From urban digs to heritage hotels and sweet retreats in covetable locales, hole yourself up in some of Victoria’s best.
The six suites at Drift House, which hides behind a charming cottage facade, make the most of the historic home’s period features in a warts-and-all way, with exposed stone and brickwork, striped walls and artfully rusty wrought-iron elements complementing lots of tactile natural materials, many reclaimed, and a largely neutral palette with interesting pops of pattern and colour.
Drift House, Port Fairy.
A sunny spot inside Drift House, Port Fairy.
Blissfully positioned on a sun-bleached headland at Point Lonsdale on the Bellarine Peninsula, with shut-your-mouth views out to the roiling sea, the nearby lighthouse and across the neighbouring countryside, Lon Retreat’s collection of seven self-contained suites is designed for ultimate relaxation. The interiors are cosy chic, with giant picture windows letting in lots of light and framing the vistas, while the on-site spa amps up the indulgence even further.
Lon Retreat, Point Lonsdale.
Aerial view of Lon Retreat in the Bellarine Peninsula.
Located on the less-sceney side of the Mornington Peninsula, Jackalope changed the narrative of what an out-of-town hotel could be. What that is, is seriously design-focused, with a dark, sharp vibe inside that contrasts perfectly with its bucolic outlook to rolling hills and verdant grape vines. The in-house restaurant Doot Doot Doot is a must, while the casual indoor/outdoor dining at the adjoining Rare Hare has Melburnians flocking for long lunches.
Views of vineyard from inside the rooms at Jackalope, Merricks North.
Jackalope, Merricks North.
The Provincial’s 23 rooms are housed behind an Art Nouveau facade (the 1909 building is National Trust-listed) in the heart of the former gold mining town. Inside, its heritage flourishes have been melded with a delightful modern makeover in restive shades of ivory and blue, with bold fabric patterns and colourful artworks by local artists adding interest.
The Provincial Hotel, Ballarat.
Inside the rooms at The Provincial Hotel.
Whether you call it a weekend away or a city break, the one thing we can all agree on is that Melbourne is one of the best cities in the world to while away a few days in, eating at its countless fine diners, shopping its buzzing neighbourhoods and lounging in its stylish hotels.
The ranks of said hotels have swollen rather than shrunk during the pandemic, with a swag of new properties coming online of late.
The headline opening in the last six months has been the funky W Melbourne but you might also want to check into the colourful boutique offering Quincy Hotel Melbourne or the luxe Lancemore Crossley St.
The colourful boutique offering at Quincy Hotel Melbourne.
As for old favourites worth revisiting after so long, our recommendations would include Adelphi Hotel, the city’s – and the country’s – first ‘design’ hotel, the elegant Langham, Zagame’s House in Carlton or The Windsor, the undisputed grand dame of Australian hotels.