Dessert-Inspired Interior Design: Adelphi Hotel


Designed to ‘engage your senses’, the world’s only dessert-themed hotel features carpets patterned like cakes, licorice all-sort chairs, wafer-like benches, sweet smelling vanilla scent wafting through the air, a nightly turn-down service with home-made macaroons and more. A Willy Wonker disaster, it is not!. Instead the Adelphi Hotel located in Melbourne, Australia is a sophisticated hotel, with buckets of personality and hip vibe, and is one of many boutique hotels across the world that are catering for our growing desire to have a unique, personalized travel experience.

But it hasn’t always been plain sailing for this hotel.  Although it was regarded as Australia’s first boutique hotel back in 1992 when it first opened (it featured stark, minimalist interiors and an infamous rooftop 25-metre glass-bottomed lap pool overhanging Flinders Lane), it later went through a period of decline. Fortunately after an eight month closure it was recently rescued from liquidation, and underwent a major redesign by Melbourne design firm Hachem who transformed it into a hip new dessert-themed destination. With Melbourne’s growing reputation as the art, culinary and fashion epicenter of Australia, it seems fitting that the hotel reflects all of these attributes through it’s creative menu, evocative art, rich finishes and modern furnishings.


The Adelphi Hotel offers an immersive experience – it stirs the delights of each of your senses. Approaching the hotel, it is the pink neon lights that draw you in and hint of something exciting inside. ‘The colours and textures of the hotel are all based off desserts,” said designer Fady Hachem. ”But it’s not weird. It’s not too out there”. Photography: Shania Shegedyn


Inside a life-sized horse and cart sculpture, designed by Fady Hachem and built by local artist, makes a most fanciful, and surprising reception desk in the hotel lobby. Photography: Shania Shegedyn


The dark and glassy ceiling tiles that span the lobby shimmer like chocolate and the pink neon lighting creates a cocoon-like atmosphere. A sweet scent of vanilla wafts through the air and jars of lollies and bowls of sticky toffee apples on the reception counter, tempt your sweet tooth. Photography: Shania Shegedyn

The eclectic furniture presents an array of texture, pattern and color. Glossy surfaces are mixed in with textured cushions and graphic carpeting. There are swinging chairs, leather chairs and even custom “sweet stools” that resemble licorice all-sorts. The large mural by Melbourne-based artist Barry Drinan indicates a sumptuous experience to follow. Photography: Shania Shegedyn


At its heart of this hotel is the Om Nom dessert restaurant and bar with French-trained patisserie chef Christy Angwidjaja at the helm. The menu features visually delightful and equally delicious desserts like ChocolaTerrarium 28 containing cinnamon sugared churros, chocolate ‘gravel’, pistachio + chocolate sponge, chocolate icecream, valhrona manjari mousse + milk foam. Photography: Shania Shegedyn


Sugar free? These desserts are not! However,  if you want to experience the finest desserts prepared by a former chef from the Ritz in Paris, this is the place to do it! Photography: Anthony Mok, Joe Vittorio, Shania Shegedyn


The guest rooms are modern and stylish featuring black, white, greys and pinks mixed with natural wood tones giving off a slight Scandinavian feel but with a little more drama. If you have a sweet tooth, there are plenty of free sweets in the bar fridge to tempt you including home-made fairy floss and popcorn. Photography: Anthony Mok


The bold geometric layer cake style carpet features in all the rooms throughout the hotel but is balanced by the neutral walls, geometry and layout of furniture.  Photography: Shania Shegedyn


The 100sq metres Palatial Suite which comfortably accommodates three people includes this fabulous living space packed with style. We love the layering of texture, color and pattern which play on the ‘embrace your senses’ theme. Photography: Shania Shegedyn


The Palatial suite bathroom stimulates your visual senses with its large photographic panels on the glass walls. Photography: Shania Shegedyn



And last but not least, there is the impressive rooftop pool which suspends two meters out and eight stories high above Flinders Street. What better place to start your day!  While the pool area has not changed much since the hotel first opened, a further upgrade to this space will be made in mid 2015 giving us one more reason to visit. Not that we needed one!


Adelphi Hotel

187 Flinders Lane

Melbourne  VIC  3000

ph: +61 (3) 8080 8888


Jill Brandenburg is a Freelance Interiors Writer & Stylist and Co-Editor of Design Lovers Blog.
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