Perched on the clifftops between Sorrento Park and Port Phillip Bay, Hotel Sorrento is an iconic institution with a deep connection to the coast. The charming limestone façade is a prominent local landmark that welcomes guests as they sail in on the ferry from Queenscliff. Just a short stroll up from the terminal, it’s a picture-perfect spot to sit back and soak in the breathtaking panoramic views of the bay whilst sampling the best that the Peninsula has to offer.
Established in 1872, the building is steeped in local history and was the first commercial business to operate in Sorrento. Rob and Anne Pitt have owned the business for forty years, lovingly restoring the hotel and building a reputation based on style and service that is second to none.
In recent years, Rob and Anne’s three children – Bridget, Myles and Marcus – have moved up the ranks and into operations, helping to bring a sense of modern luxury to the iconic venue. Whilst paying homage to the old-school charm of the building, the Pitt family have tastefully renovated and expanded the facilities to include three bars, an award-winning restaurant and 37 accommodation rooms.
Guests choosing to stay the night can select a space to suit their style, ranging from light, bright and airy (perfect for workcations), romantic and old-worldly, or hilltop studio suites that set the ultimate standard for luxury. What’s more, the stunning ocean beaches, golf courses and wine regions of the Mornington Peninsula are but a short drive away.
In 2022, Hotel Sorrento will be launching into the wellness scene. An expansion is currently underway and will include a new state-of-the-art conference facility, an onsite gym, a 25 metre pool with a pool side bar and a wellness day spa, steam room, bath house and yoga studio. An additional 15 luxury accommodation rooms will also become available, each appointed with stunning limestone, spacious open-plan interiors, a secluded balcony and private mineral bath.
When guests aren’t enjoying the sanctuary of their rooms or out exploring the region, they’ll be able to lounge in secluded cabanas by the pool, unwind in the hotel gym or relax and indulge with organic facials and body treatments. “There’sbeen a huge surge in demand for wellness offerings, with guests looking to retreat to the coast and focus on their mental and physical wellbeing,” says Bridget.
Conferences and corporate retreats
The new development will see the hotel transform into a coastal resort, building on the existing facilities that have made the venue a standout for corporate functions and retreats. The hotel already boasts four conference spaces, making it an all-inclusive destination for businesses looking to connect, network and elevate their teams. “Meditation and mindfulness have become a major focus for our corporate groups retreating from the city”, explains Bridget, “the relaxed coastal lifestyle and natural beauty of Sorrento make us an antidote to the speed and hustle of Melbourne.”
When it comes time to dine at Sorrento Hotel, guests are spoilt for choice. The contemporary menu is an ever-evolving celebration of seasonal produce sourced from premium local suppliers, including Scicluna’s Real Food Merchants and Peninsula Meats. Head Chef Matt Henke has been at the helm for seven years, with a relaxed style that focuses on using quality ingredients to create simple pub classics.
The impressive menu is coupled with an extensive wine list, showcasing wines from local partners at Portsea Estate, Foxeys Hangout and Montalto. Moving from the restaurant to after-dinner drinks, guests can choose from the new and lavish rooftop bar, the cosy cellar wine bar or the iconic sports bar – all offering their own distinct style and vibe. No matter your choice, you’re in for a good time. As Rob Pitt has always said,“we’re in the business of fun”. It’s a saying that has become a family motto, and a feeling captured and reflected in every corner of the venue.
Whilst the amenities are world-class, it’s the personal touches that sees guests return to Hotel Sorrento year upon year. The Pitt family have forged longstanding relationships with guests and locals alike, creating a home away from home for people to work, relax and celebrate. You can sit back and enjoy a beer in Kenny’s corner, affectionately named after a much-loved regular who has sat in the same spot for as long as the family can remember. The family are proud to give back to the community that has supported them, sponsoring local schools, surf clubs and sporting teams across the Peninsula. “If you look after people, they’ll look after you,” says Bridget. It’s a simple, community-centric attitude that puts people at the heart of what they do.