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The Cullen, Prahran 

164 Commercial Road
Australia 3181
Tel: 61 3 9098 1555
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From the editors of Condé Nast Traveler:
Choosing the painter Adam Cullen, Australian art's angst-ridden enfant terrible, as the inspiration for The Cullen has proved a masterstroke. From the lobby's life-size Cullen-customized fiberglass cows to the array of original canvases scattered throughout this cleverly designed building, visual provocation awaits at every turn. The artist's preoccupations (the Australian psyche and the interplay between beauty and the grotesque) prove a fascinating backdrop for this compact, funky 113-suite hotel in the vibrant, Prahran district, well-placed for galleries and a short tram ride from downtown Melbourne. The hotel has two good restaurants (one Italian-Australian, the other Chinese), and the staff are unfailingly attentive, and the extra touches are artfully well-executed—from the in-house curator who offers tours of the property's art collection to the cute artist in residence do-not-disturb signs. The first of six properties in Melbourne's planned Art Series Hotel Group, The Cullen has proved a magnet for culture-lovers as well as a novel way to put Australian contemporary art—quite literally—on the map. —2010 Hot List

Which room to book: No. 409, for its balcony and city views.

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