The Conti is back, baby. At the end of March, Sorrento’s favourite watering hole will begin reopening after a massive refurb to turn the 145-year-old hotel into a six-level, five-building precinct. It comes with a new restaurant from Scott Pickett, a flashy public bar, beer garden and a pool.
The heritage-listed building has been reimagined by award-winning architecture studio Woods Bagot. The Continental Hotel Sorrento (formerly known as Hotel Continental) is literally a hotel. There are 108 luxurious rooms, terrace suites and penthouses overseen by InterContinental Hotels & Resorts. Mini-break, anyone?
As you’d expect from a flashy development in Victoria’s most sought-after seaside town, there’s also a sensory wellness centre. Aurora Spa & Bathhouse is sauna, float room, salt therapy and an ice room.
Various dining experiences are owned and operated by chef Scott Pickett and publican Craig Shearer, who picked up the space in April 2020. The signature offering is Audrey’s, named for Pickett’s grandmother. Expect elevated dining with sweeping views of Port Philip Bay and a seafood-heavy menu.
A total of 13 spots to eat and drink will open gradually between now and mid-year — expect to hear a lot more from us on these soon. For now, we can tell you there’s going to be a chic public bar (which formally takes on The Conti name), a casual light-filled beer garden and the Promenade, and outdoor dining space exuding sea-side glamour. Late-night offering Barlow promises live comedy and DJs until late.
The menus will led by Pickett’s take on traditional pub fare with a contemporary twist, and the Speakeasy Group (Eau De Vie and Nick & Nora’s) have designed the drinks list across the venues. Expect a cocktail-centric line-up of summer sips and spritzes all day.