Well-connected Sorrento is one of Australia’s favourite seaside towns, where you can surf with pros, dive off rock ledges and swim in the calm waters off Port Phillip – before checking into one of these great hotels, bookable on Culture Trip.
Just an hour and a half from Melbourne, the Mornington Peninsula is beloved for its beaches, rock pools and laid-back atmosphere, drawing celebrity footballers during the off season. Jump on a ferry from its western tip and visit Queenscliff for excellent fish and chips, or head over to Port Phillip Bay to see the penguins on their famous parade back to shore in the evening. Or you can opt to stay in Sorrento for surfing, beer crawls and dipping your toes in rockpools (watch out for crabs). There are plenty of options for resting your head in Sorrento, with than 30 historical, government-protected hotels. Here are some of the best to check into, from heritage hotels to modern boltholes.
One of the town’s protected, historic hotels is Carmel at Sorrento, whose unassuming, brick exterior shows the historical roots of the city. Choose from six modern and fully furnished apartments, which come with smart TVs, cable channels and all the kitchen and laundry appliances you’d need for a long-term stay. Check out the feather-patterned wallpaper and surrender to the chocolate indulgence package, which guides you around the region’s best chocolatiers.
Families holidaying in Sorrento choose this motel for a no-fuss, short-term stay on the Peninsula. Sink into the casual, local lifestyle with a barbie in the backyard, cracking open some beers during the hot Aussie summer and enjoying the location, a 15-minute walk from the beach and the same amount of time in the car to the Peninsula Hot Springs thermal baths. When it comes to the rooms, some have been recently refurbished, and all display local artwork. All 19 of them come fully furnished, and there is a disability unit, too.
This place is great for families who want to kayak and dolphin spot during the day, and relax in the comforts of a large resort when the sun goes down. With two pools, tennis courts, gym and squash courts, plus a spa and sauna, the hotel keeps you active during the day and rewards you with local dishes in the on-site restaurant at night. King-size beds are found in all rooms for restful nights after busy days.
Plantation House brings you a bit of the Caribbean in Whitecliffs, Rye – just down the road from Sorrento. Built in 1932, the building gives off a tropical vibe with its charming decor and mosquito nets, which aren’t really needed in Victoria (you’ll be pleased to know) but add to the charm nonetheless. Enjoy a home-cooked breakfast at the self-titled luxury B&B and, come sundown, take a seat in the private garden and tuck into a good, old-fashioned Aussie BBQ.
You can’t get any closer to the beach than at the Rye Hotel, which overlooks the water and gives you easy access to bars, restaurants and supermarkets. But with an on-site bottle shop and a Burmese chef bringing some spice to local produce in the hotel restaurant, you might find it hard to leave the hotel grounds. Modern furnishings and massive rooms overlooking both the pool and beach make for a comfy stay.
This family-owned, historic hotel was established in 1872 and still has the limestone pillars in the rooms. But its 37 freshly refurbished rooms are spick and span, with luxury studios inviting travellers to relax and enjoy some great Aussie hospitality. The in-house restaurant offers international dishes ranging from nasi goreng to pizza, as well as local, seasonal produce, too. You won’t go thirsty at Hotel Sorrento with its wine cellar and collection of bars: the Main Bar, Salt Bar, Rooftop Bar and the Lawn, all offering artisan beer and refreshing cocktails on demand.
Calling all golfers: Moonah Links Resort is considered one of the best golf resorts in Victoria, with an 18-hole championship golf course, plus panoramic views of the Peninsula. New to the resort is the Moonah Links Gallery, featuring Australian artists like Terrence John Hadler and sculptor Nicole Allen, adding a bit of culture to the 70 suites overlooking the fairway. And you keen golfers can play on the same course as the pros, as this place is home to the Victoria PGA championships for the next three years.
Courtesy of George's Boutique Hotel and Culinary Retreat / Expedia
Victorians all know that the Mornington Peninsula has some of the greatest Aussie producers of wine, beer and cheese. So why not stay at George’s Boutique Hotel and Culinary Retreat to unlock the secret gourmet finds of the area? On the top of Arthurs Seat, the boutique hotel offers the best hilltop views of the region as well as access to the best restaurants and wineries in Red Hill. But if you don’t want to travel for dinner, Cafe George has a tasting menu on Friday and Saturday evenings, which includes regional wine pairings.