When you think of a caravan holiday, long country roads, squabbling families and tinned baked beans may come to mind. Not at Melbourne’s newest holiday experience, Notel. The glam, urban getaway is set to change the face of caravanning forever, offering a unique stay in the middle of the CBD.
Named in recognition of its ‘not hotel’ status, Notel is a distinctive accommodation model brought to life by James Fry. James and his father, Blair, own the carpark below, and have been sitting on the space for 10 years, resisting multiple offers to sell the space.
James previously toyed with the idea of a rooftop bar or cinema, but inspiration for Notel struck with a stay at a boutique trailer park in Santa Barbara.
In true Melbourne fashion, the unique space isn’t easy to find. It’s located on a rooftop on the lesser-visited end of Flinders Lane and access is granted via bluetooth on your smartphone. Enter through a speakeasy-style roller door, and grab a coffee through the hole-in-the-wall Saluministi cafe as you arrive.
Notel’s concept places the city of Melbourne at the foot of your bed, with unbeatable views across the city. But just where will you be laying your head? That would be in the one of the six refurbished 1970s Airstream caravans, specially imported from the United States.
James wants his guests to get out and really experience the best of Melbourne. He encourages you to live like a local and find the city’s best coffee and
street-art down laneways. For that reason, there are no physical staff on-site.
Forget lining up for dinner somewhere down Flinders Lane. The Airstreams are kitted out with an iPad Pro that has a virtual concierge who can organize a dinner reservation at some of the city’s most coveted restaurants. In fitting with the explorer theme, there are no food or cooking facilities on-site. Don’t stress though – the complimentary minibar is well stocked with Shiki beer, Paul Louis champagne and chocolates.
You’ll sleep easy after a night out, with facilities that are on par with some of the best hotels in the area. Nestle into a bed dressed with premium linen, watch some Netflix and snooze the night away. Wake up with a luxurious hot and full-sized shower, before another day of exploring. Architecture firm, Edwards Moore, is responsible for the interior scheme, so expect to rest in style.
For a superior night away, book the Airstream with Benefits. The 31-foot caravan features a Sapphire spa bath with an exclusive position overlooking Flinders Lane. You might want to leave the kids at home, but if you can’t, Notel is happy to accommodate the little ones with custom cribs.
FMSA Architecture is responsible for the external spaces up top. The graffiti murals by local artist Ash Keating exemplify the urban street-culture that Melbourne is renowned for, making the space the perfect place for a special event – Notel is available for private hire and has the capacity for 300 guests.
Jump on board a caravan holiday at Notel. It’s a refreshing accommodation concept, where you can soak up the very best Melbourne has to offer and have a peaceful night’s sleep. Best of all, there are no baked beans in sight.