by Elise Boyd in Cool Travel on Tuesday 16 July 2013

Located in Melbourne’s bohemian suburb Prahran, The Cullen is an Australian first; a boutique art hotel inspired by and featuring the original artwork and prints of Australian contemporary artist, Adam Cullen. We were recently lucky enough to be invited on a trip to check out the hotel in the quest to “find our inner muse” at the sleek Art Series Hotel.

The hotels are famous for their world’s latest checkout, and we quickly found that the “world’s easiest check in” should be added to that list of acclaims.

With swipekey in hand, it was time to get my priorities in order: 1. Conduct scientific research on the jumping castle qualities of the bed 2. Snoop around at what the mini bar had to offer and scoff loudly at the prices, and 3. Wait…what was I here for again? Oh yeah, to find my inner muse.

Onto priority number 1. After hearing from a number of sources that sleeping on the bed was like sleeping on marshmallows atop a cloud, all resting on Katy Perry’s, er, most notable “achievements”, I was pretty excited to try it out. A quick roadtest later and the verdict is: add bunnies and kitties to the mix and you’re getting close.

Next up, I mentally prepared myself to to be overly smug about the mini bar prices and practised loudly guffawing in front of the mirror. I was met with disappointment when I got my hands on a chocolate bar only to find out that it was reasonably priced, leaving me to wonder if the apocalypse was near.

Once you’re done ogling the artwork and feel your senses have been suitably tantalised, the nearby area has a variety of tasty treats on offer. Begin your evening with a nibble on some tasty morsels at the uber sleek Speakeasy, or quench your thirst at the Hoo Haa and have a drink every time you giggle at the name ‘Hoo Haa’.

If you’re feeling a little more debaucherous, head over to the Borsch, Vodka & Tears (which sounds like it’s straight out of Diagon Alley) to sample their selection of over one hundred vodkas…though we don’t condone trying them all in a single night!

Sufficiently well rested, the next day it was time to wake up and crack on with what I’d come for – to find my “inner muse”. Would it be behind the lush couch in my room? In the full kitchenette?

Maybe it was in one of the hotel’s Smart Cars that you can hire out for the day? The in-house dumpling bar? The hair salon attached to the lobby? While I knew I was getting close (and full of dumplings), I hadn’t quite put my finger on it…

As part of The Cullen’s mantra of “living fearlessly”, the next step was to visit The Flying Trapeze Centre for a 2 hour beginner flying trapeze workshop.

After a quick intro and some practice runs with my feet placed firmly on the ground, I was harnessed up and sent nervously clambering up a ladder until I was 10 metres off the ground.

Grabbing the trapeze bars, I was full of regret…why hadn’t my parents taught me circus skills as a child? Why was I not more prepared for this? With a sharp intake of air, I finally managed to step off the platform.

And in that moment, the moment in between feeling my heart come up into my throat, my inner muse came hurtling out of nowhere and smacked me in the face. My inner muse comes out in that moment of fearlessness, the moment that you trust your instincts and just decide to go for it.