May 1, 2015

Image 30-04-2015 at 11.51 am

The Art Series Hotel Group’s boutique properties bear the names of Australia’s most contemporary artists and provide their guests an out of the ordinary accommodation experience, with an art inspired twist.

The Cullen in Melbourne was the first to open in 2009, followed in 2010 by The Olsen and The Blackman. Adelaide saw the opening of The Watson in August 2014. The Group expanded their innovative offering to a studio concept, with the opening in May 2014 of The Schaller Studio in Bendigo and The Larwill Studio in Melbourne’s Parkville in September 2014.

Setting The Art Series Hotel Group apart is their fleet of Smart Cars, featuring signature works of art on their exteriors. A further 13 customised Smart Cars have been added to their luxury passenger fleet which also includes a private helicopter and 4 chauffeur driven options. The helicopter provides a first class form of travel, available to whisk guests away from Melbourne’s airport, directly to one of the four hotels in the heart of the city.

Smart Car Helicopter Stunt_editThe fleet of 35 Smart Cars is shared amongst the Group’s six hotels, located in the hottest art and cultural hotspots of Melbourne, Bendigo and Adelaide and acknowledges the Group’s passion for encouraging Australians to explore a bit closer to home. The fleet ensures an unforgettable urban adventure, making all forms of art and culture within easy reach.

The Smart Cars are perfect for zipping in and out of city traffic and taking up less space than the average car, parking becomes a stress free affair. These mini vehicles can be hired at a rate of $8 an hour or $30 for a half day and $50 for a full day. Penthouse and two bedroom suite reservations receive complimentary access.

To celebrate the expansion of the fleet, one of the Smart Cars was taken for a spin high over Melbourne, carried by the Group’s private helicopter, which placed it in the centre of the rest of the Smart Car fleet, exemplifying the Group’s motto of pushing the boundaries of what is possible and ensuring out of the ordinary experiences.

“The Smart Car is the most convenient and practical way to move around the city, yet is quirky and creative in its look and feel, much like our hotels. They most certainly enhance our guests’ experience and are a great accompaniment to an urban stay”, said Ryan Tuckerman, Group Director of Sales & Marketing.

The Art Series Hotel Group is the brainchild of Melbourne entrepreneur, Will Deague, who commented “Experience is everything. At each of our hotels, we hope to offer something a little extraordinary and bespoke to the individual. Making transportation easily available to our guests removes the boundaries of immersing in these amazing cities and the local culture. This helps create something more memorable and personally valued, this is the truest meaning of luxury in our eyes.”

The boutique hotels and Art Series Residences offer guests the rare opportunity to get up close and personal to original pieces of artwork and get to know the artists who created them. The six properties are the destination of choice for business or leisure travellers seeking distinctive and out of the ordinary accommodation.

Sandra Tiltman


May 1, 2015


The wet and stormy weather did not stop party goers heading to Kirribilli recently to celebrate the second birthday of The Botanist, one of my favourite north side haunts. The name of this botanical themed restaurant and bar references Botanist, Gerard Fothergill, who travelled the world researching plants and spent the last years of his life running a small book shop in the very building the restaurant now occupies. The Botanist pays homage to these historical and botanical themes of exploration and discovery, creating food and cocktail menus using abundant offerings of fresh produce, herbs and spices.

DSC06450A perfect start to the evening was the choice of two cocktails, the Winter Mule featuring Ketel One Vodka, Lime, Blackberry Puree, topped with Ginger Beer plus a Mango Mai-Tai Pampero, Lime, Orgeat and Mango Puree. My vote went to the Mai-Tai but I also enjoyed the Varichon Sparkling and Yealands Estate Pinot Gris that were served.

Another treat was being able to sample head chef Timo Vogel’s delicious taster plates from his new Autumn menu. Stars of the night were Haloumi Toast, Green Pea Salad, Tuna Poke Spoons, Corn and Chorizo Croquettes, Classic Beef Sliders and Pepperoni Pizza. Judging by the empty plates going back to the kitchen, everyone else enjoyed them as much as I did.

The Botanist is a cosy venue with friendly staff and a great atmosphere, worth travelling over the Bridge to try their new menu. 

Sandra Tiltman     Photos: John Pond