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Woods Bagot restores the Continental Sorrento, reviving historic European grandeur with a contemporary Australian flair.
In 1875, George Coppin – a performer, politician and entrepreneur known as the father of Melbourne theatre – realised his vison to bring a slice of European luxury to Sorrento, a small seaside town on the Mornington Peninsula in Victoria, Australia. Sorrento was a popular holiday destination in the 19th century, and Melburnians took the Ozone paddle steamer to Coppin’s new establishment, the Continental Hotel. The Continental promised a European atmosphere together with fishing, shooting, bowls, tennis, orchestra in season plus a magnificent ballroom.
Over time and numbers of haphazard alterations, the “Conti” (as locals know it), once the pride of the township, became shadow of its former glory. That is, until it was recently reimagined by Woods Bagot as the restored architectural gem of the Mornington Peninsula, with a partial masterplan by Six Degrees.
Talk to Nik Karalis about Hotel Continental Sorrento
Woods Bagot took the opportunity to reinvent the bayside hospitality icon beyond its former glory with both provenance and promise. In the spirit of George Coppin, the new precinct’s design incorporates a “modern nostalgia” approach, combining the comfort of nostalgia with the spirit of a modern grandeur. The intent is to make European luxury available to local and regional visitors, with uniquely antipodean sensibility.
The project includes the existing 1875 heritage building with its 1930s addition, plus four new buildings (three new accommodation buildings, and a pool club with wellness amenity). Hospitality and wellness amenities including hotel suites, day spa, bath house, fine dining, casual dining, ballrooms and a speakeasy over the 20,000-square-metre precinct.
Two formal entrances define the precinct: a porte cochère for vehicle access directly from Constitution Hill Road and a pedestrian entrance experience on Ocean Beach Road – the township’s retail high street. This prescribed circulation reveals and arrives at the epicentre of the project which is an all day, all seasons, glazed conservatory for hotel guests, members, and the public to converge.
The latest addition to the 108-key hospitality precinct, the Aurora Spa and Bathhouse, provides a sensitive postscript to the hospitality experience, offering guests a space in which to pause, recharge and refresh. Facilities include four mineral-rich pools – the “daydream” pool, reflexology pool, cold plunge pool and vitality pool – as well as a Nordic timber-lined sauna, a steam room, a salt room and a “glacial mist” chamber.
The final piece in Woods Bagot’s monumental renewal and redevelopment of the Continental Sorrento is now complete, with the finishing touches applied to its luxury and wellness component, the Aurora Spa and Bathhouse.
07 Jun 23
05 Jun 23
02 Jun 23
29 May 23
New York, New York