Everyone loves a bit of summer camping, but scoring the clement weather that makes or breaks the holiday is usually down to sheer luck. I once got snowed into a campsite in Scotland in May, which goes to show that sometimes the gods just aren’t on your side. Unhelpful weather shouldn’t as much a problem in Melbourne (even if it is winter there right now), where St Jerome’s – The Hotel has opened up with a camping/hotel hybrid combining the sense of freedom and adventure of open-air living with the feeling of security and top-notch facilities that only a waterproof, bricks and mortar hotel can offer.
This is next level “glamping”, with 20 spacious bell tents — complete with proper beds and all the other hotel room amenities you’d expect — arranged on the rooftop of the Melbourne Central retail/entertainment complex in the CBD. Guests still get to fall asleep under the starry sky, only here the 360-degree panorama glows with the light of the cityscapes towering landmarks, and it’s only the shortest of hikes to Melbourne’s bars and restaurants. Although the grass is the kind you can roll up and store in a cupboard, there’s plenty of authentic living, breathing greenery to create a pleasant environment and soften the urban edges. St Jerome’s – The Hotel also provides a late-night burger delivery service — another major advantage over roughing it out in the wilderness.