Peter and Rhonda are two Australians, currently living in Seattle, who were looking in Melbourne for another place to call home. With plans to travel back-and-forth between the two countries to visit family and friends for years to come, the couple were looking for somewhere that offered convenience, amenity, and security, when they fell in love with the concept of the 1 Hotel and Homes offering at Seafarers.
What attracted you to Seafarers and made you decide to purchase your second home here in Melbourne?
We have a significant portion of our family and elderly parents that are still in Australia and who we want to spend more time with. Our kids are also at an age where we want to continue giving them a connection to Australia. So, we had always planned on purchasing a home here as a second base, while retaining our existing home in Seattle. The pandemic certainly brought that even more in focus and pushed us to do something.
We will initially come back for a couple of times a year, for weeks or months or however long, and commute between the two countries. So, one of the reasons we decided on Seafarers was the security. We can lock it up, walk away and not worry about maintenance when we come back.
Were there any additional features that drew you in?
The 1 Hotel amenities and services was certainly very appealing. Our kids were very charmed by the access to the pool and gym and loved the idea of being in our apartment and ordering room service! Being wined and dined in the residents’ common area on the 17th floor also looks particularly attractive.
The 1 Hotel integration offers a lot of flexibility too. Let’s say we’re having friends from the States join us and it’s greater than what we can accommodate in our apartment, the great feature about Seafarers is that there is another opportunity for them to stay close by. If not with us, at least they’ll still be nearby. Something that people might not necessarily realise right away is that you might get a three-bedroom apartment, but you’ve got unlimited hotel rooms available as well. It ends up really being a home that can grow and shrink as need be.
Did you amend any elements of the design to make it your own?
We haven’t made any changes to the actual configuration or layout, just some upgrades here and there like some minor changes to the wardrobes and the addition of a steam shower. Alongside the first-class appliances, the finish of the residences is also very well done, so I don’t feel like we’re compromising anywhere.
We purchased a three-bedroom, three-bathroom configuration that comes with a larger terrace and a 270-degree view of the Yarra and park view. We were already very happy with the floorplan to begin with, though the terrace really sold it for us.
What was the purchasing process and experience like, having done this while predominantly based overseas?
We were fortunate enough to spend some time in Melbourne in the middle of the year and we did as much as we could with the restrictions that were in place to visit several places that would appeal to us. Those were ultimately discounted when we found out about Seafarers.
It’s difficult to find out what really exists when you’re looking for a particular target from a distance. We weren’t initially aware of Seafarers’ existence while abroad, so I think in some ways, when we stumbled into Seafarers during our search, we moved fast because we immediately fell in love with the concept. We read all about it and quickly knew what it was about, what it stood for and its value. We made an inquiry, got a response, then had our initial call with the folks at Seafarers.
From there we told them what we were looking for, got to take a virtual tour, and it subsequently came together very, very quickly for us. It was very straightforward and smooth, and the main thing was that we were very ready. It wasn’t something we were just investigating; we knew what we wanted.
What are you most looking forward to about living at Seafarers?
I don’t know if there is just one thing. It feels like it’s going to be a very encompassing luxurious experience, and that is what we are looking forward to.
We will also plan a time to visit the display suite in-person, the next time we’re over. Being able to view the space physically and get a sense of what our future home will be like, as opposed to looking at it online and virtually, is something we are looking forward to.