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HOTEL REVIEW: Shadow Play by Peppers, Melbourne

GAYA AVERY checks into a recent addition to the Melbourne accommodation landscape, to find a hotel that both fits in and stands out.


Some hotels make an impression when you walk through their front door. Shadow Play by Peppers Melbourne grabs you as soon as you lay eyes on it. 


Unveiled in May 2019, Shadow Play by Peppers rises almost Gaudi-esque above Melbourne’s Southbank district, with a dark blue, glass exterior, curved edges and windows that jut out seemingly at random. It’s bold, and it all works beautifully.


The cool design continues inside. Via a curling ramp, I enter a darkish lobby, where music fills the air, but friendly staff add some lightness to the space. 



Hotel guests share the property with tenants of Peppers Residences, who enter and exit through a back entrance around the corner. So with a steady flow of occupants coming in and out, omnipresent elevators quickly whisk me up to my seventh floor suite - a 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom apartment. 


Within the spacious suite, floor to ceiling windows shine light on a modern living room, whose decor blends attractive greys and charcoals with natural timbers. 


A full kitchen features a cooktop, dishwasher, microwave, toaster and best of all, full-size fridge perfect for storing supplies for a longer stay. But its minibar perhaps shines brightest, with a selection of Victorian coffees and Daylesford sodas mixing it up with Yarra wines, boutique beers and locally distilled spirits. For snacking, there’s everything from protein bars to gourmet nuts and chocolates - again all locally sourced. 



Alongside the kitchen, a laundry equipped with washer, dryer and ironing supplies ensures my clothes stay clean and crumple-free.


Boasting comfy queen beds, the two bedrooms are just large enough, with one featuring an ensuite and the other easy access to the main bathroom; both offer luxurious Appelles toiletries and as you’d expect of a property this new, are spotless. 


If you grow tired of using the excellent in-room facilities, or if the mood simply strikes you (and you’ll be thankful it did), the property’s Edwin Wine Bar & Cellar offers outstanding dining in a space befitting the rest the hotel (read sophisticated yet welcoming). 



Here, small plate dishes rule, with lemon-infused zucchini flowers and Italian burrata vying most for my vegetarian heart. Elsewhere on the menu, oysters, Portland kingfish and Port Philip sardines precede a large plate selection featuring Gippsland lamb and Great Ocean Road duck. An extensive and excellent wine list, rounds out a very cool, very Melbourne dining experience.


Breakfast is also served at Edwin. There’s an a la carte menu featuring eggs done in almost any way, smashed avocado, smoked salmon and plenty more as well as a range of sides highlighted by the grilled mushrooms and awesome homemade beans. But the star here could be the selection of mueslis available at the small buffet, which include a house-made vegan maple granola, a gluten free muesli, a tasty bircher and chia puddings. 



Whilst local attractions on the doorstep of the hotel, like the Crown Entertainment Complex and cool South Melbourne, beckon, there’s plenty to keep you busy in Shadow Play by Peppers itself, like the fully equipped gym, heated pool, and sauna and steam rooms. There’s also a top-floor garden with bay views, an outdoor barbecuing area, guest lounge and even library. 


But when you do leave the hotel, remember to look back. Because this is a hotel where the views go both ways. 


The writer was a guest of the hotel. For more information on the property, click here.




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Written by: Gaya Avery
Published: 29 October 2019

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