is a 20-room boutique hotel located near the Botanical Gardens in South Yarra, which I guess the equivalent of a foreign country when you live in the gritty inner north and rarely head south of the river these days. The hotel is housed in a historic Italianate mansion complete with an entrance of tiled marble steps, grand pillars and elegant arched stained glass doorways. Apparently it was a hotel back in the 1900s, then turned into a boarding house and was converted back into hotel accommodation about 10 years ago.

Photo by The Hatton Hotel

One of the lovely things about staying in a small hotel is the personalised service. The reception is located in the bar/breakfast area and is manned by a single person who also carries your bags and takes you through the rabbit warren of softly carpeted corridors and unexpected patches of street art and Chinoiserie on display.

Photo by The Hatton Hotel

Photo by The Hatton Hotel

I stayed in a Superior room ($240-$295 a night). Despite being on the lowest flower Room 4 was light and airy and it was furnished with a king bed (which I later discovered was two singles put together, so watch out for the gap if you’re sleeping solo!) , a spacious bathroom decked out in fluffy white towels, bathrobes and L’Occitane toiletries, a small dining setting, a hidden-away kitchenette complete with sink, microwave, fridge, crockery, cutlery and kettle plus French shutters leading out into my own private shaded courtyard. Bliss.

Continental breakfast is included as part of the room tariff and can be taken in the sunny reception lounge, the front balcony or the roof deck.

The rooftop is a really special location – it offers a spectacular vista of the city and the view is crisp and bright by day, romantic and twinkling at night.

The breakfast buffet offers an array of Brookfarm muesli, cereal, toast, cheese, yoghurt, fruit, juice and tempting pastries from Prahran’s Amici Bakery. Over breakfast I lingered over the weekend papers while lolling about in the leather chair but you can also go online with the free wifi.

The Hatton is easily accessible from the city via a very pleasant stroll through the Botanical Gardens and the Number 8 tram stops right outside the door. From my room I didn’t hear any tram noise but if you’re concerned then request a room away from the street. Also, for those noise-sensitive sleepers I suggest asking for an upper level room – the rooms’ floorboards means that footsteps from other guests above you can sound thunderous in the dark of night.

The Hatton is also within walking distance to the cafes and shops on Domain Road and Toorak Road so there’s lots in the neighbourhood to keep you occupied.

I recommend The Hatton if you want to stay somewhere that’s intimate and cosy with a bit of personality, well-appointed in all its details and located outside the hubbub of the CBD but not too far away.

The Hatton Hotel, 65 Park St, South Yarra +61 3 98684800

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