Sometimes cities just click with us. There’s no rhyme or reason to it, but when it happens you know right away. When I first visited Melbourne two years ago we clicked and I knew instantly that a great, lifelong romance had begun. There’s just something about the city that appeals to me on an almost instinctual level and if I could, I would live there in a heartbeat. In lieu of having my own home there, there is one hotel that I always patronize and it honestly has become my home away from home whenever I’m in Melbourne, the InterContinental Rialto.
This downtown hotel was built into the frame of a historic laneway, at once preserving the history of the neighborhood while presenting its guests with a closer look at what makes Melbourne so very special. There are a lot of nice hotels in Melbourne though so what makes the InterContinental so great? Well, I’ve thought a lot about it and I think I may have figured out why I love it so much.
As a brand, InterContinental does a job better than most other luxury hotels in making a stay with them feel like an experience. They don’t want to only give you a comfy bed and a hot meal, they truly want to be your gateway to experiencing a fun, new destination. This effort is led by the head concierge at each hotel, a role that for InterContinental takes on a whole new meaning.
Sadly the profession of concierge has changed in many hotels and often times they do little more than just make restaurant reservations. At InterContinental though the hotel knows that they truly are the leaders of the customer experience and instead of dinner-facilitator, guests at InterContinental have come to expect a lot from the concierge. For me, both times the concierge helped with everything from mapping out itineraries around the city to offering honest and realistic advice and even ordering a rental car. Sure, this is a lot of stuff I could’ve done on my own with an hour on the laptop, but it took the concierge mere moments to accommodate us, giving me the luxury of time and very little stress.
Stepping back from the amazing customer service at the InterContinental Rialto, the hotel occupies a central space in Melbourne, making it the perfect place from which to launch a citywide exploration. There’s a lot to be said for a central location and I saved a lot of time and money by walking to places that otherwise would have required a cab or tram ride.
That’s a prosaic thing though. The real reason I love staying with the InterContinental so much is something I can’t really explain. Just as great cities sometimes resonate with us on a very personal level so do I believe great hotels. There are thousands of hotels around the world but few great ones and even fewer that we connect with on a visceral level. While I can’t guarantee you the same level of connection with the Rialto that I have, I can safely say that you certainly won’t regret a stay with this amazing hotel in one of the best cities in the world.
What hotels have resonated with you on such a level?