Lonely Planet Writer

Fancy a night in a vintage airstream on top of a car park in Melbourne?

Australia’s newest and most anticipated rooftop accommodation is now officially open for business.

airstreams car park at the notel-Melbourne
The Notel in Melbourne is situated on the top of a three-storey carpark.  Image by Andrew Curtis

Part boutique hotel, part caravan park, Notel comprises of six five-star fully renovated and restored 1970’s airstreams on top of a car park in the middle of Melbourne.

The idea came from James Fry who has owned the three-level car park with his dad for a decade. “I had a million ideas of what I wanted to do with the space. I tossed around rooftop cinemas, restaurants and even a pool, but I wanted something totally different and something that would excite everyone,” he explains.

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The six gulf airstreams dating from the 1970’s were sourced in the US.  and  Image by Andrew Curtis

Two years in the planning, this is far from a traditional hotel (although it has all the luxuries of a five-star once inside).  Guests have to work out how exactly to get in. (Clue – it’s a single door that’s hidden near a coffee shop.)    There is no concierge and guests are emailed or texted a code for their smartphone that they can swipe to gain access. 

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Each suite comes with a posture mattress, bamboo sheets and premium bed linen all from local businesses in Melbourne.   Image by Andrew Curtis

James sourced the original 1970’s airstreams from across the west coast and mid-coast of the US, primarily in Santa Barbara, at a cost of US$70,000 each. All were completely gutted, sent on a boat across the Pacific to Geelong in Australia, and then driven up the highway to Flinders Lane and lifted onto the roof top of the car park using a 50-tonne crane.

Each gulfstream has a private ensuite bathroom.
Each gulfstream has a private ensuite bathroom. Image by Andrew Curtis

The standard suite is A$395 per night while the airstream ‘with benefits,’ which has a huge and private outdoor spa overlooking the city, is $440. Along with the extraordinary experience of your own five-star airstream with a queen size bed and a private ensuite bathroom, every guest enjoys complimentary Wi-Fi and Netflix, free parking (being on top of a car park) , a ‘help yourself at no charge’ mini bar.

Inside one of the six airstreams which cost up to $440AUS per night.
Inside one of the six airstreams which cost up to A$440 per night. Image by Andrew Curtis

The Notel idea is creating a stir on Twitter, with the  general agreement that sleeping in a gulfstream on a rooftop can only be a good thing: