The grand dame of Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula, the Continental Sorrento is more than a five-star hotel. Reborn in late 2022 after a lavish $120 million Woods Bagot-directed renovation, the latest addition to the InterContinental portfolio is home to a regional restaurant star, a cluster of fun-loving bars and the Amalfi-worthy pool deck of dreams.
Where is The Continental Sorrento?
The Sorrento landmark, with its pale limestone walls and imposing turret, has occupied the high ground of Constitution Hill in the centre of town since 1875. From central Melbourne, the drive takes around 90 minutes (add another 15 minutes if you’re travelling from the airport).
What’s near the Continental Sorrento?
Sitting on the main shopping village of Ocean Beach Road opposite the Peninsula Cinemas, the hotel known locally as “the Conti” is a three-minute walk from the bay, a favourite of local families, and about 1.8 kilometres from the patrolled ocean beach. From here, the three-kilometre Coppins walking track has lookouts and markers detailing the area's history. The Peninsula’s luxury Alba Thermal Springs & Spa is a 15-minute drive away.
Of the 108 rooms and suites, those in the Heritage Wing juxtapose period features such as exposed limestone walls with sleek contemporary furnishings and objects d’art; book a Heritage suite for a view of the bay in the distance. Two new guest wings embrace a 1930s aesthetic with Art Deco-inspired curves and furniture in wicker and jewel-toned velvet; bay-view rooms have private terraces overlooking the pool deck. A complimentary mini bar in premium guest rooms features a changing line-up of local wines, craft beer and small batch spirits and mixers such as Bass & Flinders gin and StrangeLove tonic, along with cocktail-making accoutrements.
Restaurants and bars
Three restaurants and two bars overseen by celebrated chef Scott Pickett reach their pinnacle at fine-diner Audrey’s, decorated in soft nautical shades and with a menu that celebrates seafood, from caviar bumps to grilled lobster. The beer garden and streetside Promenade are all about casual drinking and reimagined pub classics such as fried calamari with yuzu mayonnaise and buttermilk chicken burgers. Atrium, with its soaring glass roof and lush greenery, is the scene for guest breakfasts – an a la carte menu ranges from acai bowls to eggs benedict – and morphs into a buzzing spot for afternoon Champagne. On weekends, Roaring Twenties-styled nightclub Barlow comes alive for bands, DJs and late-night fun.
Travel for work
All rooms have fast and reliable wi-fi and a portable lap desk. Meeting rooms have audio-visual equipment.
Spa and pool
Reserved for guests, the showstopper swimming pool delivers the winning Mediterranean flair of chequerboard tiles, green-striped furniture and umbrellas on the elevated deck looking over Sorrento’s foreshore. The aquatic theme continues at the vast, mood-lit Aurora Spa & Bathhouse, where a magnesium float room and four interconnected mineral salt hydrotherapy pools turn bathing into a beautifully languid art form. The full suite of massages and facials is available in eight treatment rooms, while the reviving effects of hot and cold therapy find their expression in a traditional Finnish sauna, an “igloo” piped with alpine-fresh mist and an aromatherapy steam room.
What you need to know
The Conti’s notable art collection includes Victorian-era photographs of local beach parties and iconic Rennie Ellis images from the 1970s and ’80s.
Best for: Couples and party lovers
Design: Heritage glamour
Ambience: Sophisticated and lively
Number of rooms: 108 rooms and suites
Rates: From $495 per night
Wi-fi: Free and fast
Parking: Paid on-site guest parking is $35 per day
Address: 23 Constitution Hill Road, Sorrento
Telephone: 03 5935 1234