Adelphi Hotel – Melbourne / by Hachem Studio

In the heart of Melbourne’s CBD sits the famous Adelphi hotel. The building has had a few face lifts over its lifespan, originally built in 1938, it was bought and refurbished by architects Denton Corker Marshall in 1989, breaking the traditional style of a Melbourne hotel, and was considered one of the 90’s boldest buildings with its stark ‘industrial’ interiors with splashes of vibrant colour.

Original reception lobby 1994.

After years of decline in 2013 Hachem Studio were commissioned to bring the hotel back in fashion, with a new relevant interior, creating in the process the worlds very first ‘dessert’ hotel

From your very first steps into the lobby space you are immediately hit with a ‘fairy tale’ array of colours, materials and artwork. 

An eye catching horse sculpture pulls on a intricate carriage reception desk, bold pattern carpets and metallic caramel coloured soffit draws you deeper into the space past charming swing seating towards the hotels signature dessert themed restaurant Om Nom. The end wall of the dining area is adorned with a set of alluring lips that suggest the sweet culinary journey you are about to embark on. 

Dessert creation from Om Nom

Continuing on the dessert theme, chocolate browns and caramels set the base colours, this is emphasised with high gloss veneered feature wall that spans the full length of the restaurant, while playful liquorice allsort furnishings hammer home the dessert inspiration with punchy vibrancy. 

The 34 bedrooms are a little less constrained to the dessert theme but the sweet style stools are still used. The bold geometric patterned carpets seen in the lobby are also found in the rooms, giving a subtle link back to the rest of the hotel’s interiors. The stunning Art Deco windows from the original building a complimented with mid century furniture and designer lighting. 

Creams, blacks & whites form the colour palette to the sleeping areas, again populated with punchy touches of colour through cushions, vases or lighting to give the rooms a playful touch in what can be quite an adult interior. 

Stainless steel bathrooms give a throw back to the previous DCM industrial interiors, but follow the ‘fun’ vibe you’d expect from a dessert hotel with vibrant imagery manifested on the walls.


The rooftop holds one of the hotels most famous features, a rooftop pool that cantilevers 2m off the building. Unfortunately we didn’t get to go up there even though the Autumn temperature was a scorching 32degress. 

The roofspace also holds the hotels event space Mon Bijou that offers penthouse style luxury and views to match. 

Although I’m not a great fan of themed hotels, Hachem Studio have used all of their multi faceted expertise to create interiors that are young, exciting while still retaining  some Art Deco elegance. The dessert theme is subtle enough to go un noticed, while the bold features and imagery create a vibrancy and interest that the DCM scheme was missing. Om Nom is the icing on the cake (excuse the pun) and a must check out during happy hour.  

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