Restaurant News

The Continental Sorrento begins its long-awaited reopening this month

Following a $100 million refurbishment, the landmark Mornington Peninsula pub – with its multiple venues, new Intercontinental hotel and adjoined spa and wellness centre – is poised to become one of the biggest destinations in the region.

By Callum McDermott
Photo: Jeremy Wright
Let's face it – for many of us, this summer was a bit of a bust. And it wasn't quite the summer of love the hospitality industry was hoping for either – many venues that were slated to open over the warm months, whether by fate or by choice, had to postpone their openings.
The Continental Sorrento, on Victoria's Mornington Peninsula, was perhaps the biggest rainchecked launch of the summer. The landmark pub has towered over Sorrento and its sandstone cottages since it was built in 1875, but in recent years it had started to show signs of its age.
In early 2021, it was announced it would undergo a $100 million refurbishment, reopening as an Intercontinental hotel, with a new hospitality offering overseen by publican Craig Shearer and chef Scott Pickett (Estelle, Matilda, Smith Street Bistrot). The multiple venues are designed to appeal to guests, locals, weekenders and daytrippers alike. They were initially scheduled to open in time for summer. Now, they're finally (nearly) ready for the public. And signs point to it having been worth the wait.
The Atrium under construction. Photo: Jeremy Wright
The headline act is Audrey's, a restaurant named after Pickett's grandmother. There'll be a heavy focus on seafood (to complement the ocean views), both across the main menu and a selection from a raw seafood bar. The pub proper - The Conti - will involve a public bar, a vast beer garden, and the Promenade, a casual outdoor diner with a Mediterranean-leaning menu.
There's also The Atrium, a sprawling restaurant with a greenhouse-like design; Coppins Lounge, the refined lobby bar; and Barlow, a late-night cocktail bar with a live performance space. Guests at the hotel will also have exclusive access to the Pool Deck, a lounge and cabana-filled poolside space with views out over Port Phillip Bay and Miami-inspired snacks and cocktails.
Shearer and Pickett's food and beverage teams will also be deployed across four event spaces available for meetings and function hire.
When it opens in May, the Intercontinental Sorrento will feature 108 rooms, suites, and penthouses; in addition to Aurora, a wellness centre featuring baths, pools, therapies and spa treatments.
The Continental Sorrento's venues are due to begin opening in stages from late March.
The Continental Sorrento
1/21 Ocean Beach Road, Sorrento, VIC