The 1875 Continental Lodge constructing is to the Mornington Peninsula city of Sorrento what Flinders Avenue Station is to Melbourne – a commanding landmark central to the city’s character and life.
Little surprise there was trepidation when the hallowed native pub grew to become topic to redevelopment, with earlier makes an attempt failing earlier than the present consortium accomplished a $120 million effort this yr.
Fears seem allayed. With the unique four-storey limestone construction totally renovated and joined by a Woods Bagot-designed new construct, the general public bar and beer backyard – now in glossier type – stay populated with locals. The bistro and evening spot come to life within the night, persevering with their custom as egalitarian gathering locations on Sorrento’s more and more fancy important road.
The property can also be now house to the five-star InterContinental Sorrento Mornington Peninsula, which is the place I’m staying.
With touches equivalent to rugs by Oscar-winning designer Catherine Martin, it is no shock there’s retro glamour afoot. An overriding color scheme of bottle inexperienced and crimson takes me again to my college uniform – and to heritage interiors of the Eighties. However it’s up to date and works, maybe as a result of it is damaged up.
In numerous zones, there are totally different aesthetics. Reception has a Thai Airways-looking floral backdrop that is in reference to endemic orchids. An extended breezeway has rattan wallpaper and a chinoiserie vibe. A visitor lounge with mirrored partitions and pink chairs is artwork deco. The photogenic pool deck (above) with ocean views is pure Sorrento of the Italian selection and eating zones every have their very own feel and appear.
It is all a part of the property’s intention to be like a cruise ship – stuffed with curiosity and selection, encouraging inhabitants to discover and linger.
On the time of writing, the massive adjoining spa by Aspar is but to open, however appears to be like a deal with, in calm gray marble and timber.
There are 108 rooms of assorted sizes and styles, together with one and two-bedroom suites. I am in a nook suite within the outdated construct, with views of Port Phillip Bay past the heritage balcony and Sorrento township rooftops. It is attractive, with velvet furnishings, a giant mattress, standalone bathtub and toilet tiles to die for.
However it’s on the smaller facet; I run into an acquaintance at breakfast who’s in an analogous house and he and his spouse discover the dimensions disappointing.
Trying out the brand new construct rooms, all good and sunny and brilliant, I feel on my return, I am going to gap up right here. They really feel extra vacation.
The ethical of the story? Analysis for a room that fits.
FOOD + DRINK
Acclaimed chef Scott Pickett is a associate within the general Continental enterprise. Audrey’s, within the InterContinental house correct, is his superb diner with a honed, seafood-focused menu (there’s wagyu and vegetarian choices on the evening I dine) providing “this or that” choices. It is scrumptious. A brilliantly curated wine checklist ranges from inexpensive to eye-watering.
Breakfast, afternoon teas and informal eats are served within the Atrium, a glass-roofed house inhabiting a former void. After which there’s the bar and bistro dealing with the road for elevated pub classics.
OUT + ABOUT
Sorrento has fashionable boutiques, cafes and eateries – that is high-end Mornington Peninsula. Hit the beautiful entrance seaside or roaring again seaside and the unimaginable 30-kilometre Coastal Stroll, plus golf choices and sizzling springs.
23 Structure Hill Street, Sorrento; (03) 5935 1234. From $595 an evening. See ihg.com
In an space the place vacation house lodging guidelines, the Intercontinental Mornington Peninsula Sorrento is a welcome addition for individuals who choose a luxurious seaside keep with out having to make beds, prepare dinner or vacuum up the sand.
Julietta Jameson stayed as a visitor of the Intercontinental Sorrento Mornington Peninsula.
SCORE OUT OF FIVE
All too typically these sorts of redevelopments can dispossess residents. Seeing the nice people of Sorrento proceed to take pleasure in their native is heart-warming.
The higgledy-piggledy structure and poorly marked service lifts had us ending up misplaced and in all method of locations we did not intend, together with a kitchen.