Living in Brisbane there is no doubt in my mind when I say sometimes our city lacks a little oomph. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a Brisbane girl through and through (hello Queensland weather!), but some other cities just have something more, and I love exploring that!
So when the opportunity came up a couple of weeks ago to explore Melbourne with The Intercontinental Melbourne, The Rialto on a jam-packed schedule of sightseeing, eating and shopping, I couldn’t resist. You can see our complete photo diary of the trip here in 48 Hours With The Intercontinental Melbourne, The Rialto: Part One (I’ll warn you know, there are A LOT of food pics!). So in this post, you can read through our experience and itinerary and watch a special little video I put together (be nice, it is our first video diary ever!).
So Brissie babes, we have you covered for all the best things to do in Melbourne because lets face it, every once in a while we all want to dress like it is actually winter and head down south for a weekend vacay. Get those big jackets on and umbrellas at the ready, here is our whirlwind 48 hours in Melbourne, an exclusive insider’s guide on how to take on Melbourne and see everything you can in just 48 hours.
As guests of the InterContinental Melbourne, The Rialto, we stayed under their roof and dined in style at all of their in-house restaurants throughout the course of the weekend, and got a sneak peak of some of their new guest activities and day trips.
Let’s start with the gorgeous hotel… I was blown away with the exterior when we pulled up out the front of the building, so you can only imagine how stunned I was when I actually walked inside and saw the spectacle that is the Intercontinental Melbourne, The Rialto. Situated right on Collins Street and built around a historic cobblestone laneway, The Intercontinental Melbourne, The Rialto wooed me from the very beginning. We certainly didn’t ever want to leave and neither will you. 10/10 would stay again next time I’m in Melbourne because the service was second to none, the location was inner-city and within walking distance to everything we needed, and the rooms were complete luxury (check out the video below for a look inside our stunning room).
And now for our whirlwind 48 hours:
Friday evening: Arrived at the Intercontinental Melbourne, The Rialto and whisked to our room. A quick change and trip down the elevator saw us ordering pasta and wine at Merchant Restaurant, one of four in-house dining destinations. The food was delicious, and the wines were flowing. It’s quite a romantic spot, if you were dining with your significant other rather than your sister like I was.
Saturday morning: To start the morning off, we took a 10-minute stroll into the city centre and Federation Square for an early morning coffee as we explored the laneways before the city woke up. Located in these laneways is some of the best coffee I have ever tasted, which growing up in Brisbane and owning the coffee snob persona, it’s definitely one of my favourite parts of Melbourne. ANNNNNNDDDD if I wasn’t mistaken, we also caught a glimpse of a certain doughnut store we all love (yes that’s right Doughnut Time!) is located in Degraves Lane and it is as much of a hit in Melbourne as it is here in Brisbane.
Not leaving a single moment slip by, I turned my full tourist on stopping at all the classic Melbourne sites like Flinders Station and Federation Square with our daily dose of caffeine in hand. You can see a little snapshot of these places in our video below! Then, it was back to the Intercontinental Melbourne, The Rialto and their Alluvial Restaurant for a buffet breakfast.
Next up was a step back in time with a family history workshop at the Genealogical Society of Victoria (don’t sigh, it was actually really great!), where we spent an hour going through our family’s past (you can uncover some HUGE family secrets). Inspired by the history of the InterContinental Melbourne, The Rialto and available to guests of the hotel and visitors to Melbourne, we highly recommend this activity. The staff and volunteers at the Genealogical Society of Vicotira helped us trace our grandfathers history and WWII enlistment records, which was awesome to see where he travelled, lived and the injuries he sustained before returning to Brisbane. The family history workshop is part of the hotel’s Pedigree package (from $399) which also includes overnight accommodation at Intercontinental Melbourne, The Rialto and buffet breakfast. If you want to uncover your family’s history, this is the package for you!
Saturday midday: After a trip down memory lane we headed back to the InterContinental Melbourne, The Rialto for a luxurious high tea inspired by Mrs D’Ebro, the wife of Charles D’Ebro who was the London-born, Melbourne-based architect who designed the Winfield Wing of the building. If I haven’t already mentioned it, this entire weekend was filled with eating! The high tea was lavish and was inspired by the high teas she used to host in her house in Toorak. A level 10 food combo was already starting to settle in and take over my entire body, and we hadn’t even nearly finished the weekend festivities.
Saturday afternoon: Feeling like I could fall into a deep seista at any moment from the amount of food I had eaten by this point, it was time to move to the next activity which was a private graffiti workshop in the hotel’s hidden underground laneawy. The InterContinenta Melbourne, The Rialto is lucky to be built around a cobblestone lane, which means it has a private laneway that they can decorate any way they want (only for hotel guests though!). Combining the previous history of the Rialto with new additions, we stencilled and created street art on the walls leaving a mark on Melbourne forever. The InterContinental Melbourne, The Rialto is holding art classes in the laneway in the coming weeks: 2nd July and 13th August, so be sure to book in if you are keen to live on the wild side and release your inner street artist.
After the street art workshop, we had a spare couple of hours in our jam packed day, which of course led us to the city centre and shopping! You know you have a problem when you go into one store and one store only because you have already done too much damage… I like to call it self-control but it’s more like overindulgence! We even stoped by St Collins Lane to have a look at the new high-end shopping precinct but don’t worry, window-shopping only!
Saturday night: Rolling back into the hotel we began the evening festivities which, you guessed it, involved more food. One thing that the InterContinental Melbourne, The Rialto knows how to do really well is food, and man did they deliver in very single meal – 4 courses exactly. A roaming dinner saw with canapes on the balcony, a main course at Alluvial, dessert in a decked out dining room complete with floral arrangements and a whimsical vibe and then post-dinner drinks and cheese platters in a fourth, secret location. I found myself asking “can I really fit this in” on multiple occasions, before evening stuffing it in my mouth and beaming at the taste (girls gotta eat, right?). By the time I had devoured the dessert, drank my last white chocolate martini and ate my body weight in cheese it was time to head to bed which, thanks to the InterContinental Melbourne, The Rialto, was a glorious end to the day to sleep off the foot coma and rest our tired feet.
Sunday morning: Rise and shine and a slow start to the morning, but in true InterContinental Melbourne, The Rialto style, there is always a suprise waiting around the corner. A secret location and quick stroll found us high above the city eating breakfast in the clouds with a 360 degree view through floor-to-ceiling windows. It was a “pinch yourself” moment, as we ate breakfast and dined as in the fashion of early travellers. Then it was off to the airport and back to reality (and warmer weather).
All in all, it is safe to say that from the moment we arrived in Melbourne, the InterContinental Melbourne, The Rialto showered us in with food and luxury as we were treated to the best Melbourne experience possible. The food was amazing, the company was amazing, and the InterContinental Melbourne, The Rialto was AMAZING! I know where I will be heading on my next Melbourne trip!
So there you have it, a whirlwind 48 hours in Melbourne. Thanks to the InterContinental Melbourne, The Rialto for having us, it was an absolute pleasureand we can’t wait to see you again!
Watch our video diary here:
For more information about The InterContinental Melbourne, The Rialto or to book your staycation, visit their website here or call 1800 593 932. If you have any questions about our whirlwin Melbourne trip, let us know in the comment below and we will get in touch!