This is a top contender for the Quintessential Melbourne Hotel. I never fail to stop and admire the Neo Gothic facade when I’m walking down Collins St (and dream about returning to stay in one of the turret rooms). The design is deftly sophisticated and references the history of the original Rialto building; which was conceived as a wool store by 19th Century architect William Pitt. I favour the Hotel’s Market Bar for the best vistas of the internal atrium, with its exposed brickwork, iron balustrade walkways and moody lighting. During my stay I made the most of the hotel’s public areas and the various vantage points of this visually stunning property. There’s no doubt it feels like a luxury hotel, however the overall experience didn’t quite hit the same heights, for me, as a stay at the Langham or Sofitel. (It came close though). I booked a weekend package which included late checkout and full buffet breakfast for just under $300-an advance treat for my fortieth, which I mentioned when booking. Our room was on a higher floor with natural light, as we’d requested. Masculine tones and an oversize work desk lent the room a functional elegance. The TV was oddly positioned - you’d have to sprawl diagonally to watch it – but we didn’t watch it anyway. The bed was absolutely super!. Hubby came well prepared with food and snacks from home so we didn’t venture near the mini bar, but I was surprised at the lack of decent in-room coffee. I loved the pool and spa (my first point of call in most hotels). The temperature was spot on and we practically had the space to ourselves. One person change room each for males and females though? Bring a robe from your room as they’re not supplied. As we didn’t have plans for the evening we enjoyed the semi privacy of a cubicle booth and plush chairs in the Bluestone wine lounge at the base of the atrium. For such a large open space, characterised by deep planes, it didn’t feel at all cavernous. Once again hats off to the architects who carried off the refurbishment. On the service side, I’d have to say the bar person who tended our table looked like she’d rather be anywhere but working the floor. No hint of a smile or friendly word. There is a terrific selection of Australian wines by the glass-a little on the pricey side ($12 for a Fleur De Lys, so hey, I only had two!), Great background music as well. My partner and I made a spontaneous decision to dine at the adjoining Restaurant, Alluvial. The boon was that there were only half a dozen other guests dining in, so our experience of dinner was rather intimate. Service was efficient and unobtrusive. I’d recommend it. Could have easily polished off several of chef’s pannacottas with the hotel’s very own rooftop honey. Another food highlight was breakfast-the buffet is simply the best I’ve ever had, bar none. Thankfully the late checkout gave me time to sleep it off. When we departed, the front office supervisor, who was from Indonesia, took the time to chat to us, even though the desk was getting busy, and farewelled us with a beautiful smile. If this kind of encounter happened more frequently, and staff went the extra mile to attend to small details, the hotel would really live up to its world class tag.
- 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