InterContinental Sorrento Mornington Peninsula Review: an Incomparable Experience

R. C. Staab Avatar
Pool at the InterContinental Sorrento Mornington Peninsula.
Hotel Pool. Photo credit: R.C. Staab

No place along the Southern Ocean compares with the InterContinental Sorrento Mornington Peninsula. This luxurious hotel located in the picturesque coastal town of Sorrento, offers stunning views of the Mornington Peninsula, easy access to the area’s many attractions and the perfect place for a weekend retreat away from the hustle of Melbourne.

For our three-day excursion outside of Melbourne, the InterContinental was the perfect choice for us for two reasons. We wanted a central point to access land and sea adventures (see paragraph below). After two long days of driving, we sought a comfortable hotel with amenities and didn’t want to risk a “charming local motel” with an indifferent bed and no amenities.

Near Sorrento, the InterContinental is the only internationally known brand – part of the IHG group of hotels. It proved to be well worth the extra money compared to nearby inexpensive options.

Stay in the know about all things travel! Subscribe now and let the adventures begin!

The InterContinental Sorrento Mornington Peninsula.
The InterContinental Sorrento. Photo credit: R.C. Staab

A Theatrical History

Envisioned as a seaside holiday resort, the hotel, originally known as the Continental, was established in 1875 by George Coppin, the “father of Melbourne theatre”. Coppin’s companies purchased much of the land that became the center of Sorrento. He built the grand, Italianate-style structure. It quickly became Sorrento’s favored destination.

Over the decades, the Continental Hotel went through various expansions and renovations, including the addition of a ballroom in the early 20th century. A modern extension was added in the 1930s.

Upon arrival, guests are greeted by the hotel’s elegant and modern design, which seamlessly blends classic and contemporary elements. The lobby features a long breezeway with rattan wallpaper and a chinoiserie vibe, while the guest lounge boasts mirrored walls and plush pink chairs in an Art Deco style.

In more recent years, the Continental Hotel has undergone a major redevelopment and restoration, with the goal of reviving its heritage and glamor while also adding modern luxury amenities, multiple dining experiences and a highly regarded spa. It joined the IHG family of hotels and was rebranded to InterContinental in 2021.

Read More: Fun Things to Do in Melbourne, Australia

One of the rooms in the main wing of the InterContinental Sorrento Mornington Peninsula
Room in the Main Wing. Photo credit: R.C. Staab

Choose a Room in the Heritage Wing or Main Wing

The hotel’s 184 guest rooms and suites are beautifully appointed, with high-quality furnishings and amenities. Essentially there are two separate buildings that are connected by a series of hallways which can definitely be confusing. It takes a while to orient yourself, especially because the original look of the Heritage Wing has been replicated in the new addition known as the Main Wing and Riley Lane.

Given the choice of staying in a “heritage wing” versus a contemporary room (aka new addition), we always chose contemporary. The layout of the bathroom is almost always better as well as well-placed electrical outlets and lighting. The Main Wing certainly fit that bill.

All rooms feature a king bed, luxurious premium bedding, a smart television, a Bluetooth speaker and a pod coffee machine. There’s a hair dryer, bath amenities, daily housekeeping, complimentary Wi-Fi, complimentary bottled water and a “pillow menu.”

SheBuysTravel Tip: Don’t wait until bedtime to order your preferred pillow because they may be out of your choice.

The Atrium Restaurant at the InterContinental Sorrento mornington Peninsula.
The Atrium Restaurant. Photo credit: R.C. Staab

Dine at a Variety of Restaurants

One of the hotel’s standout features is its impressive array of dining options. With four restaurants and three bars/lounges, guests have a wide choice of culinary experiences to choose from, ranging from casual poolside fare to fine dining.

An iconic space reminiscent of 1920s glamor, Audrey’s is situated in the Heritage building and features both an elegant dining room and private dining space with sweeping views of Sorrento Village and the foreshore. In The Atrium, enjoy a sophisticated culinary experience beneath the glow of floating lights, trailing plants and a magnificent glass ceiling. It offers an a la carte breakfast, all day dining and evening dinner menu.

Looking for something casual, we dined in the relaxed atmosphere of The Continental with a menu of woodfired pizza, sumptuous seafood and reasonably priced entrees.

In-room dining is available from 7am to 9pm.

SheBuysTravel Tip: For no fee, sign up for IHG One Rewards. Members receive a host of advantages at this hotel.

The Aurora Spa in the InterContinental Sorrento Mornington Peninsula.
Aurora Spa. Photo credit: R.C. Staab

Relax at the Aurora Spa

Tucked away behind the hotel, The Aurora Spa offers a wide range of treatments and experiences. The spa’s 10-step ritual guides guests through a series of thermal experiences, from the 36-degree sky-lit Daydream pool to an invigorating 10-degree cold plunge.

The Perry Hotel & Marina Key West's magnificent pool.
The Magnificent Pool at the Perry Hotel & Marina Key West. Photo Credit: SJ Morgensen

Dip in the Heated Pool

The pool and the terrazzo-style pool deck have stunning views of the ocean. There’s plenty of seating so it’s the perfect place to relax on a lounge chair or have a cocktail or snack at the bar. The pool is heated to 82 degrees. It’s open from sunrise to sunset.

A fitness center at the InterContinental Sorrento Mornington Peninsula
Fitness Center. Photo credit: R.C. Staab

Work Out 24/7 at the Fitness Center

Refresh your day with a workout at the Fitness Centre with cardio equipment, weight machines and free weights. It’s open 24/7.

Visit the Koala Reserve at Phillip Island during your stay at the InterContinental Sorrento Morington Peninsula.
Koala Reserve at Phillip Island. Photo credit: R.C. Staab

Convenient Location for Land and Sea Adventures

The hotel’s location is also a major draw, with the Searoad Ferry Terminal just a 7-minute walk away and the Sorrento Front Beach just an 8-minute walk. This makes it easy for guests to explore the surrounding area, which is renowned for its stunning coastline, charming seaside towns and abundance of outdoor activities.

On a recent visit to the state of Victoria, we first drove the Great Ocean Road. At journey’s end, instead of heading back to Melbourne, we drove to the car ferry at Queenscliff. It’s a well-organized car ferry from Queenscliff to Sorrento that takes less than an hour and leaves regularly throughout the day all year round.

We stayed overnight at the InterContinental and were able to roll out of bed and walk to the dock the next morning to take a boat excursion to swim with dolphins and seals in the Port Phillip Bay.  That afternoon we drove to view wildlife at the Koala Conservation Reserve and see the little penguins on Phillip Island before finally returning to Melbourne that night.

SheBuysTravel Tips: See related stories in the day trip section of Top Things to Do in Melbourne about swimming with dolphins and seals and seeing the penguins at Phillip Island.

Enjoy the free parking in a modern garage while you rest at the interContinental Sorrento Mornington Peninsula
Free parking in a modern garage. Photo credit: R.C. Staab

Basic Information

Check in time is 3pm. Check out time is 11am, but IGH Club members will typically receive a late check out until 2pm if requested at check in. This was particularly helpful for us, as we took a 3-hour dolphin-and-swim tour that left at 8:30am and returned at 11:30am. With a late check out, we returned to our room, showered, repacked and still had time for lunch before leaving.

The hotel offers same-day dry cleaning, shoe shine service, a doctor on call and printing and shipping services.

It’s rare to spot parking in a hotel away from the urban center, but Sorrento’s main streets can be very busy and packed with cars. The hotel’s modern garage is free with plenty of parking for guests.

For those seeking a relaxing and indulgent getaway on the Mornington Peninsula, the InterContinental Sorrento is an excellent choice.

The address is;
23 Constitution Hill Road
Sorrento, VIC, 3943
+61 3 5984 0000

R.C. Staab is a New York-based author, playwright, musical theater writer and lyricist. His latest book, New York City Scavenger: The Ultimate Search for New York City’s Hidden Treasures, was published in Spring 2023. His first book 100 Things to Do at the Jersey Shore Before You Die was published in 2020 and is now in its second printing. In 2021, he walked the entire 139-mile coastline of the Jersey Shore from Sandy Hook to Cape May the book, generating more than 200,000 views on social media. He frequently contributes to New Jersey Monthly magazine and online travel publications. He is long-time member of the Society of American Travel Writers having traveled to 49 of the 50 US States and more than 60 countries. He specializes in cultural tourism, adventure travel and historical sites. His off-Broadway musicals and plays have been produced in New York, San Francisco, England and the Midwest. He is a two-time nominee for England’s Best New Song competition. He lives in New York City with his wife, Valari, and his dog, Skye.
Read full bio

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *