At the end of a majestic driveway, lined with some 10,000 hand planted trees, there is a gentle dip. A proud private estate stands tall in that dip, and it may just take your breath away. This is Campbell Point House.
Campbell Point House
199 Matthews Road, Leopold, Vic
For those who have long dreamt of staying in an elegant, multi-million dollar luxury accommodation, Campbell Point House on Victoria’s Bellarine Peninsula is the only way to do it.
Surrounded by lush lawns and with a distant view of water, it’s hard to find the words to truly encompass the lavish beauty that is this place.
Originally built as a family home, the now-boutique hotel feels reminiscent of the Palace Of Versailles. Perhaps that’s why it’s been chosen several times as the backdrop to many TV shows, including Masterchef, Getaway and Unreal Estate.
Owner and visionary Aaron Parkhill assures building costs were shy of $20 million, but that doesn’t stop the quarter of a million dollar bill from appearing every year for maintenance. That’s on top of the five full-time gardeners, and a few robot mowers.
Upon arrival I make a note to spend hours roaming the magical gardens, but the real magic happens once I step inside.
The enormous entry and staircase (actually nothing is small here) makes my neck spin as I take it all in. I look down to see a myriad of checked tiles under my feet, as well as marble accents as far as the eye can see.
To the left there’s a light-filled conservatory, featuring a hidden chef’s kitchen and a quaint table set-up.
The rest of the ground floor is just as you’d expect. There’s a games room, complete with a full-scale pool table for a healthy post-dinner scrimmage, plus plenty of rooms for sitting, chatting and marvelling at your surrounds.
Up to my quarters.
Campbell Point House offers eight luxurious suites; the emphasis here is definitely on quality over quantity.
I was assigned the greatest and grandest of them all, the Master Suite.
An unassuming door on the top floor of the property opened to a set of stairs. Once atop, I am greeted with a light-filled room that I can confidently say is more than double the size of my Bondi Beach apartment.
As my bare feet stepped on luxurious jute flooring, a king bed reveals itself as the centerpiece. Behind it, a backdrop of his and hers walk-in wardrobes, inviting me to unpack and make myself at home.
The beds are as comfortable as they are grand, complete with butter-soft linens that almost demand a good night’s sleep. It’s clear that no expense is spared to ensure the Nirvana-esque fantasy is kept alive.
Each room comes fitted with its own private en suite, featuring a toilet, walk-in shower and vanity. The marble accents continue from the ground floor, with each benchtop handcrafted and imported using the finest finishes possible.
Guests at Campbell Point House are treated to a culinary experience that delivers the very best of the Bellarine Peninsula.
All produce is either grown at the estate’s potager garden, caught from the ocean, sourced from local producers or made onsite. Fresh doesn’t even begin to cover it.
Southern calamari with sage and soaked plum; dry aged snapper with mustard and potato; Crayfish and zucchini ravioli; dry aged duck with cumquats and bitter chocolate – although seasonal and subject to change, I can personally attest to the deliciousness of every bite taken.
And while I expected nothing less based on my experience so far, an in-hotel degustation of this calibre is seriously something to pay attention to.
Head chef Tobin Kent is understandably proud of what they produce at Campbell Point, and his team are thrilled to chat about how they have achieved an interesting, diverse, delicious and well-paired menu. As we quickly realised, all you have to do in this place, is ask…
Morning brings homemade croissants and jams, sourdough bread, beautiful coffee, and eggs to your liking.
After breakfast, I take a winery tour before heading home feeling refreshed, spoiled and knowing this is how the other half wished they lived!
If you’re a Melbourne local, type Campbell Point House straight into the GPS and you’ll do the trip to the Bellarine Peninsula in 1.5 hours.
For those coming from interstate, your best bet is to fly into Avalon airport and hire a car. We chose a Toyota and boy, am I glad we did. The Kluger’s inbuilt navigation was pretty much the only reason that my backseat driving Mum and I got there in one piece…
The AT verdict:
If you’re in the mood to be treated like a VIP, this French chateau and English manor house hybrid is the hotel for you.
The room: 9/10
Whichever room you’re assigned is guaranteed to excite. No noise, privacy in all. And while the linen and finishes are all superb, perhaps a power board next to the bed for devices may be a good touch?
The food: 10/10
Extremely hard to fault. From the unexpectedly brilliant eight-course degustation (duck paired with bitter chocolate – who’d have known!?), to the conservatory breakfast, and the paired sparkling and cheese on arrival; the food here is worth the journey alone.
Regional properties can sometimes feel a little lonely, and you can often have trouble passing the time between excursions. But with such detailed execution, and an incredible story to boot, hours can pass simply marvelling at the interior decor, let alone when you go out on foot to explore…
It’s a shame that the region doesn’t get to enjoy the spoils of the garden and head chef Tobin Kent, because the restaurant is not open to the public. Perhaps a special occasion chef’s table would work well?