They don’t make boutique accommodation like this very often, and with good reason – it’s difficult. It’s difficult to find the right location; difficult not to interfere with the natural environment once you’ve located it; difficult to find the right craftsmen to carry out the job; difficult to stick to budget; difficult to keep it at a reasonable nightly room rate for guests and still make a profit; and difficult to share with the public once you’ve managed to get all the rest sorted out.
Which is why we’ve got to credit the owners of Stonebarn with both having a vision and carrying it through to fruition. Sharon and Dion Rangé knew what they wanted when they created this unique boutique-hotel style accommodation on their own 65-hectare patch of paradise near Pemberton, Western Australia.
The architect-designed ‘barn’ is handcrafted with local stone and timber and houses just six guest suites, all of which have balconies with views over the Warren River. The suites have king-size beds, kitchenettes and ensuites complete with claw-foot tubs – not that you’d use them much once you’ve spied the secluded ‘bush bath’ (pictured left), which surely must be one of the most romantic hotel bathrooms in Australia. (If you think you know a better one, we’d love to see it!)
If you do get out to see the countryside, know you’re in gourmet heaven. This area is where Périgord truffles are grown, you can go fly fishing for trout nearby, and there are numerous award-winning wineries a short drive away. Plus, you’re slap bang in the middle of ancient Big Tree forests, such as jarrah and karri. You’re also not far from the Bibbulmum track and 4WD beach drives.
The only downside is that you can’t bring kids. But really, in a setting this romantic, we doubt you’ll miss them too much.The details
Where Stonebarn is on the Warren River between Pemberton and Manjimup, WA.
Notes Mon-Thu, $345 per night; Fri-Sun, $375 per night. Includes breakfast for two.
Contact (08) 9773 1002;