Melbourne is set to get its first six-star accommodation as the historic Hotel Windsor embarks on a long-awaited refurbishment.
While you might imagine a rigorous list of conditions needed to pass a six-star rating, Hotel Windsor director Adi Halim is the first to admit it's actually not an official category.
"Technically there's no such thing as an official six-star rating but it's a commonly used term to differentiate the upper levels of luxury compared to the official five-star rating," Halim told The Huffington Post Australia.
"There are a few resorts and hotels in Australia I would call six-star already like the Southern Ocean Lodge in Kangaroo Island, Capella Lodge on Lord Howe Island, down in Tassie there's Saffire Freycinet, and there's the great hotel in Perth COMO the Treasury.
"They're all boutique hotels that aren't really part of a chain, except COMO the Treasury. I think that means they can be more individual."
He said for that reason, six-star luxury was not the classic five-star look.
"It's not gold taps and old school glitz and glam. Six star is more about reflecting the location with something individual and authentic."
The 1883 hotel predates the Savoy in London, the Ritz in Paris, and Raffles in Singapore and Halim said there were some historic gems they were polishing up for the refurbishment.
"Most people who've stayed here don't know this but there's a secret courtyard that we're going to open to the public," he said.
"It's not what you expect, this courtyard space in an inner-city hotel."
Celebrities who've stayed in Hotel Windsor
Sir Anthony Hopkins
Helena Bonham Carter
The 279-suite hotel will have a three-level royal penthouse with its own private lift access, a spa and outdoor terraces overlooking Parliament House. There'll also be a three-bedroom presidential penthouse with a private library, home cinema, spa and cellar.
While some reports have said the penthouse cost $20,000 a night, Halim said it was speculation.
"It's a few years off being built," he said.
"One thing I will say is I'm confident the luxury sector in Australia will remain strong. Australia's aviation and airports sector have done a really good job of driving international growth in tourism."
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