Is 2019 the year you finally go and see the Australian Open? Or do you have tickets for January’s run of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child? Well, you’ll need somewhere to stay. We can help you- we sent Janeece Keller to check out one family hotel in Melbourne. Here’s her Pan Pacific Melbourne review.
Sitting on the banks of the Yarra in Melbourne’s South Wharf precinct, the Pan Pacific Melbourne is an ultra-convenient base for families. Located halfway between the CBD and the Docklands entertainment precinct, the hotel is a flat 15-minute walk in either direction to Federation Square or Etihad Stadium. The shops, restaurants and shows of Southbank and Crown are less than five minutes’ walk along the river and the trendy South Melbourne shops and markets are a short tram ride away.
Why we stayed here
We were looking for a hotel that made the kids feel welcome – and also let the adults enjoy a grown-up, Melbourne mini-break. Five-star, family-friendly hotels can be tough to find. We wanted to road test the newly refurbished Pan Pacific Melbourne for ourselves.
With floor-to-ceiling windows in every room, the views from Pan Pacific Melbourne are spectacular. The rooms are generous in size (the smallest are 38m2) and all rooms have a separate bath and shower, as well as electric blackout blinds, which are a considerate touch. Designed for families, the two-bedroom suites comfortably sleep two adults and three children and have two bathrooms and a kitchenette, which makes self-catering a breeze. In the panoramic rooms, you can watch the city lights come on from the bath, the sofa in the lounge area or from the bed.
For families with young kids, the Polly Woodside tall ship is right on the doorstep of the Pan Pacific and is a great way to learn about Victoria’s maritime history as you explore the ship. For shop-loving tweens and teens, a DFO (Direct Factory Outlets) is right outside. Within the hotel, there’s a full gym (kids need to be supervised) and the Pacific Club Lounge is a thoughtfully designed haven in the city. Think airport first-class lounge meets designer living room, and it’s available for the exclusive use of panoramic, Yarra suites and club guests.
Food & beverage
The Pan Pacific’s main restaurant is Dock 37 Bar & Kitchen – and its name and styling pay tribute to the maritime history of the location. At dinner, the hotel’s Asian heritage comes through in the menu. My favourite was the Singapore chilli crab, and while it’s an Aussie take on the original, it’s super tasty and always a fun meal to eat with your fingers and bib. For the adults, the floating wine gantry is spectacular and is a visual demonstration of the extensive wine list. Dock 37 is closed for lunch but the cafe is open serving coffee, light meals and snacks throughout the day.
The Pan Pacific is right among the action. Melbourne’s experiences, transport and restaurants are all nearby. Sea Life Melbourne aquarium is a flat, 10-minute walk along the river. For sports fans, Etihad Stadium is less than one kilometre away. The Crown complex with its myriad of restaurants and shops is a short stroll along the river towards the city. A similar distance in the opposite direction is Melbourne’s Docklands, with shops and activities such as the Melbourne Star Observation Wheel, ice skating and ArtVo that will be sure to keep the kids happy for hours. For the foodies, South Melbourne markets and Queen Victoria Market are easily accessible by tram, and the laneway cafes of the CBD are a gentle stroll away.
Family Travel tip
The family package in a two-bedroom suite includes tickets to the Polly Woodside, a roast dinner delivered to your room, as well as a movie and popcorn.
Janeece Keller is the founder and editor of Family Travel. She mostly travels with her husband and two young kids. She has a large blended family that lives in Australia and Europe. She has visited 52 countries and lived on 3 continents. From camping to luxury resorts Janeece tries to make sure her family has diverse holiday experiences each year. She is an avid hiker and ocean swimmer who loves good food, margaritas and heading off the beaten path.