For the team at Hotel Sorrento, a venue that usually operates 364 days a year – every day except Christmas – closing for more than six months in 2020 was strange.

After a lengthy hiatus, the Mornington Peninsula institution, which is perched on a clifftop overlooking Port Phillip Bay, recently reopened its doors to those within its lockdown radius.

But – as of today – the 25-kilometre travel limit and the “ring of steel” between metro Melbourne and regional Victoria have been scrapped, which means the summery spot is now accessible to everyone in the state.

You can lap up the salty sea air and glistening views of the bay across three socially distanced outdoor spaces: The Lawn, a breezy new beer garden; the Rooftop Bar, one of the best vantage points in Sorrento; and the open-air Salt bar, which has two private booths.

As the seaside hotel eases back into operation, find a Mexican-inspired street-food menu featuring slaw-filled fish tacos and herby barbequed-brisket tacos, crisp barramundi salad, spicy Margaritas and more – all available for dine-in or takeaway.

And if you want to make a whole weekend of it, stay on-site in one of the hotel’s light and airy rooms (many of which have bay views).

The third-generation family business has also been working on a huge development during lockdown, which will open in summer 2021. Expect 52 luxe suites, a wellness spa and gym, a 25-metre lap pool and a new conference facility.

Book a room or a table for up to six here.

hotelsorrento.com.au