Review: InterContinental Melbourne The Rialto
If the walls of this five star hotel could talk, they’d speak of over 130 years of growth and change in the city.
InterContinental Melbourne The Rialto
- Club lounge access rooms
- Great location
- Decor could do with a refresh
- Heritage listed splendour
Melbourne is Australia’s capital of culture and cool; a melting pot of multiculturalism and unbridled artistic talent, backed up with an endless parade of events to keep you on your toes. Its hotel scene is equally captivating – and eclectic.
Among its top hotels is InterContinental Melbourne The Rialto. Tucked behind the imposing Venetian-Gothic façade of the 1891 Rialto Building on Collins Street, it strikes a fine balance between heritage charm and modern convenience.
Though a little dated compared to some of its contemporaries, the warm service, large rooms, and club lounge offering make it a hotel you should consider for your next trip.
Location & Impressions
If it’s convenience you seek, it’s hard to beat this – nestled on central Collins Street just 15 minutes from Docklands and Marvel Stadium, and an easy stroll from Southbank and the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC).
Exploring further afield is a breeze too. Southern Cross Station and the Skybus are just a stone’s throw away, while Melbourne Airport is a quick 25-minute drive.
But, you really don’t need to venture far to enjoy a feast for the eyes.
Once inside, check-in is a seamless process and we’re quickly on our way to the upper floors, where most rooms are situated along the length of the building – many of them facing inwards overlooking the atrium.
Part of the IHG Hotels & Resorts stable, members of the IHG One Rewards loyalty program can earn points and unlock exclusive perks from complimentary room upgrades to reward nights at discounted rates.
InterContinental Melbourne The Rialto offers 253 comfortably-furnished rooms and suites. Our keys open the door to a 52 sqm Junior Suite, adorned in light timber and soft pastel hues.
On entry, there’s an inviting lounge area home to a large couch and armchair, set around a small circular coffee table. An ample-sized office desk is also tucked nearby.
Turning to the right, the open-plan suite houses a king bed with a padded leather headboard, power outlets and a handy automatic switch to close the blinds. Outside is a striking view of the graffiti-adorned Secret Laneway.
A walk-in wardrobe giving way to the bathroom, a flat-screen TV and a Nespresso machine with coffee and tea facilities round out the room.
The neutral palette extends to the bathroom, where marbled surfaces prevail. Inside is an ample vanity area, deep jetted bath and separate walk-in rain shower.
Also standard are complimentary water and a fully-stocked minibar, along with an extensive pillow menu.
Free access to the Club InterContinental Lounge is also provided. More on that later.
Junior Suites are well suited for getting work done. Each includes a large desk setup with a comfy chair and conveniently-placed power points.
However, while the suite offers a more private setting, it’s the Club Intercontinental Lounge that really steals the show.
Available exclusively to guests staying in Club rooms and suites and open between 2pm - 7:30pm, the Club Intercontinental offers a refined space furnished, with high-back leather chairs set up in communal and discrete areas throughout the lounge.
Our experience sees the Executive Lounge quietest during the late morning hours.
While it offers a great working environment, it’s also a nice spot to unwind with plenty of snacks and drinks, plus a private balcony overlooking leafy Collins Street.
Alternatively, there is a sitting area in the lobby that can be used as a quiet spot for emails. Complimentary WiFi is also available in all rooms and public spaces.
Afternoon tea in the lounge is a decadent affair featuring sweet and savoury treats, plus tea and coffee.
Evening canapés and drinks also draw in a crowd. On the menu are platters and drinks, with a choice of choosing from sparkling, red and white wines and beer.
The hotel’s three dining establishments ensure there’s something for every occasion.
Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner daily, Alluvial is the hotel’s flagship. Set within the hotel’s central atrium, it offers a modern Australian menu, complemented by attentive service.
Bluestone Lounge Bar, next door to the main restaurant and open daily from 7am to 10pm, is an ideal spot for a laid-back, post-dinner drink. Here, muted lighting creates a more intimate ambience.
A well-curated selection of wines and cocktails ensures there’s a perfect tipple for pretty much every taste too.
If you’re in the mood for something more casual, Ronnie’s is the place for you. The Italian restaurant plates up a delicious array including the likes of gnocchi and risotto, backed up by a solid wine list.
At Alluvial for breakfast, we glanced over the buffet and opted for an assorted plate of eggs, bacon and sausages – paired with a freshly made orange juice and the obligatory coffee. There's an egg station, and all the usual hot food you'd expect at a buffet like this.
Also available is a selection of breads, pastries and cereals, along with a choice of fresh fruits, yoghurt and cold cuts.
If you prefer to dine in-room, the hotel also offers a room service menu from 6:30am to 9:30pm.
Need to unwind? The hotel’s rooftop pool deck boasts a stunning heated pool and jacuzzi, both set against a backdrop of full-length windows affording panoramic views.
If your idea of relaxation is working up a sweat, you can do so in the top-floor fitness centre. Although compact in size, it is well-equipped with state-of-the-art cardio and weight machines.
Location-wise, you couldn’t ask for more. It’s surrounded by a stellar array of bars and restaurants, including the highly-acclaimed Vue de Monde, while the city’s theatre district at the far end of Collins Street is an easy stroll or tram ride away.
Overall, InterContinental Melbourne is a fine choice for business or leisure. Though the decor feels a bit outdated compared to the city’s newer properties, it’s clean, comfortable and service meets expectations from a hotel of its calibre.
The writer stayed as a guest of InterContinental Melbourne.
Hi Guest, join in the discussion on InterContinental Melbourne The Rialto
Delta Air Lines - SkyMiles
16 Oct 2017
Total posts 152
Outdated is the word. I'll be giving the Ritz Carlton my business.
Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer
06 Oct 2016
Total posts 156
I last stayed in February (after a 3 year break-wonder why) dated, but good size rooms, excellent overall “vibe” from staff and just the building as a whole
Club gets crowded and should be available for breakfast, too.
Price is good, reflective of not being the latest and greatest