25 January 2024
In the bustling heart of Melbourne, a city renowned for its peculiar charm and a penchant for the extraordinary, the Hilton Melbourne Little Queen Street (affectionately abbreviated as HMLQS by those in the know) embarked on a venture so audaciously whimsical it could only have sprung from the minds of those who had one too many gin cocktails.
This esteemed establishment, already a paragon of hospitality, has decided to marry the worlds of luxury accommodation and … pickleball.
Yes, pickleball, that curious hybrid of tennis, ping pong, and badminton, played not with the grace of a tennis racket but with paddles, as if paddling one’s way through the absurdity of life itself.
In a stroke of genius or madness – the line is often blurred – HMLQS, in cahoots with Game4Padel, erected a rooftop pickleball court. Not just any court, mind you, but one nestled amidst the breathtaking Melbourne skyline, transforming the act of whacking a plastic ball with a wooden paddle into an almost transcendental experience.
From 12 to 28 January, this pop-up pickleball paradise invites both the hotel’s distinguished guests and the general public to partake in this racket-wielding revelry. And what’s a sport without a touch of indulgence?
The Monkey 47 Gin rooftop lounge stands courtside, a haven of cocktails and bar snacks, turning the pickleball court into something akin to a bacchanalian feast, minus the grapes and togas.
Here, you can alternate between sips of gin and swings of the paddle, a dance as timeless as the city’s love for the peculiar.
For the uninitiated, ‘how to pickleball’ sessions with an expert coach are on offer, a sort of baptism into this cult of the paddle. And as if that weren’t enough, the HMLQS ups the ante with Sunset Sessions.
From 5 pm to 7 pm, the rooftop transforms into a veritable festival of pickleball, complete with music and a coach to shepherd the unenlightened into the fold. Welcome to the rooftop, where the game is pickleball, and the rules are as fluid as the gin in your glass.
Hilton Melbourne Little Queen Street is located at 18 Little Queen Street, Melbourne.