HOTEL REVIEW : The Cullen – Melbourne, Australia

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Prahran is a veritable boiling-pot inner Melbourne suburb with a splurge of cuisine, culture, retail and lifestyle experiences all within footsteps of one another. In the heart of all this gregarious action sits The Cullen, a part of the Art Series Hotels Group. A jumble of coloured balconies and metallic grey windows jutting out from this modern piece of architecture, the hotel sits aloft bustling Commercial Road. The standout hotel is flanked by the iconic Prahran Market, boutique retail shops, high fashion stores, popular cafes and hot-spot nightclubs. It even boasts two ground floor restaurants (Gramercy Social and HuTong Dumpling Bar), plus a hairdressing salon.

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The hotel itself is bold and brazen, taking more than just a nod from its namesake – Australian Grunge artist and Archibald Prize Winner, Adam Cullen – with his bright, often controversial and fiercely wonderful paintings adorning bright lime and fire-engine red walls throughout. Depicting characters such as a muscular minotaur, Growler the Working Dog,  Ned Kelly and Steve Hart’s Horse in Drag, there’s nothing dull about Cullen’s artwork and indeed the hotel follows suit. Every room in the hotel is a statement – loud and quirky, yet luxurious and fascinating all in one breath.

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There is a plethora of quality rooms to choose from, all including original artworks and prints of Cullen’s, Art Series Signature Beds (which are heavenly) and kitchenette facilities – you can whip down to Prahran Market and pick yourself up some gourmet delights to cook up in your Cullen kitchen!

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The Junior Penthouse in particular is a stunning and spacious room, complete with king-sized bed (a must), open plan lounge/dining area and huge private balcony looking out towards the North and West of Melbourne.

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Spacious walk-in shower, well-stocked mini bar, plus 42 inch TV are highlights. On the down-side there isn’t a huge amount of basin space in the bathroom to pop your beauty products on and the couch in the open plan living area is definitely on the teeny size.

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BUT, the option for a blissful breakfast in bed is a much-loved perk of staying at The Cullen, courtesy of their restaurant, The Gramercy, downstairs.

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In terms of hotel facilities, there is a state-of-the-art gym, with outdoor balcony space, perfect for those early morning stretches or yoga routines. With an edgy backdrop of graffitied wolves overlapping one another, and a line-up of treadmills, bikes and weights, it’s a very cool spot to get your sweat on.

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You can also enjoy 24-hour reception, concierge and room service (yass!), with wi-fi internet access, AND you can hire a Cullen Smart Car to zip around Melbourne in, or opt for a Lekker bike or scooter.

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With dramatic plunging light globes running the length of the lobby atrium, lashings of bold colour  splashed across walls, a coloured glass mosaic cow to welcome you, spaciously luxurious rooms, and cosmopolitan buzz below, The Cullen is a must stay hotel, whose popularity is as iconic as the characters the late Adam Cullen enjoyed bringing to life through his unique artistry.

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To book a room at The Cullen, visit: http://www.artserieshotels.com.au/cullen/

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