Boutique in the bush: Brae. “No need to bunk down in comfy B&Bs in nearby Birregurra, a charming Victorian-era village barely 2km away. Instead, there are six spacious guest suites on site that strike a neat balance between mod and rustic. Much like Hunter’s exceptional food.” - Herald Sun
It's named after a mythical rabbit-like creature with antlers! But don't let that put you off: Jackalope is a luxury hotel set between Red Hill and Balnarring on the Mornington Peninsula, reports Broadsheet, that features 46 designer rooms, with floor-to-ceiling windows and private terraces, as well as larger suites, known as "lairs", with loft ceilings, a fireplace and a view of the vineyard. The hotel also boasts an 80-seat contemporary restaurant and bar housed in Edwardian homestead McCormick House, which dates back to 1876.
The Church House is located at Fish Creek -- about 2½ hours' south-east of Melbourne at the gateway to Wilsons Promontory on the southernmost tip of mainland Australia. It’s a 19th-century wooden Anglican church that was “saved from demolition in Melbourne and rebuilt on the crest of a hill,” explains Traveller. It sits on “a hill of plenty, with artichokes lining the outdoor deck, a diverse orchard and a kitchen garden brimming with seasonal space
Meanwhile, an hour north of Melbourne in the Yarra Valley, Meletos Farmhouse Is home to “wineries, orchards and breweries all overlooked by the glorious Great Dividing Range,” writes Traveller. It's part of a precinct of lodgings, cafe and providore spaces “with a photo-perfect backdrop,” where 23 guest rooms are “spacious and blessed with far-reaching views across vines and lawns to the mountains.” There's a “sense of Tuscany gently colliding with pared-back Australian style in this collection of old farm buildings.”
And at the top of the pile of classy country retreats is The Lake House in Daylesford -- “a full-blown gourmet retreat, with its own cooking school and 30 rooms scattered through the 2½ hectares of country gardens,” explains Traveller. Staying at The Lake House is “a feast for the senses … morning mist draped over the lake; vases filled with sweetly scented blooms; velvet sofas.” Above all, says Traveller, “it's about tempting your tastebuds” with seasonally driven menus that “draw inspiration from across the globe,” not to mention a wine cellar which holds 12,000 bottles.
And for more sleeping around out of town, take a look at Broadsheet's guide to Victoria's Best Places to Stay.