This is by far the most perfect hotel experience that I have ever experienced. From check-in to check-out every single staff member that we encountered was simply sensational.
We checked in for a 2 night stay over a weekend, upon driving up there were around 12 other cars parked at the entrance and checking in. As soon as the doorman saw that we opened the boot and the luggage he came across to us. Welcomed us to the hotel, explained the Valet charges ($50 per day, which was explained to use 3 times in total) and how to call for the car and to hold onto the ticket etc etc. One thing I did notice which I have never had before when my cars have been valet parked was that they completed "damage report" for scratches/dints etc which I had to sign off.
Luggage was taken for us, and we were directed to check in. Another nice thing is that the 2 sets of doors for the hotel automatically open. Not just the standard sliding doors but nice doors that open inwards. Definitely makes it alot easier for the door guys, not having to worry about opening and closing the doors each time for everyone.
Check-in was completed in well under 2 mins, which is always a big consideration for my rating a hotel. I expect to not have to wait to check-in and expect to have my room card/key in my hand in under 3 mins. I was very warmly welcomed to the hotel (valet charges explained again, they must have received alot of complaints, while $50 is "expensive" try parking your car in the CBD area for 8 hours during the day). They upgraded us from the 1 King Premium Suite to the 1 King Iconic Suite. Not sure what the difference is as they are both 123 square metres (1323 square feet). I was asked if I would like the 4pm checkout on the Sunday and I said yes, as that is part of my status with the IC group. We were also informed of our view over Collins St and that there are not many rooms that have this view. The check-on was faultless and so easy and perfect directions given to find our room.
Up to our room which was on the 3rd floor, and around the corner, through the first set of open doors, and then to our room. We opened the doors and "WOW", this is one of the largest hotel rooms I have stayed in, and for the price it's really a bargain!
The lounge room is twice the size of a normal hotel room and would be about 60 square metres. Small LCD in the middle of the room, as that's all that would fit between the windows. Bose surround sound with iPod dock. I dislike hotels that are not up with the iPod technology yet and expect people to still use CD's! Lots of chairs, in fact around 12 people could easily sit on the chairs/lounge in the lounge room. Shame there was only 2 of us there! There was a nice welcome letter for us, with fruit, chocolates and two bottles of nice mineral water.
The mini-bar area is very nice and a good choice of drinks/snacks that were not overpriced. It was also not one of those auto-charging mini-bars which are quite frustrating personally! There is also a toilet and basin near the entrance which is great for guests! Also a nice enough view over Collins St, nothing fantastic but better that looking over the inside of the hotel that's for sure.
After around 2 mins of being in the room there was a press of the doorbell, yes a doorbell, yet again when the hotel is all nice and new/renovated the technology is much improved. Luggage was here and it was taken inside our room, the bellboy had a little trouble finding where to put the bags and he apologised that he had never been in this particular room type before, and was slightly embarrassed. We told him not to worry and that he will know for next time. He was glad that we were not all upset and caused a scene over it. He did explain where the curtain knobs were located, as they are all electronically controlled. Made it very clear that we are most welcome to call at anytime for anything and made very sure that we had everything that we needed.
The bedroom is off to the side of the lounge and there is a king sized bed and a much bigger HD LCD tv in there. The location of the tv is slighting annoying as it's not right at the end of the bed, but rather off to the right on about a 35degree angle, so it gets a little uncomfortable watching it for long in bed. The bedroom is around 35 square metres
Off to the side again is the huge bathroom. which in total was around 25 square metres. Huge long sink area with double basins, lots of amenities, the most I have ever seen in a hotel. LCD tv above the end of the bath, the shower was huge again and has lots of knobs and controls for the rainfall type shower head and the standard shower head and also the 3 massage jets. The showers were very long and enjoyable that's for sure! Also a very nice orange neon light around the top edge of the room which made for a very warm and pleasant bathroom, definitely far from standard!
Also was a huge walk-in wardrobe with two umbrellas for us to use if needed. Automatic light that turned on when you walked in and turned off after about 5 mins of no movement.
As part of this room we had free lounge access and proceeded down for drinks and canapes before our dinner. Walked in and while the lounge was fairly full there were still more than enough seats left. We were very warmly greeted and shown around and asked what we would like to drink etc etc. What made this lounge very different was that there was always 2 staff working there, that were so eager to get more food/drinks/coffee/tea for you. They didn't seem to like you having to get your own drink. Very warm and friendly service and they made an effort to speak to everyone without being annoying!
We were nearly ready to leave when several plates of canapes were bought out for us. They were explained to us and we ate them very quickly as they were simply perfect. The lounge while shown to close at 7:30 was still quite busy at 8pm when we left. I thought the "closing time" of 7:30 was a little early so it was nice to know they didn't kick you out at the time shown.
We went back upstairs and since the room was so nice, decided to order room service. The meals were perfect and could not be faulted. We were told the meals would take 25-35 minutes and they were in our room in 30 mins! Perfect once again!
A perfect nights sleep on the bed, although I was woken once from people shout in the streets below, and also early (7am) in the morning by a few trams going past. We were only 3 floors up and the soundproofing is not quite soundproof. I was woken again the next morning by trams going past again, but easily fell back asleep. This would be the only area they could have improved on when renovating the hotel (more soundproofing)
We had breakfast both mornings, in the lounge as they had more than enough for us to eat, and we couldn't justify the $40 each for breakfast when it was free in the lounge. The lounge always had room for us to sit and it was never packed like sound hotel lounges I have been in. Yet again this is another factor that I value highly when visiting hotels. Breakfast had fruit, yogurt, various toast choices, muffins, cereal, scrambled eggs, bacon, mushrooms, juices, tea, coffee and various danishes.
The pool area is very nice again and the pool was very warm, which was nice as usually hotel pools are just not quite warm enough. The spa was quite warm, the sauna perfect. The gym was also nicely equipped but we did not use it as we didn't feel the need on this trip.
This is by far one of the best, if not the best hotels I have stayed in over the years. It is a few blocks walk from the main CBD area but it was nice to walk to the shops and around for a change. Taxis are constantly out the front as a taxi rank is located there so that helped. Melbourne taxis are again shocking and the several trips that we took, the drivers simply did not know the main landmark of Melbourne, so I had to give directions.
While I didn't look at the other rooms they do appear/sound quite small so I would recommend staying in a King Executive Suite or above.
The hotel spent $60 Million renovating early this year. As a "comparison" the Grand Hyatt in Melbourne has spent $45 Million and it does not even come close to the quality, service, and the rooms at the IC Melbourne. The Grand Hyatt spent all that money on the entrance, ballroom etc etc and has not touched the dated hotel rooms. The IC Melbourne spent the money wisely and the hotel is beautiful. While I live in Melbourne and thought that 2 days would be enough, I am going to book another stay next year as I had forgotten how much there is to do in Melbourne and this hotel is simply perfect from start to finish.
IC Melbourne - The bar has been set now for my visit to your various other hotels, hopefully they are all up to your standard!
- 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