Frock up and pull out that red lippy – “Marilyn” is in town and turning heads again.
Images of the blond bombshell are stopping people in their tracks as they head to Albury’s new MAMA Art Museum that aced the big guns and is the only place in Australia to show Marilyn :Celebrating an American Icon.
Take a glimpse into Marilyn’s private moments, her rise to stardom and ultimately, her struggles.
The exhibition documents the decline from a beautiful natural young woman into a star who embarked on a destructive lifestyle that led to her death.
Sip a Marilyn martini while contemplating her life and loves then discover what this Border city that sits on the Murray has to offer – you won’t be disappointed.
The Atura Hotel is located slap bang in Albury’s main thoroughfare and just a short walk from the beautiful Botanic Gardens, Murray River and entertainment, shopping and dining precincts.
The reinvigorated hotel that has had five name changes was opened by Gough Whitlam as the Travelodge in 1973. The building is one of Albury’s iconic landmarks and is again turning heads since its Atura revamp last year with its new urban industrial style look and quirky extras.
In August 2015 it was awarded the Best Standard Hotel in the 2015 Tourism Accommodation Awards (NSW) for Excellence while the hotel’s Roadhouse Bar & Grill was awarded Best Brasserie/Cafe and Best Regional Bar.
Rooms and Interiors
Step through the front doors and it is all about hot styling, hip music and cool looks with a riot of colour.
Exposed pipe work and polished concrete floors contribute to a strong industrial edge. A large open space lobby with a reception hub that’s open 24/7 stocks grab n Go travellers’ treats from sweets to games – and even red “Marilyn” lipstick.
Art inspired wall coverings and bespoke furniture adds to the appeal and there is a Roadhouse Grill and Bar and games and relaxation area with retro-styled billiard table.
The funky design and décor continues in the 140 rooms that feature a king bed, work station, flat screen wall mounted television and sofa for lazing on.
A large round yellow circle is a feature of the paintwork and the urban industrialised feel continues with a plywood clad wardrobe and furniture.
The mini-bar stocks everything from drinks and sweets to Dominos and Pickup Sticks games.
A retro style wallpaper panel gives depth to the bathroom stocked with New York’s Malin and Goetz toiletries and complimentary extras include free Wi-Fi, bottled water, coffee pods and quality T2. The phones have built-in chargers.
Outside pink flamingo floats bob about in the pool and you can take a seat in the cool “Nemo” face chairs or stretch out under the Miami-styled fringe umbrellas.
Complimentary retro bikes can be borrowed to scout the streets.
In a nod to the past the three conference rooms are named after architects who left their mark in Albury – Alexander Dawson who designed the courthouse, James Barnet who left his mark on the post office and Albury Railway architect, John Whitton.
The hotel’s Roadhouse Grill and Bar serves breakfast from 6.30am and hunger busting treats throughout the day and evening such as the Classic Roadhouse Angus Burger and a giant 500g T-Bone. Save room for a Roadhouse Sundae with Gundowring Ice cream.
Try a Marilyn cocktail at the bar – it’s hard to stop at one.
What I loved about the hotel.
For a mid-range three and a half star hotel Albury’s Atura has heaps going for it including an 11am checkout and free outdoor parking at the rear. It’s got a good vibe and comfortable bed. Staff are friendly and you won’t find a name badge in sight – they are encouraged to engage with guests. There’s a touch of whimsy to the decor and a sense of humour.
Albury’s Hot Spots
Canvas Eatery – MAMA
Renowned restauranteur Tim Tehan offers a modern casual dining space with lots of fresh local produce in season that he works his magic on. There’s a great menu paired with a sophisticated wine list and boutique beers.
Head there for breakfast, takeaway, lunch or dinner on the terrace overlooking the gardens.
Canvas Eatery 546 Dean Street, Albury, Phone 02 6023 4093 www.canvas-eatery.com.au
Boom Boom Wine Bar & Eatery
Drop in for tapas and wine tasting at this hip bar in AMP Lane.There’s a great atmosphere and a good selection of wines and beverages. Gin and whisky lovers have an excellent choice with some unusual drops.
After a good coffee – Boom Boom is the place and they serve tasty food from a limited menu as well as delicious tapas.The Dinner menu kicks off from 5pm.
Boom Boom Eatery AMP Lane, Dean St, Albury Phone 02 6023 6862 www.boom-boom.com.au
It’s the place to be seen riverside as you sip and dine overlooking the Murray River in the city’s iconic Noreuil Park.
The River Deck Café is nestled under lofty plane and oak trees and the area is busy with many bike riding, canoeing, paddle boarding, and children playing in the park.
The menu offers great local produce and Mauritian head chef Ludo Baulacky and Belgian born restauranteur Alex Smit know offer a slick show with tasty dishes.
Noreuil Park, Albury. Phone 02 6023 5980 www.riverdeckcafe.com.au
For a sweet treat head to Geoffrey Michael Pâtissier and stock up on local produce at the Hume Murray Food Bowl Farmers Market in Wodonga.
Take a walk:
Head to Albury’s new MAMA art museum for the Marilyn exhibition with more than 100 works by 50 leading 20th and 21st-century artists celebrating the enduring cultural phenomenon of Marilyn Monroe.
There are paintings, photographs and videos from public and private collections by a raft of influential artists such as Andy Warhol, Cecil Beaton Henri Cartier-Bresson, as well as pop art legends Mel Ramos and Werner Berges. It runs until May 8.
Since opening its doors in October more than 48,000 visitors have walked through the doors of the new contemporary art museum.
Grab a bike or lace up your runners and follow the Yindyamarra Sculpture Trail that snakes along the Murray River and features stunning sculpture and wood works by the local Aboriginal community from Kremur Street to the Wonga Wetlands.There are 11 sculptures along the 5kms of trail with interpretive panels. It is part of the Wagirra Trail Project – a 70 km walking trail that when completed will stretch from Wonga Wetlands to the Hume Weir.
How to get there
Virgin, Qantas and Rex fly daily from Sydney while Rex flies from Melbourne. Albury is a four-hour drive from Melbourne and six hours from Sydney.
Make a Date with Marilyn
Marilyn-inspired cocktails, brekkie for two and a hip place to rest your head is just steps away from MAMA Art Museum at Albury’s art-inspired Atura Hotel. Priced from $170 the package includes two tickets to ‘Marilyn – Celebrate an American Icon’, accommodation in a Deluxe King room, breakfast for two in Roadhouse and two Marilyn Monroe cocktails. Subject to availability and blockout dates apply. Minimum 2 Adults per room. Marilyn Exhibition is open at MAMA until May 8th 2016.
Atura Albury, 648 Dean Street Albury. For bookings phone 02 60215366; www.aturahotels.com.au