With COVID-19 restrictions gradually easing across Melbourne, the city’s hospitality and event venues are welcoming guests back, albeit in smaller numbers for now.
On 28 October, restaurants, hotels, cafes and bars across metropolitan Melbourne reopened to allow up to 20 people seated indoors and up to 50 people outdoors.
While the business events industry is yet to receive further information on when corporate gatherings can resume, some venues have begun welcoming the public back through their doors.
New European-inspired venue arrives
Crown Melbourne’s riverfront restaurants have reopened this week, alongside the launch of a brand new outdoor venue, inspired by the beach clubs of St Tropez.
Pétanque Social offers an expansive open space adorned with daybeds, lounge chairs and striped pastel blue umbrellas.
Guests can enjoy a full-service bar and fresh summer dishes from Crown’s restaurant line-up, alongside live entertainment or a game of pétanque.
“Melbourne has always been the most European of Australia’s cities – so launching a south of France style bar on the river makes complete sense,” said executive general manager of food and beverage Enda Cunningham.
“We know Melburnians have had a hard year and we’re looking forward to being part of a COVID-safe summer for the city.”
Private dining returns
Sea Life Melbourne Aquarium is reopening its underwater private dining experience, with bookings now open.
From Friday 6 November, groups of up to 10 people can book an exclusive private dinner. With the aquarium still closed to large groups, the venue is also offering private lunch reservations for a limited time.
Open to guests of all ages, the private dining packages include a self-guided tour of the entire aquarium, a three-course dinner and a two-hour beverage package.
“We may not be able to resume our regular opening hours just yet, but we are thrilled to be able to host intimate groups for lunch or dinner among the aquatic animals,” said general manager Katie Isaac.
“Our team has been working incredibly hard behind the scenes to ensure we are COVID-safe, and we are ready to treat Melbournians to an unforgettable day or night out.”
Guests can choose from seven dining settings including the Mermaid Garden with panoramic views of the aquarium’s largest fish, the new Ocean Invaders exhibit, or outdoors overlooking the Yarra River and Southbank skyline.
Tailored hotel packages
Melbourne Marriott Hotel is ready to welcome guests back with a host of new staycation options for Melburnians.
For the dog lovers, the ‘Dog Days’ package includes plush bedding for both you and your canine companion, a private courtyard and a dog-friendly in-room dining experience.
Meanwhile, couples can enjoy the ‘Hot Tub and Movies Under the Stars’ package with a private courtyard and hot tub with outdoor movie set-up, twin wine pack and late checkout up to 1pm.
“With an ever-changing landscape the Marriott Melbourne team have worked diligently to create unique packages at our hotel that we hope Victorians will be excited to experience, now that we all have the ability to move around the state again,” said Melbourne Marriott Hotel’s Grant Gray.
Australia’s first surf park URBNSURF Melbourne is back open, with a range of surfing experiences available for beginners through to pros.
With outdoor pool occupancy limits increased to 50, URBNSURF’s lagoon has returned to full capacity for people who live or work within 25 kilometres of the venue.
The team says its excited to welcome more Melburnians and regional Victorians to the park from 9 November if case numbers remain low.