Words by Carlie Tucker
Proving that there's more to Victoria than Melbourne's bustling streets, the outer suburbs are quickly blossoming into frequent stops for business travellers from around Australia. This is particularly true of Dandenong, which is Victoria's fastest growing corporate precinct.
With this growth comes the demand for quality accommodation within close proximity to this key business district, and Atura has risen to the occasion. The Atura Dandenong marks the third Victorian instalment for the brand and I had the privilege of staying overnight.
Owned and operated by the same group that brought us such savvy boutique brands as the QT Hotels & Resorts and Art Series Hotels, Atura Dandenong stands apart with a youthful vibe and refreshing style. You'll find the usual hotel suspects here, conference facilities, 128 guest rooms and a restaurant, but the design is anything but standard.
Throwing the stuffy restrictions of traditional hotels to the wind, communal spaces are open and free-flowing to encourage guests to mingle and network, with funky furniture pieces that toe the line between industrial chic and modern comfort. Apple computers offer a connected workstation should you need it, and a large, light-filled dining area comes alive in the morning with a fabulous buffet of hot and cold goodies.
Quality food and drink are at the forefront of the Atura Dandenong experience as the hotel plays home to a couple of wining and dining options. Start things off in the open plan bar area, which offers both indoor and outdoor seating. The ambience is perfect for business catch-ups over cocktails.
Alternatively, the Roadhouse Bar & Grill offers traditional grub with modern flair and its very own Brownstone Micro-Brewery. I was lucky enough to be treated to a tasting flight, including two in-house brews. Though beer isn't normally my go-to drink, the quality and flavour was enough to sway me. It was a perfect accompaniment to the hearty menu serving up such dishes as salmon, pork belly and burgers.
The highlight of the hotel, though, has to be the rooms. A subtle colour palette is uplifted by pops of vibrant yellow, while the practical layout is spacious and comfortable. There are also plenty of delightful surprises incorporated throughout, but it's the quality behind the basics that make them really great: comfy beds, great pillows and fabulous Malin + Goetz amenities. Business travellers with hectic schedules will definitely appreciate the in-room workstations, coffee pod machines with complimentary pods and free WiFi access.
The Atura Dandenong is fresh and new but it's appeal is timeless. Comfort and quality will never go out of style.