Having been booked into the Rialto by a client, we decided to extend the stay for a weekend in Melbourne.
Location: In Collins Street, between King and William Streets. Walking distance to the main shopping areas, the Crown entertainment complex and Southern Cross station. This is the less fashionable end of Collins St, but still quite pleasant and convenient.
The hotel itself has been constructed in the shells of two adjoining Victorian-era buildings, with an atrium between them. Most of the rooms look out into the atrium. Unfortunately, ours was on the 8th floor, at a level with the atrium roof, so the view was really spoiled.
The room was a "king deluxe" and set up for business with a desk. But there was really nowhere for the two of us to sit together. There may be other rooms more suitable for a romantic stay. A very large flat-screen TV dominated one wall. The bathroom was small but well fitted-out and the bed was extremely comfortable.
So far so good. But why is it that top class hotels continue to rip customers off with the extras? The phone (actually 3 of them in the room) is a VOIP device, which means the calls don't cost the hotel anything. So why was the local call rate $1 per minute? I didn't bother checking the internet price.
Breakfast was likewise hugely overpriced. The continental (which had a very average range of choices) was $32 per head. To make matters worse all the cereal bowls were wet and some were dirty - as if they had been rinsed but not washed since the previous use. To his credit the restaurant manager immediately took them away when this was drawn to his attention, but we cancelled our breakfast order and ate at a very nice cafe across the street.
All-in-all, this is typical of the 4 / 5 star business hotels. Great visual impact, pretty good room, good location, but spoiled by the outrageous cost of the necessary extras. I'd recommend it as somewhere to stay, based on the location and facilities.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Celebrated as one of the world’s hottest and best new hotels by both Conde Nast Traveler and Wallpaper* magazines, InterContinental Melbourne The Rialto is a fascinating example of the city’s fusion of old and new. InterContinental Melbourne The Rialto represents the resurrection of one of the city’s last remaining examples of 19th Century Victorian Gothic architecture into a timeless and inspiring luxury hotel. Its city centre location on Collins Street is at the heart of the laneways, attractions and experiences that give Melbourne its international appeal. Behind the Gothic façade is a sleek yet intimate hotel that is home to two very different bars – the Bluestone Wine Lounge and the Market Lane Bar – and a variety of dining establishments, including Alluvial Restaurant and Guy Grossi’s exciting new venture, Merchant. InterContinental Melbourne The Rialto has also teamed up with Shannon Bennett, providing valet parking for his new Vue de monde restaurant on the 55th floor of the adjacent Rialto building. InterContinental Melbourne The Rialto’s warmth and exceptional service belies its size, with more than 250 guest rooms across two soaring wings, including a stunning collection of suites as well as the exclusive Club InterContinental lounge and facilities for premium guests. The hotel’s rooftop is also a destination itself, home to the kitchen’s own market garden and beehives, the Scandinavian-inspired swimming pool and the glass-encased fitness centre overlooking the Melbourne cityscape. Also available is the luxurious candle-lit East Day Spa offering east-meets-west treatments and therapies. Before guests arrive, they can take advantage of the concierges’ passion and Insider knowledge of the city. Chief Concierge, James Ridenour and his team are the key to authentic experiences of the real Melbourne and everything the city has to offer. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Intercontinental Melbourne The Rialto Hotel Melbourne