Victoria’s Spa Country is an ideal destination for a dreamy weekend escape from the city. Think mineral spring spa retreats, organic seasonal produce, and a coveted line-up of gourmet restaurants to tantalise the palette.
In its heart you’ll find the charming towns of Daylesford and Hepburn Springs, which pack a punch as far as dreamy accommodation goes. Here we’ve sourced some of the region’s most inviting hotels with open fires and spas certain to help you thaw out the frosty blues.
Blue Cliffs Retreats – Elevated Plains
What better way to relax for the weekend than in a self-contained retreat with your respective other, marvelling at the natural wilderness? Blue Cliffs Retreat allows guests to experience just this! Situated over 25 acres of natural bushland, the villas are tailored to all types of guests, with all bestowing spectacular views.
If romance is key, book a weekend in the spa studio. This is the kind of sanctuary that’s simply made for indulgence. The bedroom features a queen-sized canopy bed which is resplendent in luxury cotton linen – ideal for a toasty morning sleep in! Arguably the best feature of these dreamy villas though are the at-home spa facilities.
The bathroom offers a two-person sauna and spa bath, and the large deck features a private solar-heated swimming pool. Just imagine doing a couple of laps with an uninterrupted backdrop of the bushland! With the villa appointed with white fluffy robes and BASIC EARTH biodegradable bath amenities, you can indulge in a true spa experience without ever having to walk out the front door.
Hotel Frangos – Daylesford
The heart of Daylesford is quaint Vincent Street, and Hotel Frangos is its pulse. The quintessentially Victorian building is rendered in soft grey and makes a true statement on the street thanks to its distinctive red wrap-around veranda.
Paralleled elegance and attention to detail are carried through to the accommodation offered at Frangos, making this haunt an ideal weekend hideaway. Boutique in size and luxurious in style, the hotel offers 12 individually styled rooms that feature high ceilings, antique furnishings, and contemporary bathrooms. Each was designed by former owner Jim Frangos who ensured each room expressed personality.
If you’re willing to unveil your inner-diva for the weekend, you simply can’t go past the Monroe Room. In honour of Hollywood’s golden gal, the room is embellished with vivid tones, gluttonous throws and cushions, and a series of glamourous portraits of Mrs. M. Well-prepared for the chilly Daylesford temperatures, rooms also feature deep free-standing baths to guarantee a steamy night in with some bubbly in hand.
Peppers Mineral Springs Retreat – Hepburn Springs
For a refined experience amidst the lush surrounds of Hepburn Springs, a stay at Peppers Mineral Springs Hotel goes without saying. What better way to fight the bitter chills than with a stay in an elegant boutique hotel equipped with plush furnishings, crackling open fires, and scenic vistas?
Originally built in 1935, the hotel charms guests with its blend of historical features and modern country décor. Dressed by Interior Designer Stuart Rattle, Peppers is THE kind of place intended for all those en vogue travellers. Guests can choose from the Springs Rooms located in the original building or the Garden Rooms and Villas which are scattered throughout the manicured grounds.
Daylesford is renowned for its gastronomic scene, and Peppers’ in-house restaurant, The Argus Dining Room, only does this reputation justice. Proudly holding one hat by The Age Good Food Guide, Argus serves modern Australian fare, using produce sourced from the Argus Kitchen Garden. Dishes are perfectly paired with wine which is carefully handpicked by renowned Sommelier, Jeremy Shiell.
For some added pampering, Peppers’ mineral day spa offers massages and facial treatments as well as access to two 37-degree mineral water spas that overlook the rolling landscape.
Lake House – Daylesford
Nothing quite encapsulates the elegance of Daylesford more than the iconic Lake House. Situated on the shores of scenic Lake Daylesford, this haunt bestows a slice of heaven amidst the rural landscape of Victoria. Proud parents, Alla and Allan Wolf-Tasker, arrived at the deserted site three decades ago and have since worked tirelessly to make the Lake House one of Australia’s A-list luxury destinations.
Offering a hotel, restaurant and spa, the Lake House is quite simply everything you need all bundled into the one sanctuary of bliss. Our pick is the waterfront suite which offers an open plan, and an aesthetic of gold, ochre, and mustard. For something special, opt for the ‘extras’ service which includes either chocolates, bubbly, or a rose petal bed turndown for your room.
Beyond the plush rooms, guests can be enchanted by the culinary expertise offered at the Lake House Restaurant. Rightfully awarded two revered hats by The Age Good Food Guide, the restaurant draws inspiration from regional and seasonal produce. Finesse and strong attention to detail pair seamlessly to create a culinary treat for the discerning palette.
If you came to Daylesford with the intention of indulging in a spa treatment, the Lake House’s Salus Spa won’t disappoint. Nestled amidst a forest of ferns and waterfall streams, this little place of heaven makes for a truly blissful escape.
The Dudley Boutique – Hepburn Springs
Like the most elegant dame of the ball, The Dudley Boutique Hotel watches over Hepburn Springs with pride and glamour. Built in 1908, the hotel seamlessly pairs the charm of Australia’s history with the modern elegance of today. From 2013 to 2016, the great dame had a spot of beauty sleep and underwent a facelift. She’s now fully refurbished to a truly luxurious standard, and competes with the other accommodation gals of the region.
The Dudley has been rewarded the Small Luxury Hotels of the World accreditation, meaning luxury and bespoke attention to detail are positioned at the forefront of the guest experience. In 2015 and 2016, The Dudley also won the best luxury hotel in Victoria.
Rooms and suites are majestic in design, featuring plush king- or queen-sized beds topped with feather and down quilts, dreamy Actil linen, and printed feature cushions for a touch of pizazz. Bathrooms are appointed with a range of luxury Molton Brown bathroom amenities including a shower cap!
The finesse of the Dudley hotel is also carried through to the gastronomic fare which is served in the stately dining room for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. What better way to start your chilly morning than with a full continental breakfast service of fine crystal, Royal Doulton crockery, and a piping serve of Eggs Benedict! Dudley’s The Dining Room is all about pairing locally sourced organic produce on the plate, and it does this beyond perfection.
Kudos Villas and Retreats – Hepburn Springs
Hepburn Bath House & Spa is THE spa for all those travellers craving a weekend of pampering. Since 1895, this iconic bath house has been drawing mineral water directly from the Hepburn Mineral Springs Reserve. Fortunately, Kudos Villas and Retreats is located a short kilometre away.
The independent villas are sleek in design and provide the ideal amount of privacy for those seeking a regional weekend of romance. With some villas named air, fire, earth, and water, it’s fitting that the accommodation draws inspiration from the land. Think exposed timber beams and large glass windows which overlook uninhibited bushland.
Villas are individually designed, but most offer an open plan space with log fires and dreamy spas that overlook the scenic landscape. Rooms come with mood lighting and an inviting king-sized bed, appointed with a pillow-top mattress and love-heart chocolates. The villas come with fully-equipped kitchens and a breakfast hamper of farm house muesli, bread, and a selection of organic spreads for the first lazy morning in.
Bellinzona Grange Country Retreat – Hepburn Springs
Nestled on an acre of lush gardens with a backdrop of Daylesford’s scenic Wombat Forest, Bellinzona Grange Country Retreat makes for an idyllic experience. The Edwardian heritage villa offers upscale accommodation that puts indulgence at the forefront of the guests’ experience.
Rooms blend antique furnishings alongside modern fittings and clean lines. A colour palette of cream, beige, and soft brown creates a warm and inviting space ideal for a chilly night in for two! If you’re lucky, you might even secure yourself a room with French doors opening onto the retreat’s wrap-around veranda. If you’d rather have a little more independence, Bellinzona also offers stand alone cottages.
A weekend away in the Daylesford region inevitably means a weekend sampling some of the region’s best produce. Tick off your foodie wish list at Bellinzona’s in-house restaurant, Heritage, which serves carefully prepared Australian and international fare. For any high tea lovers, the crisp-clothed tables are dressed with tiered stands and potted teas every Saturday afternoon. For more on High Tea, check out our specialised guide here.
The Albert Guest House & Mills Spa – Daylesford
Housed in a heritage listed building dating back to the 1850s, Albert Guest House voices the charm of Australian history all the while offering polished accommodation. With rooms flanked in original Cobb & Co design wallpaper and floral throws, you could easily be forgiven for thinking you were spending a weekend in rural England. All that’s left to organise is your very own Mr. Darcy and the Pride & Prejudice scene is complete!
Old-world romance is lots of fun, but if you’re a more contemporary kind of traveller, the Mills Spa Suites is the younger step sister of Albert Guest House, offering warehouse style accommodation. The suites showcase exposed stone and brick walls, with minimalist style furniture adorning the space. A toasty sojourn is guaranteed thanks to gas log fireplaces, jetted spas, and a scattering of soft throws and cushions.
The onsite day spa indulges guests to range of treatments that relax, soothe, and revive the senses. Quite simply, an ideal haunt that warrants so much more time than a fleeting weekend away.