Drama is part of your hotel package when you book into Melbourne’s new Ritz-Carlton. 

The show begins. 

Two top-hatted doormen swing open massive doors so you can step into a marble foyer where a two-level stairway curves seductively into the distance. But if you’re expecting to check in here, nothing happens where mere mortals live. 

Instead, to check in, you’re whisked to Level 80 in a lift so fast your ears pop. Yes, level 80.  

Guests travel high into the sky to check in. (Image: Marriott Group)

Then the person who checks you in leads you to your room via a separate set of lifts just for hotel guests. The staff member becomes an actor. He pauses for effect. He unlocks the door; he swings it wide.  

At that instant, far across the room, a mesh curtain automatically starts slowly rising on the floor-to-ceiling windows, revealing the most jaw-dropping view I’ve ever seen from any hotel accommodation I've stayed in. 

I can see from the Marvel sports and entertainment stadium below to the mouth of the Yarra River, over a marina of luxury launches and far across the sea to the Dandenong Ranges.  

You know you’re high up on Level 70, but it’s hard to get perspective until a helicopter casually flies below your window as it circles the stadium. The cars are tiny, and the people are just dots. 

(Image: Marriott Group)

The theatricality is half the sense of arrival, but the room is where the real party starts. 

This king-size room is bigger than most suites.  

There’s a chaise longue in the lounge area, a bed to one side, a full-size dining table with four chairs, and a bathroom with twin basins and a huge roll-top bath.  

(Image: Marriott Group)

And there’s even a separate toilet room. Nice idea: the bathroom is always free even if your companion is showering. How luxurious.

The doors are solid in dark wood – or glass with metal overlays. And in an astonishing twist, the bathroom wall disappears to treat you to that view from the bath or the shower. That view. 

(Image: Marriott Group)

The bathrooms are marble, the sheets Frette. Everything says money, but discreetly. 

Then the show really starts.  

We join Melbourne’s most famous and well-heeled in the ballroom to celebrate the launch of the 111th Ritz-Carlton in the world by the Marriott Group.  

Floral displays are the size of a large SUV, on podiums, and hanging by a chain from the ceiling. 

There’s a reason for this: as the speeches fade away, civic and hotel leaders gather to pull a ribbon lifting the flowers high up to reveal a table setting spread with colour, food and wine, inviting the world into this extravagant celebration of Melbourne’s finest. 

In this world of Louboutin heels, black ties and Chanel jackets, with tango dancers spinning past, you feel part of a magical world, of excitement, money and power. 

The pool on Level 63 offers expansive views over Melbourne. (Image: Marriott Group)

As the party switches from the ballroom up to Level 80 and then heads down to the pool and spa event on Level 63, I slip quietly away and head down in the internal guests’ lift to my room to change for dinner. 

The lift is crammed full of invited media and celebrities giggly with Dom Pérignon and the buzz of a once-in-a-lifetime event. We stop at Level 70 for me. 

“No, we don’t want Level 70!” cries a silver fox in a burgundy velvet jacket, stabbing at the lift screen. 

“Sorry, this is me,” I apologise, as I slip out and head for my room. 

“I want to go where she’s going,” says his glamorous companion, and she starts to follow me. 

Yes, I totally understand. And I want to go there again, too. 

Even if you’re not mixing with Melbourne’s glitterati, drama will be part of your package, but you will pay for the experience. My Deluxe King room rate is $510 a night in April.  

The luxury of the Ritz-Carlton Melbourne is obvious from the moment guests enter on the ground floor.
(Image: Marriott Group)