March 24, 2023
5 mins Read
Long a popular seaside destination for holidaymakers, this Bass Coast isle is not short of hotels, cabins, guesthouses and holiday parks, but it can take a few clicks to find the right property. Whether you’re after a peaceful retreat in nature, a historic bolthole in the thick of the action, or a modern hotel with a few facilities, these six options should have you covered.
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A cluster of three coastal cabins, hidden away down a dirt track on the isle’s west coast, Five Acres is the ultimate boutique retreat (it also made it into our coveted list of 100 Unique Stays). There are some serious Scandinavian vibes to the minimalist interiors here, sculpted from – and bedecked with – a riot of natural textures and materials.
The piece de resistance is arguably the freestanding smoky grey concrete bathtub that stands on the cabin’s sheltered deck, overlooking the owners’ micro-farm, where highland cattle and sheep graze. Bibliophiles will rejoice at the plentiful supply of reading materials, from cookbooks and poetry paperbacks to modern tomes on sustainable living. Guests are also treated to a beautiful breakfast spread, all from the comfort of their own cabin: you’ll find homemade granola, freshly ground coffee beans and locally made yoghurt in the kitchen pantry, perfect for enjoying alfresco on your villa’s private deck.
Smack-bang in the centre of Cowes, Phillip Island’s main township, the North Pier Hotel is a solid all-rounder. Guest rooms are simple in design, and typically feature a grey and white colour scheme, and there’s a wide range on offer, from more economical Budget Rooms with twin beds and ‘retro’ bathrooms, to north-facing Ocean View Rooms with outdoor spaces (either balcony or patio) and the spacious ground-floor Bay View Suite, which has a more boutique look and feel. The hotel is also home to a popular bar and bistro, which dishes up generous portions of classic pub grub: parmas, burgers, pizzas and more. Punters also love the huge play area for kids, which features indoor bouncy castles and even a mini theatre.
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There are eight individual guest suites, each with their own character, at this cosy guesthouse. As you may have guessed, Clifftop is situated on a clifftop, surrounded by lush rolling farmland, and just a stone’s throw from Smiths Beach, arguably one of the best stretches of silica on the island, for surfers and families alike. Whether you opt for an ocean view, spa, or grassland room, each and every one is bright and light-filled, decked out with white walls but pops of colour and timber features.
Beyond your private quarters, make use of the cosy shared spaces, such as the lounge/dining area with its open fireplace, fully stocked bar and pool table.
Looking for a little exclusivity? This grand beach house delivers. Located in Cowes, Verandah Retreat is a whitewashed three-bedroom two-bathroom home that sleeps up to six and promises lashings of interior design inspiration (or, perhaps, house envy). Inside, there’s an open fireplace (firewood provided) and an open-plan kitchen with a breakfast bar island. Outside, lies a large deck with a dining table, picnic benches and a hanging swing chair, plus a north facing garden. To top it all off, Verandah Retreat is just 200 meters from the ocean.
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Those looking to get closer to nature should leaf through the options available with The Sheltered Glamping Co. This eco-conscious operation has several tents dotted around a private plot of land – come winter this little local operation downsizes to three tents, but typically they’ll expand their listings across the isle in time for the summer rush. Choose from canvas bell tents, or the king of the company’s glamping set-up, the super spacious, fully furnished safari tent, known as Emperor.
Home to a wood-fired hot tub that sits under the stars, an indoor wood-burning fireplace, a four-poster queen-sized bed, a king-sized bed nook, plus solar-powered lighting, fans, USB charging ports and a UE BOOM speaker, it’s fair to say every last detail has been taken care of. There’s even a fully equipped kitchen and Weber barbecue to use. And if you’re not in the mood to cook then just order in with Menulog, which amazingly delivers even to this tranquil, remote pocket where wallabies and echidnas roam freely.
A cosy guesthouse right in the thick of Cowes and full of old world charm, Genesta House has just three immaculately furnished suites, each overlooking the property’s manicured garden from their own private verandahs. With its white picket fence, plush furnishings, chandeliers, recently renovated bathrooms, and warm hospitality courtesy of owners and hosts Simonne and Marcus, you’re sure to feel right at home in this weatherboard house that dates back to 1914.
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