An indulgent foodie and explorer, tennis star Rohan Bopanna knows Melbourne like the back of his hand. A regular visitor in the city for the last 15 years, the Coorg-born jet-setter has very specific recommendations when it comes to finding the best restaurants, food markets, and the perfect blend of coffee. We caught up with him (during the Australian Open ‘19) at his Airbnb home in South Yarra. By Shikha Pushpan
1. Why did you choose Airbnb over a hotel?
The thing with Airbnb is it comes with a lot of privacy and space. For instance, I’m staying in this apartment with my coach and trainer, who are like my family, and we constantly travel together. We do not get this kind of space in a hotel. Here, I can stay with all of them under the same roof. Plus, you get to cook! I’m a big foodie and I like to cook, and this is something I really look forward to. More importantly, it feels like home.
I was brought up in Coorg, where we were used to having big spaces to ourselves. With this spacious apartment, [I feel] the same. You’re not stuck at one place; the big spaces allow you to move around, just how we do it back at our homes.
2. Top hangout spots in Melbourne?
I try to live in neighbourhoods with restaurants at walking distances. Some of my favourites over the years are Mr Miyagi, Spice Temple, and Chin Chin. The Pound Café is also a great place for breakfast.
3. Beaches or mountains?
I like staying near water, so I can go for a swim whenever I want, or just lie down on the beach listening to the waves, read a book, or do absolutely nothing. Maldives is my all-time favourite destination.
4. Go-to travel essentials?
Shorts, sandals, my music, books (usually business-oriented ones), laptop, and mobile.
5. Destinations on travel wishlist?
Mauritius and Bahamas—again beach destinations!
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