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Swanky new hotels and famous chefs in Melbourne put the city on a par with Sydney.

A number of new hotels and restaurants with big-name chefs are opening in Melbourne. Perhaps the pick of the crop is the luxury brand Crown, which is investing a massive 1 billion dollars to expand its sprawling Crown Entertainment Complex on the southern bank of the Yarra River, reports the New York Times. In April of last year it opened Australia’s largest hotel, the 300-million-dollar 658-room Crown Metropol.

The hotel is home to the Maze and Maze Grill, which is our own Gordon Ramsay’s first culinary venture in the Antipodes. The Crown Metropol comes with a luxury, all-the-rage infinity pool on the 27th floor which has spectacular 180-degree views of the city. Or if you’re feeling flush, go one better in one of the four private penthouse gaming salons in the complex’s Crown Towers hotel and try your hand at the tables with a 360-degree view of Melbourne’s skyline.

If you prefer something smaller, try one of the three newly-opened Art Series stylish boutique hotels, inspired by famous artists who display their works there. Visit the group’s flagship hotel, The Olsen, named after the landscape painter John Olsen. The hotel has 229 rooms and a heated, glass-bottomed swimming pool. Doubles from 215 dollars per night. Enjoy your stay!

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