I was currious enough to find out more info on this particular hotel - some of the result from the Meridien itself was this...
".....The magnificent 19th century venetian-style property, located in the heart of the city’s Collins Street precinct was designed by celebrated architect -- William Pitt. Built in 1891, the hotel began its life as two separate buildings, housing the famous Melbourne wool stores and offices.
The bluestone cobbled laneway between the Rialto and Winfield buildings once echoed the clatter of horse and carts conveying wool and wheat to Melbourne’s wharves, and is still retained in its original form in the basement level of the hotel today.
The hotel’s nine-storey glass atrium sits between the two historical towers, which now hold the accommodation rooms....."
It definitely has atmosphere and charm to it.
I believe its unique...and worth seing, staying there or not.
This hotel was fabulous. My fiancee and I stayed here for out 1 year anniversary back in May 2001. We stayed in one of the penthouse suites which was just amazing. The staff were so helpful. They arranged everything from pizza to our rooms to horse-drawn carriages. This hotel will always hold fond memories for me.. highly recommended :)
Situated on world famous Collins Street, Le Meridien at Rialto is a National Trust classified building. The property began its life as wool stores and offices in 1891 and quickly became a city landmark because of its gracious 19th Century Venetian facade.
The historical architecture remains today - guests delight in the old world features of stained glass windows, wrought iron balustrades and blue cobblestone pathways.
A spectacular nine storey glass atrium joins the century old Rialto and Winfield buildings.
The Rialto Hotel – Melbourne
We stayed at the Rialto for three days after staying at the Sir Stamford Hotel in Collins Street. The hotel is situated at the bottom end of Collins Street next door to the famous Rialto Towers the tallest office building offering an observation deck with views of Melbourne.
The hotel is within walking distance to shops and Southbank. The hotel is a converted wool factory with a beautiful façade that is classified as a National Trust building. The hotel offers 24hours reception and security, beauty salon and a newsagency. There are three bars Café Rialto, Rialto bar and lounge and Francs on Collins.
Our room 526 was spacious and comfortable with king size bed and huge fluffy pillows. A large wardrobe with hanging space plus mini bar, TV, and CD player. There is a working desk and elegant curtains. The bathroom is modern and large with two overhead showers and a bath.
Unique Quality: PROS: Located in a good position close to Southbank and the major CBD area. The rooms are large and extremely comfortable. Breakfast included a good selection of continental and English food. The staff were very friendly and welcoming.
CONS: The building reminded me of a prison!! Which I didn’t like although heritage listed it lacked any real atmosphere. The pool area really needs a renovation and restructuring; the sun deck is pathetic and very mundane with frayed deck chair covers. The tiles look like they need replacing and cleaned. The room was dark and one needed to put lights on in the daytime. The bar area very unexciting and small, the restaurant lacked atmosphere or character. The Rialto café was also very ordinary and needs to be modernized
OVERALL: If looking for a comfortable room then the Rialto is excellent. The hotel lacks interior elegance and atmosphere. The Intercontinental has now taken over the hotel, so maybe we will see major changes which are certainly needed. I still enjoyed my stay here even with its faults.
1 Southgate Ave, Southbank, Melbourne
8 Whiteman St, Southbank, Melbourne
1 Parliament Square, Melbourne
495 Collins St, (formerly Le Meridien at Rialto), Melbourne
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Address: 495 Collins St, (formerly Le Meridien at Rialto), Melbourne, Victoria, 3000, Australia