IHG announces major Mornington Peninsula signing

IHG Hotels & Resorts has announced that its luxury InterContinental brand will come to Sorrento in Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula as part of the redevelopment of the iconic Hotel Continental.

It follows IHG’s signing of a management agreement with the consortium behind the Hotel Continental redevelopment on the state’s famed coastal strip.

Hotel Continental, or “the Conti” as it is endearingly called by locals, will have a new, luxurious lease on life when the InterContinental Sorrento opens in November 2021.

Following a sensitive, state-of-the-art restoration by the Trenerry Consortium, which is owned by Victor Smorgon Group, the Kanat Group and Trenerry Property, InterContinental Sorrento will occupy the accommodation component of the 145-year-old heritage-listed limestone building, and will feature 106 guestrooms, many of them with water views.

A high-profile chef partnership will soon be announced for the hotel’s signature restaurant, with the property also home to five other dining and bar outlets.

In addition, the hotel will feature a sprawling wellness centre incorporating a luxury bathhouse, an outdoor pool, a gym and three function and event spaces, including the Conti’s original iconic grand ballroom.

Abhijay Sandilya, vice president of development across Australasia, Japan and the Pacific at IHG, said: “We could not be more delighted to be adding this very special hotel to our InterContinental portfolio, and we’re so pleased to be embarking on the restoration process with this great consortium of partners.

“InterContinental hotels around the world all have a fascinating, alluring story to tell and InterContinental Sorrento, with its rich 145-year history, is no exception. It perfectly complements our portfolio.

“We have been looking to grow outside of central Melbourne for some time, and to be expanding into regional Victoria with a property of this calibre, and in such a prime tourism location, is incredibly exciting.

“With regional tourism in places such as the Mornington Peninsula benefiting from pent-up traveller demand due to COVID-19, the hotel is in a sweet spot to capitalise on this influx of travellers, and with very few luxury hotel offerings in the area, InterContinental Sorrento will be a welcome addition to the region and a treasured addition to the IHG network.”

Peter Edwards from Victor Smorgon Group said: “After working closely with our consultant team, we couldn’t be more pleased to have IHG Hotels & Resorts on board.

“We are confident that bringing the world’s largest luxury hotel brand to a destination like Sorrento will attract attention from both domestic and international travellers to the region, and we are excited to see the Hotel Continental enter an exciting new era.

“Collectively, we have a passion and vision for the hotel to be completely revitalised and returned to its former glory as one of the country’s most loved hotels, and we’re excited to be embarking on this project with the team at IHG.”

Hotel Continental first opened in 1875 and was the brainchild of actor, philanthropist and businessman George Coppin, who was regarded as the “Father of the Theatre” in Victoria.

Coppin’s vision was to create a tourism and cultural heart for the Peninsula where Melburnians and tourists could enjoy a premium seaside resort only a few hours from the city.

The hotel sparked an industry that included the steamboat ferry system, transporting travellers from all over the world into the heart of Sorrento, and to the hotel.

InterContinental Sorrento will be the 10th InterContinental hotel in Australasia, joining InterContinental Resort Hayman Island, InterContinental Sydney Double Bay, InterContinental Sydney, InterContinental Perth, InterContinental Sanctuary Cove, InterContinental Melbourne The Rialto, InterContinental Adelaide, InterContinental Wellington and InterContinental Fiji.

The hotel will also complement IHG’s broader InterContinental resort portfolio in the region which includes properties in Bali, Bora Bora and Danang Sun Peninsula.