With the Rialto, InterContinental has introduced its internationally-renowned brand to Melbourne combining traditional architecture with modern luxury. But not to worry: the Victorian Gothic exterior from two 19th-century heritage-listed buildings remain as the magnificent shell for an exposed brick interior connected by an arching grand atrium. Walking through the Rialto’s redesigned interior feels more like exploring a museum of contemporary art than a hotel. Rich, dark umbers and red brick are suffused with crisp Australian sunlight filtering through the property’s stunning domed glass roof highlighting vibrant photographs of Melbourne and its surrounds.
The property, which won the first Green Globe certification in the world from EC3 Global’s Retrofit Building Planning and Design Standards, implements state-of-the-art resource management, uses fresh herbs from its rooftop gardens, and follows a program at its Alluvial Restaurant which stipulates all ingredients must come from a 200km radius from the hotel, reducing transportation costs and pollution. However, the 200km limit doesn’t deter head chef Nick Reade from producing decadent delights such as Lakes Entrance prawns with chorizo potato croquettes or Crawford River yabbies with crème fraiche, mint, and roma tomatoes.
While all restaurant ingredients may come from within a 200km radius, all cocktails from the Market Lane Bar come from a 100-martini menu, one of the Rialto’s claims to fame. To create this spirited diversity, the Rialto bartenders have utilized vodka infused with indigenous ingredients from Australia’s bush such as aniseed myrtle and Gippsland- grown river mint.
For the ambitious journeyman, a ride through the 100-martini menu may be tempting, but for the prudent traveler, luxurious accommodations await within their chic, modern rooms.
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