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Crown Metropol, Melbourne 

8 Whiteman Street
Australia 3006
Tel: 61 3 9292 8888
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From the editors of Condé Nast Traveler:
There's something pleasingly left field about this gleaming high-rise that, at 658 rooms, is Australia's largest hotel. For one, there's the eye-catching art throughout, including a color-drip mural by Australian Noël Skrzypczak and seven large chestnut-wood spheres by Korean artist Jae Lee Hyo in the lobby. This hotel reflects neither the deep-carpet ultraluxury of the Crown Towers nor the business-like restraint of the Crown Promenade, the other two properties in the glitzy Crown Entertainment Complex. The Metropol verges on funky, with a staff whose professionalism belies the casual jeans-and-hoodies uniform. Rooms are outfitted with fun retro-inspired designer furnishings and have muted color schemes. Even the standard Luxe rooms feel spacious thanks to huge windows; there's no tub, however. Step up to a Loft suite for an enormous soaking tub, a separate living space with a dining table, and (perhaps excessively) three TVs. British chef Gordon Ramsay chose the first floor for the Australian outpost of his Maze empire, but the jewel in this Crown is on the twenty-seventh floor, where the pool and spa grant panoramic views of the city and Port Phillip Bay. —2011 Hot List

Which room to book: Loft 2436 is twice as big as one of the Luxe studios and has front-and-center city views.

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