Ask a concierge: Melbourne

Business travel tips for Melbourne.

At the InterContinental Melbourne The Rialto, concierge James Ridenour puts his 15 years of experience to work for guests, recommending the best things to do, see and eat in this beautiful city. Here he offers expert advice for business travelers.

What should business travelers pack for a visit your city?

A sense of adventure. Experience Melbourne’s art scene, take in our architecture, play or watch sports or take a tour focused on our locally produced chocolate, beer or wine.

What are your top restaurant recommendations for a business lunch or dinner?

Epocha, ( 49 Rathdowne St., Carlton, Victoria 3053; Ph: (03) 9036 4949) housed in an old Victorian terraced home, has excellent food and service and one of the best small wine lists in the city. Also, just a few blocks from our hotel is Bar Nacional (727 Collins St., Docklands, Victoria, 3008, in Collins Square; Ph: (03) 9252 7999), an excellent tapas restaurant that’s perfect for a casual business lunch or dinner.

What’s something that surprises guests about your hotel?

Our atrium. It has the allure of a secret hideaway; guests get to it via a passageway between our two historic buildings, The Rialto and Winfield. Guests also admire our hotel’s architecture, which harkens back to a time when Melbourne was among the richest cities in the world.

If business travelers only have a few hours for leisure, what must they see?

Walk along the Yarra River promenade lined with cafés and restaurants that stretch all the way down to the Royal Botanic Gardens and the sporting precinct. If you prefer an indoor activity, the State Library of Victoria—home to one of Australia’s finest book collections—has a Victorian exhibit that includes the armour worn by the famous—or infamous—legendary figure Ned Kelly. It’s housed in the LaTrobe Reading Room, which features the largest dome in the Southern Hemisphere.

What’s the best option for outdoor exercise in Melbourne?

Rent a bike at Federation Square, and you can follow the Capital City Trail up the Yarra River for more than 20 kilometers. The bike path takes you by some of Melbourne’s best scenery. It’s a very enjoyable way to pass a couple of hours or the whole day.

Business know-how

Concierge James Ridenour’s top tips for getting business right in Melbourne:

Tip 1: Greet Australian colleagues and clients with a firm handshake.

Tip 2: It’s important to be on time for appointments, so allow plenty of time to get where you’re going.

Tip 3: While a suit or suit without tie is expected in higher-end restaurants, fashionable casual attire is perfect for moderate to mid-priced eateries.



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