Hot temps, hard courts and the best in the sport come together Down Under for the Australian Open, tennis’ first grand slam event of the year. There’s a lot to see and do, and while the focus is on tennis from January 14 through 27, don’t forget to dive into host city Melbourne’s lively entertainment scene. So, if you’ve yet to make plans for this year’s racket, check out our guide for where to stay, what to eat and where to go after the last match of the night.
Where To Stay
Have a relaxing home away from home at The Langham, Melbourne. Located in Southbank, the hotel offers quick and easy access to Melbourne Park and the Open. Take a five-minute car ride or a 20-minute walk through the beautiful Alexandra Gardens to get to the property. Once there, you’ll stay in a room with tremendous views of the Yarra River and have time to visit the lavish Chaun Spa, as well as enjoy the swimming pool and gym — if watching Serena Williams and Co. gets you in the mood to work out.
Park Hyatt Melbourne is also a good nearby option. The 240 modern rooms and suites feature marble baths and warm décor. The hotel has the Tea Lounge for an afternoon cuppa and snacks, and the stylish radii restaurant and bar for steaks and seafood. While Park Hyatt Melbourne has a fitness center and pool, you’ll want to schedule a private tennis lesson offered onsite — on a court looking out on to Rod Laver Arena, the venue for the Open.
What To Eat
While on the arena grounds, head to Jacob’s Creek Public Dining, with views of the Yarra, or Australian Open Dining, which features a carvery menu. Both onsite eateries are air-conditioned — something important to know in beating the heat of the Australian summer.
If you’re looking for a bit more fancy fare off Melbourne Park grounds, we suggest a few places, including nearby Spanish-flavored MoVida, which serves up some must-try tapas. And for some epicurean French food with an Australian twang — think kangaroo with a Jerusalem artichoke, pear and bone marrow — head to Vue de Monde. It’s a little bit further away from the Open, but is worth the trip.
Where To Party
In Melbourne Park, there are plenty of activities in the Grand Slam Oval — most notably are the live bands playing daily. And after the lights go down on a great day of grand slam tennis, head to one of Melbourne’s hot spots for a nightcap — or to get your night started. One of the best places for a good time is Rooftop Bar, which is exactly as it sounds and has great Melbourne views to prove it.
Photos Courtesy of Sandra Davis, MoVida, David Mitchener and Dianna Snape