Melbourne’s InterContinental Rialto hotel boasts cutting-edge facilities with a blend of heritage architecture and modern design
InterContinental Melbourne The Rialto occupies a commanding position in the CBD. Located on prestigious Collins Street, the property is housed in the Rialto building, an iconic Melbourne landmark.
But while this luxury Melbourne property is hidden away behind an imposing Venetian Gothic facade, the 253 tastefully furnished rooms and luxury suites boast all the mod-cons you’d expect from a leading five-star hotel.
Read on to discover my take on one of Melbourne’s finest hotels.
How I booked my stay
As an IHG Rewards Club Member, I was able to enjoy 35% off my stay by booking direct via IHG’s New Year Offer promotion (now closed).
I’d ordinarily opt for a standard room, however, the competitive IHG sale rates tempted me to splash out on a stay in the iconic Fitzroy suite, one of just two ‘Senior’ suites available at the property.
How much does it cost to splash out on a suite?
At the time of writing, InterContinental Melbourne suites start from approximately $320 per night when booked with the IHG New Year Offer. That’s incredible value when you consider the exclusive inclusions (including Club lounge access) that guests can enjoy.
And, at less than double the price of two standard rooms, booking a suite could be a good option for groups of friends or family members travelling together who want extra space and privacy.
Building and Location
Housed in a landmark building, the Rialto is named after Venice’s famous bridge and inspired by Venetian Gothic architecture. The InterContinental Melbourne consists of two separate wings, joined in the middle by a soaring glass atrium.
The hotel is situated on busy Collins Street, in the heart of downtown Melbourne. This is a convenient location for travellers. It’s well placed for excursions to Southbank shops and eateries, while only being 15 minutes on foot from Docklands and the Yarra River. Southern Cross Station and the Skybus are just a short walk away, while Melbourne International Airport is a 25-minute drive.
Check in experience
Arriving in a taxi from the airport, I was promptly greeted by the concierge and escorted through the cavernous atrium up to the fourth floor. Here, I was warmly welcomed by the staff at the Club InterContinental Lounge, offered a refreshing beverage and efficiently checked in.
Rooms and Suites
InterContinental Melbourne is a mid-sized hotel, offering 253 guestrooms, club rooms, and suites. Guests can choose from three room types: Deluxe, Executive and Club InterContinental Rooms. Each room ranges between 28-36sqm in size.
If you’re keen to splash out on a suite, as I did, you can choose from five different types. These range from 65sqm Club InterContinental suites, up to the top of the range Iconic suites, which boast a huge 123sqm of space.
All rooms and suites feature flat-screen TVs, Bose docking alarm clock and docking station, pillow menu and a luxurious bathroom with rain shower, generously stocked with Agraria toiletries and a well-stocked minibar which features all the favourites.
Club rooms and Suites offer all the services and facilities found in standard rooms, along with free access to the Club InterContinental Lounge. This can make for an extremely compelling value offering, as I’ll explain below.
For this stay, I’ve opted for a ‘Fitzroy’ suite, one of just two individually-furnished Senior suites at the property (the other being the ‘Degraves’ suite). This suite seamlessly blends quintessentially Melbourne décor with understated luxury. It features a separate living room, bedroom, huge marble bathroom and two toilets.
The spacious living room is practical, yet elegant. It’s lavishly furnished, with plenty of authentic touches to stop it from feeling too stuffy. There’s a deep, comfy sofa to sink into at the end of the day, and a wide, return desk that provides ample space for me to work.
Arched portico doors open out to provide a view out over the Rialto building.
The bedroom features an incredibly comfortable king-size bed, second flat-screen TV, soft lighting and a large double wardrobe stocked with bathrobes.
There are more thoughtful decorative touches that have me pining to explore Fitzroy, my old stomping ground.
The ultra-modern bathroom is located off the bedroom. It features a wide double basin and separate soaking spa bath.
Like many other InterContinental properties, it’s stocked with toiletries provided by America’s oldest luxury home fragrance brand, Agraria.
The InterContinental Melbourne boasts a range of facilities that cater to leisure and business travellers alike. A gym, indoor pool, sauna and jacuzzi are located on the highest level of the hotel. While I’m not usually overly-enthusiastic about indoor hotel pools, this is one you’ll definitely want to visit.
Tastefully decked out in wood, it offers sweeping views out to Melbourne’s city skyline.
Guests looking to indulge in a spot of pampering can visit the world-class Botanica Day Spa, which offers many different treatments.
Melbourne’s Club InterContinental lounge has an excellent reputation, and I was keen to test it out.
It offers a range of indulgent experiences, including a generous spread of food and beverages, served continuously throughout the day. This includes a decadent high tea and cocktail hour (featuring a curated list of drinks and canapes influenced by Melbourne). Of course, it all starts again the next day with a la carte breakfast and barista coffee. Outside these times, light refreshments are served in the lounge.
The Club lounge is available exclusively to guests staying in Club rooms and suites. Accessed privately from level 4, it’s a refined and genteel space, elegantly furnished with wingback leather chairs. High ceilings and a clever combination of earthy colour tones and lighting, create both communal and discrete areas throughout the lounge.
My favourite place to perch in the Club Lounge? The private, arched balcony, overlooking leafy Collins Street. This was a relaxing space to sit with a coffee or a drink at any time of the day. It was seldom used by other guests during my stay.
My initial visit to the lounge saw me enjoy a substantial high-tea, and it far surpassed my expectations. Rather than being directed to a buffet, I was presented with my very own selection of savoury treats and sweet delicacies, exquisitely presented on a cake stand. These were served alongside a pot of TWG vanilla Bourbon tea, and a barista coffee for my companion.
Afternoon tea is available daily from 2.00 pm to 4.00 pm, so there’s no need to miss out, even on the day you check-in!
After some time spent relaxing by the pool, it was soon time to head back to the Club Lounge to partake in evening drinks and canapes.
Evening drinks take place between 5:30 pm and 7:30 pm. During this time, guests can enjoy free-flow alcoholic beverages, including non-Champagne sparkling, red and white wine, beers and spirits.
There’s also a specially curated cocktail list, offering three signature drinks. At the time of my visit, this included a Four Pillars Gin Negroni, a Bellini Fruit Spritz and a Blackberry Manhattan.
Drinks are matched to a selection of uniquely Melbourne dishes. Again, there’s no average buffet set up here. Canapes are plated up and delivered directly to guests by efficient staff.
After a night of recovery, it was time to head back to sample breakfast.
Breakfast is served daily 6.30 am to 10.30 am. Guests can choose from an extensive array of a la carte menu options, including Benedict breakfast sliders, waffles and avocado toast.
There’s also a full buffet selection featuring freshly brewed barista coffee, fresh juices and fruit, pastries and bakery items, cured meats and cheese, gourmet yoghurt and cereals.
Of course, it’s not all about the food.
The exclusive Club experience also includes private check-in and check out, with an attentive Club InterContinental team offering personalised service throughout the day.
InterContinental Melbourne: Verdict
InterContinental Melbourne offers luxurious accommodation and a prime location, housed in an iconic building. The high-end services and amenities are amongst the better offerings amongst Melbourne’s leading hotels, and I wouldn’t hesitate to return.
I was particularly impressed by the offering and attention to detail in the Club Lounge – putting it up there amongst one of my best experiences. If you have a chance to splash out on a room or suite with club access, it’s well worth doing so!
This post was prepared in partnership with IHG