Alex Billing and Jason Zvatora from Next Story Group welcome you to Ink.

Loaded with colour and pulsing with energy, Next Story Group yesterday officially launched its playful and value-conscious brand, Ink Hotels, with a vibrant celebration in Melbourne.

The new brand, which joins the group’s existing stable including Next Hotels and Sage Hotels, has emerged as a slightly modified evolution of the LinQ brand announced earlier this year. It marks the company’s second hotel in Victoria alongside Sage Hotel Ringwood, with flagship brand Next Hotels due to open in the second quarter of 2020.

Located on City Road in Southbank, the hotel – a former tow-truck garage transformed – serves as the flagship of the Ink brand. The brand is already on a growth spurt, with a second Ink confirmed for Singapore and further target cities identified in Australia, with the hunt for development opportunities underway.

Led by a lobby that screams ‘Instagram’ at every turn, the 15 storey, 162 room Ink Hotel Melbourne focuses on funky design and aims to deliver a comfortable stay in Melbourne and a base from which guests can engage in the city’s eclectic arts and entertainment scene.

The linguistic skills of famed English poet, Lord Byron, is on show at Ink Melbourne.

Ink showcases a personality diametrically different to anything Melbourne has offered previously. In a city renowned for cherishing individuality, the brand is a landmine of contemporary culture and a bombshell for a pocket of the CBD rapidly carving out a niche artistic charm of its own.

Key hallmarks of the brand include a highly social lobby area where guests are surrounded by Banksy-inspired art and a bar offering bottomless coffee and unlimited still and sparkling water for guests. Victorian produce including locally sourced beer, wine, spirits, small bites and share plates is available at the bar, along with a CrowdDJ tablet where guests are encouraged to set the room music to suit their mood and tastes.

In addition, a chilled grab and go bar is stocked with sodas, juices, yoghurt, beer, water and energy drinks, aimed at giving a welcome zap of energy to hotel guests as needed.

Ink Melbourne’s rooms are awash with colour and invite guests to be creative.

Rooms range in size from the 16sqm ‘Pocket’ category to the 25sqm ‘Extra’ level, with the brand insisting it offers guests “everything they need and nothing they don’t”. Highly colourful and emblematic of the brand’s design standards, rooms feature colourful bedspreads, eccentric fittings such as burger-shaped bedside lamps, retro rotary telephones, blackboards on the walls and plenty of chalk as well as cheeky doses of attitude including ‘Get Naked’ on the shower door.

Sustainability is key for the Gen-Z focused brand, with Ink Melbourne being single-use plastic free. The hotel will soon become a Husky Swap & Go Zone for the nationwide network of reusable coffee mugs, meaning coffee drinkers can bring in their used, purchased mugs and swap them for their next coffee in another mug before continuing the recycling process at any other Husky-affiliated cafe.

CLICK HERE for a photo gallery of the new Ink Hotel Melbourne.