The property is the centerpiece of a recreational complex that occupies a revamped 19th-century landmark.
It might be the middle of the southern winter, but that hasn’t stopped the opening of IHG’s newest outpost down under in the beachfront town and outer Melbourne suburb of Sorrento. InterContinental Sorrento Mornington Peninsula forms part of The Continental, a limestone-built structure dating to 1875 that has undergone a nearly US$84 million makeover to become a resort precinct with restaurants, bars, plus a soon-to-open wellness center. Alluding to Sorrento’s heyday as a fashionable seaside retreat, the classic-contemporary design by Woods Bagot reinterprets Victorian-era style and art deco elements for the 21st century.
The hillside hotel’s 108 rooms and suites are spread between the restored heritage building and a new wing where guest quarters all have private outdoor terraces. Those who book premium rooms and above will be treated to a complimentary minibar featuring a seasonal lineup of locally distilled spirits, wines, or boutique brews. Two-level penthouses with a plunge pool are set to debut later this year.
Flanked by cabanas, a guests-only Mediterranean-inspired deck and heated pool overlooking Port Phillip Bay is the place for lounging, swimming, and imbibing from sunrise to sunset. Round-the-clock workouts are also possible thanks to the InterContinental’s 24-hour fitness center. An extensive art collection plays up the contrast between old and new: works by Australian artists displayed in the public spaces and guest rooms range from delicate interpretations of local fauna to reimagined 19th and 20th-century photographs of Mornington Peninsula beach parties.
Meanwhile, two on-site restaurants, a beer garden, bar, and speakeasy venue allow guests to refuel at all hours of the day. These are headlined by Audrey’s — created by acclaimed Melbourne chef Scott Pickett as an homage to his grandmother — where the seasonal tasting menus showcase the bounty of the nearby ocean. A restored art deco ballroom and large alfresco terrace serve as the main setting for private events.
Due to open later in 2022, when it relocates from the inner Melbourne suburb of St. Kilda, Aurora Spa and Bathhouse will offer spa rituals and therapies using products from its own Aspar skincare range. The new 1,000-square-meter facility will have four hydrotherapy pools and even an ice-filled igloo room.
sorrento.intercontinental.com; doubles from US$416