Insider View: InterContinental Melbourne The Rialto

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 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 One Rewards 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.

Intercontinental Melbourne The Rialto montage

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.

Intercontinental Melbourne The Rialto room rates 7 June 2020
Example rates above shown for the night of 7 June 2020 Rates are subject to change at any time

Building and Location

Housed in a landmark building, the Rialto is named after Venice’s famous bridge and inspired by Venetian Gothic architecture and it’s arguably one of Melbourne’s most instagrammable buildings. The InterContinental hotel consists of two separate wings, joined in the middle by a soaring glass atrium.

Intercontinental Melbourne The Rialto exterior
The InterContinental Melbourne is located in one of Melbournes most iconic buildings

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.

Intercontinental Melbourne The Rialto club intercontinental entrance

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.

Intercontinental Melbourne The Rialto fitzroy suite

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.

Intercontinental Melbourne The Rialto fitzroy suite view 2

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.

Intercontinental Melbourne The Rialto fitzroy suite bedroom
Intercontinental Melbourne The Rialto fitzroy suite bedroom closeup

The ultra-modern bathroom is located off the bedroom. It features a wide double basin and separate soaking spa bath.

Intercontinental Melbourne The Rialto fitzroy suite bathrooom

Like many other InterContinental properties, it’s stocked with toiletries provided by America’s oldest luxury home fragrance brand, Agraria.

Intercontinental Melbourne The Rialto fitzroy suite bathrooom agraria fragrances

The Facilities

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.

Intercontinental Melbourne The Rialto club pool

Guests looking to indulge in a spot of pampering can visit the world-class Botanica Day Spa, which offers many different treatments.

Add in a variety of high-end restaurants and bars, plus the usual 24-hour reception and in-room dining, and it’s clear to see why many travellers won’t want to leave the property.

Club InterContinental

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.

Intercontinental Melbourne The Rialto club 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.

Intercontinental Melbourne The Rialto club lounge deck

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.

Intercontinental Melbourne The Rialto club lounge high tea montage

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.

Intercontinental Melbourne The Rialto club lounge cocktail montage

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.

Intercontinental Melbourne The Rialto club lounge canapes

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.

Intercontinental Melbourne The Rialto breakfast

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 among 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 as 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

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