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KAYAK and OpenTable reveal a 228%* spike in flight searches to Melbourne as Aussies flock to the Australian Open

January 23, 2019 OTA News No Comments Email Email

It seems Australia is a nation of tennis enthusiasts, with leading travel search engine revealing data that shows Aussie flight searches to Melbourne have increased by over 228%* during the Australian Open (January 7 – 27), compared to December 2018 travel.

Each year, tennis fans from all over Australia flock to Melbourne to watch the matches, soak up the sun and enjoy the diverse food and flavours that the city has to offer. Melbourne has solidified its position as the nation’s most revered dining hub, with leading restaurant reservation platform OpenTable revealing it was the top foodie capital in Australia for 2018, claiming 38% of the venues in their top 50 countrywide restaurant list**.

If you’re planning to visit Melbourne for a spot of tennis, here are’s best last-minute hotel deals and OpenTable’s top picks for dining in and around the city.’s top last-minute hotel deals:

1. Pullman Melbourne Albert Park, from $139*** per night

Just a 15 minute drive from Rod Laver Arena, and complete with a fitness centre and indoor pool, you won’t want to miss out on a stay at the Pullman. The hotel is also just a short walk from the bustling suburb of St Kilda, where you can visit St Kilda Beach, the famous Luna Park and the weekly Esplanade Market – an idyllic hotspot for nabbing unique art and handmade goods.

2. Oaks on William, from $144*** per night

Located in Melbourne’s CBD, Oaks on William is a 3-minute walk from Flagstaff Gardens and 6 minutes by foot from Hardware Lane, not to mention a short 10-minute drive from Rod Laver Arena. When you’re not at the tennis, however, Oaks on William is perfectly situated close to popular Chinatown, where you can get lost in the endless laneways, alleys and arcades.

3. The Swanston Hotel Melbourne Grand Mercure, from $139*** per night

If you’re a shopper, The Swanston Hotel is located literally around the corner from popular shopping precincts Bourke Street Mall and Emporium. With a number of cafes, restaurants and bars to try out too, this spot is perfect for both shoppers and tennis fans alike, given it’s only a 25-minute walk or 11-minute drive from Rod Laver.

4. Playhouse Apartments, from $97*** per night

Located just a stone throw’s away from the Yarra River, Playhouse Apartments is an affordable yet unique accommodation choice. Board one of the regular river crafts on the Yarra, and enjoy a different kind of transport to Rod Laver Arena, or visit the Royal Botanical Gardens and Herring Park Island.

5. Southbank Apartments – Wrap, from $108*** per night

With a stay at Southbank Apartments – Wrap, you’ll be only a few steps away from the Yarra Riverfront and a 5-minute walk to Eureka Skydeck, where you can enjoy the most spectacular floor-to-ceiling, 360-degree views. If you’re looking to kill time during the day before heading to an evening tennis match, look no further than the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art (ACCA), which is an ideal spot for soaking in exhibitions by local artists.

OpenTable’s picks for dining near the tennis:

1. Sunda

Sunda is a combination of vibrant South East Asian flavours and native Australian produce orchestrated by Head Chef, Khanh Nguyen. Influenced by the bold flavours of South-East Asia, Sunda’s menu offers a more daring and unexpected collaboration of Indonesian, Malaysian and Vietnamese cuisine. Brought together using lesser known ingredients and techniques, it’s not surprising to learn they nabbed a spot on OpenTable’s 2018 top 50 restaurants list. Conveniently situated a six minute drive or 20 minute walk from Rod Laver, you can opt for the set menu to match your food and beverages before watching a real tennis match.

2. Mjolner

Mjolner is a Scandinavian eatery which presents a contemporary interpretation of the Viking feasts and celebrations. This sophisticated yet fun establishment is a quick 13 minute drive from Rod Laver Arena, making it an ideal spot to grab a quality bite in and around the tennis. Special offers at the moment include the 1kg Tomahawk Steak with Bone Marrow Bordelaise.

3. Paper Plate

Just a 13 minute drive from Rod Laver Arena, Paper Plate believes that taste should not take a backseat to presentation. They offer a selection of dishes that are inspired by the exotic and flavourful foods from both the traditional and modern streets of Vietnam, perfect for a slice of food porn prior to a night of tennis matches.

4. Onda Bar & Eatery

If you’re opting for Latin American vibes before hitting the court, Onda specialises in just that. From plantain chips, cassava crisps and a kingfish ceviche that will make you feel “muy bien!”, this Spanish-inspired hotspot is renowned for spreading good energy through soulful meals and familiar hospitality.

5. Future Future

Established as a Japanese restaurant through Melbourne eyes, Future Future is a dining destination that pays homage to its spiritual homeland, without the clichés, and was created out of a love for Japanese food and culture, great design and music. The perfect spot for ‘otsumami’ (Japanese snacks for pairing with beer and alcohol), this venue will be sure to please ahead of an afternoon or evening at Rod Laver.

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