The Pan Pacific Melbourne was rebranded from the Hilton Melbourne South Wharf (which I have personally stayed in at least three times) back in 2017 and ever since then, the property has gone through refurbishment to ensure that both the hardware and software are in line with the Pan Pacific brand globally. I flew in to Melbourne on Emirates and since I was traveling on Business Class, I got to enjoy a complimentary chauffeur-drive service from the airport to a place of my choice. I had initially wanted to review the Emirates flight but since I spent most of it in darkness (it was a redeye flight), I decided to give it a miss and catch up on sleep instead.
Since my flight actually touched down in Melbourne Airport before 8:00AM, I got to the Pan Pacific Melbourne slightly after 9:00AM and was pleasantly surprised to find out that my room was already ready (just one of the perks of being a DISCOVERY Loyalty Black member). My reservation was for a Pacific Club King Room and I was quickly given the option to enjoy a private check-in at the Pacific Club. However, since it was really early in the morning and there was practically no other guests around, I decided to just complete the check-in process in the lobby. Once that was done, I was quickly escorted to my room and my luggage was delivered shortly.
The Pacific Club King Room that I stayed in was on the higher floors of the property and it comes with beautiful views of the Yarra River as well as the surrounding city. At first glance, the bedroom looks vaguely similar to the room that I stayed in back in 2014 when the hotel was still under the management of Hilton but if you look closely, you will notice that not only the carpet has been replaced but the rooms have all been given a slight splash of colour. The Pacific Club King Room is fairly similar to the Premier King City Skyline Room since they are both located on higher floors - the key differentiating factor is that one comes with Pacific Club privileges and access to the Pacific Club Lounge (more on this later!).
The Pacific Club King Room measures 38sqm in size which is not exactly the largest room around but the squarish layout makes the room feel slightly larger than it is. Do not misunderstand me though - there is plenty of room space for you to move around (even if you are sharing it with a friend!) but my previous stay here (before the rebrand) was in a suite so I definitely felt noticeable differences between the two stays. Since I needed to be in Auckland the following day for work, I really appreciated the existence of a large work desk in my own room. Complimentary WiFi is also offered in the hotel and I did not have any issues connecting to it - streaming videos on Netflix was also painless.
As a DISCOVERY Loyalty Black member, I received a rather extensive selection of welcome amenities - not only was I given a bottle of Australian red wine (which I finished, obviously), I was also given a fruit platter as well as a beautiful dessert platter on the side. There was also a handwritten note that was addressed to me so I definitely felt welcomed here at the Pan Pacific Melbourne.
Water from the tap here in Melbourne is potable but if you are skeptical, complimentary bottled water is also provided in the room. While I do understand the need to cut down on single-use plastics, I am sometimes guilty of bottled water since they provide so much convenience - it is also the only way I can enjoy a chilled beverage at the end of the day unless hotels provide glass bottles that you can refrigerate.
The Pacific Club King Room comes with well, a king-size bed and if memory did not fail me, they seem to be exactly the same model of bed that I have slept on on previous visits. The bedsheets are also vaguely familiar so I believe most of these are kept even with the rebrand (and it makes sense since that is one of the reasons why another brand would bother taking over an existing property). Reading lights are cleverly tucked away in the headboard and they are activated when you push them outwards.
Even though USB charging ports are available by the side of the bed, the power outlets were unfortunately not universal. I typically travel with an adapter since I have too many gadgets on me but if you do not, it may be worthwhile to push the ServiceOne button on your phone to request for one that you can use during your stay.
If you are traveling with a friend, be rest assured that unlike some modern hotels that I have been lately, the bathroom door can actually be shut for your privacy. In my opinion, it is also time for the television in the bedroom to be replaced - they may come with a good number of channels but it is definitely show signs of age.
While slight changes have been made to the bedroom itself, the bathroom of the Pacific Club King Room remains to be exactly the way that I have remembered it to be (except for the bath amenities, of course). Even though the room measures only 38sqm in size, it actually has a sizeable bathtub and a separate showering area at the back. There is also a toilet with a separate door located towards the back of the bathroom so you can actually close both doors to avoid any potential embarrassing moments.
Bath salts are provided by the tub and they were replenished during evening turndown. There is also a power outlet by the side of the sink for you to connect the hairdryer so you can actually look yourself in the mirror while you dry or style your hair. Too many hotels that I have been to have overlooked this seemingly straightforward detail.
Similar to what the Pan Pacific Singapore uses, bath amenities here at the Pan Pacific Melbourne are provided by ‘em-brace’ which is an in-house brand. Having been to the Pan Pacific properties (back when the Pan Pacific Orchard was still open) on so many occasion, using these em-brace amenities truly felt a little strange in a foreign country.
One of the things that I was most looking forward to during the stay was the Pacific Club Lounge. While the location of this club lounge has not changed, the interiors look completely different from before - the hideous carpets have now been replaced with something this century, the furniture now look modern and sleek but most importantly, I love how homely the entire space feels. The Pacific Club Lounge at the Pan Pacific Melbourne feels like the living room and kitchen of a city penthouse!
I love the contrast between the warmer tones that are found in the inner parts of the Pacific Club Lounge and the more eclectic and striking details that borders that beautiful space. The different seating configurations within the club lounge meant that you could easily find a spot to settle down irregardless or whether you are traveling alone (like I was) or with your family and friends.
Now my favourite part of the Pacific Club Lounge is the outdoor terrace that they have managed to keep - it looks roughly similar but I did not seeing a standing table by the edge of the window the last time. Even though it was under 15 degree Celsius when I visited, I truly enjoyed sitting outside with a drink in hand - I was the only crazy Asian dude sitting outside during the visit.
Located on Level 4 of the Pan Pacific Melbourne, the Pacific Club Lounge may not come with a bird’s eye view of the city (that’s what you go back to your bedrooms for!) but due to its lower proximity to the ground, you do get that panoramic view of the river and famous landmarks. In the evening, alcoholic drinks and canapés are served for Pacific Club guests so make sure you come down to enjoy a glass of wine and some cold cuts while overlooking the city.
The food selection offered here at the Pan Pacific Melbourne during evening cocktails is not extensive enough in my opinion, for a proper dinner. Perhaps, I have been spoilt silly by properties in Asia-Pacific where the ‘canapés’ can often pass off as full-size meals. Most of the food items are fairly similar to what I have had on my previous visits - the chorizo, the cold cuts as well as the token Asian-item in steam baskets. Champagne is not served here in the Pacific Club Lounge but a sparkling varietal (Australian, of course) is served in place of that. They do also have a number of beers available so if you are a beer-drinker, you might find yourself in good hands.
After a few glasses of reds, I headed back to my room to find a completely-refreshed bedroom and everything has been taken care of - towels that were left on the floor were dutifully replaced, bath amenities were restocked and there were even some chocolates placed by the side of the bed for me (this is something that a lot of hotels in Australia and New Zealand do for some reason). I looked out of the window and was pleasantly surprised by how much the sky has cleared up and how beautiful this city is both in the day as well as in the night. One of the things that I would definitely recommend for people staying at the Pan Pacific Melbourne is do is to first look out at the Crown Melbourne to see the Gas Brigades Fire Show from a distance. After doing so, head down to that actual spot and feel that heat and energy that explodes above you - quite a thrilling experience!
As much as I really wanted to sleep in that morning, I had a flight to catch and I really wanted to get in slightly earlier so I could take some photos without feeling too self-conscious about the whole thing. Maybe it is just me but I was always feel a little out of place with my camera whenever I travel (especially if I am alone) so perhaps it is time to upgrade (again!) to a mirrorless DSLR.
Pacific Club guests have the option of having breakfast at the Pacific Club Lounge or the beautiful Dock 37 Bar and Kitchen downstairs. Since I was really trying to save my stomach for actual brunch food, I decided to grab a quick one from the club lounge and it was pretty decent - the only thing that could have been done better was a ‘live’ egg station but hey I am not complaining.
Pacific Club guests have the option of staying in their rooms or suites until 2:00PM (free-of-charge) should they be available. Since I have my DISCOVERY Loyalty Black status, I could potentially keep my room until 6:00PM if it was available but since I had a flight to Auckland to catch, I left the property ahead of the standard check-out time. An Uber ride from the Pan Pacific Melbourne to the Melbourne Airport should cost you approximately AUD 70 one-way but if you are looking for a cheaper alternative, I recommend giving the Starbus Shuttle a go - it is only AUD 19 one way for a CBD hotel. The problem with this city is that there is never enough time because there is just so much to do here in Melbourne but I am definitely looking forward to visiting again next month.