After literally years of planning, we travelled to Australia to visit Sydney, to cruise to the Pacific Ocean territories of New Caledonia, Vanuatu and Fiji and to hop over to Melbourne. The year was 2020 and it was just before the pandemic.
Danny and I are fans of InterContinental. Top notch, but if you play your cards well, not too expensive. Danny is Ambassador of the InterContinental Hotel Group (IHG). It’s not a position, it’s a status you pay for but gives you perks, points and upgrades, which in turn give you points and perks.
We are also fan of hotel lounges. Why? We’re no coffee drinkers, pub crawlers or dancing queens. I can sometimes enjoy these things, Danny less so. Going to a drag queen bingo night in Footscray was outside his habbits.
No, after a day of exploring, getting cold or on the contrary battling the heat, we like to retire to the hotel. Have a swim if there’s a pool and getting half drunk in the lounge during happy hour. If the lounge is really good, it serves afternoon tea, canapés or other snacks. So you don’t feel the need to eat out.
Sydney, part 1
IC SYD was very nicely located on Macquarie Street, between Circular Quay and the Royal Botanic Gardens. A nice room, but also a nice indoor pool and the lounge offered a great view of the Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge.
Attendants in the lounge were friendly and generous. What do you need more?
InterContinental Melbourne The Rialto was way less busy than Sydney. A nice room, a pool upstairs and also a gym. I like t start the day early with a gym session, while Danny is still in bed getting his eight hours of beauty sleep.
The lounge was nice but WiFi was subpar. Still, The Rialto also offered plenty refreshment and the lounge was a nice place for breakfast, snacks and evening catering.
Sydney, part 2
No lounge at Swissôtel Sydney, but there was a pool. Our stay at Swissôtel, part of Accor was short bu satisfactory. The look and feel was obviously very different to the fifty shades of brown and beige of InterContinental.