When you holiday as infrequently as I do, you really want to make it count.
You want to (ideally) handball your child to the nearest grandparent (thanks Mum!) and head somewhere close enough to get to on half-a-tank of petrol, yet far enough to feel like the world will not end if you leave your laptop at home.
I recently had a delightful stay at the new-ish Mitchelton Hotel in Nagambie, and I’m pleased to report, it fulfilled all of the above criteria and more.
Situated in Central Victoria’s wine country, the estate was purchased by Gerry Ryan (of Jayco caravan fame), and his son Andy Ryan in 2011. The pair has strong family ties to the area, spending many family holidays on Nagambie’s waterways. They even visited Mitchelton’s Winery for lunches – many years before they would eventually acquire the property.
What Gerry and Andy purchased in 2011 was a working winery with an existing restaurant and cellar door. But the ambitious duo could see huge potential for this 115-hectare vineyard property on the Goulburn River. They had the vision to revitalise Michelton, and a big part of that plan was a bespoke accommodation offering.
‘When we first purchased Mitchelton, we always felt that it was lacking a key ingredient to complete the estate and we identified that as a hotel,’ Andy explains. After further investigations, the pair discovered that there were concept drawings for a hotel from the 1970s!
Architecturally, the winery buildings (comprising restaurant, cellar door and that iconic tower) are totally unique, having been originally conceived by Robin Boyd, before his death in 1971. The estate was completed by another celebrated Australian architect, Ted Ashton in 1974 – its most distinctive feature is the famous ‘witch’s hat’ tower, a 55-metre structure which offers breathtaking views across the region. In recent years, Hecker Guthrie has lent their considerable expertise to the property’s restaurant, cellar door and 54-room hotel. With an understated, elegant design approach that carefully balances old and new, they have paid the utmost respect to the property’s strong design pedigree.
‘The brief was pretty simple, we wanted a contemporary hotel that fit in within the regional environment,’ Andy Ryan recalls. ‘We wanted the design to be restrained in its approach, but to bring in warm textural elements through the use of materials and colour palette’.
From a personal point of view, that feeling of ‘restraint’ is very much apparent during a stay at Mitchelton, and really is part of its magic. Every detail is so well considered and yet, it’s understated in every respect. High-end hospitality and design, without the ‘showy’ attitude – so refreshing!
We stayed in a beautiful room overlooking the pool and the Goulburn River, and enjoyed a wonderful, lazy long lunch at The Muse restaurant, under the vines. It was blissful, and felt a world away from Melbourne (despite being only a 90-minute drive!). I had an excellent treatment in the day spa, and we visited the Mitchelton Gallery of Aboriginal Art, an impressive subterranean space in the former wine cellars, which represents more than 15 different art centres and communities. The collection is particularly focussed on the traditional custodians of the land on which Mitchelton estate is situated, the Taungurung people.
Mitchelton Winery and Hotel
470 Mitchellstown Road
This week, you could WIN A Mitchelton wine, food and accommodation package for two people, including:
– A one-night luxury midweek stay in a Twin Share room at the boutique Mitchelton Hotel, breakfast included.
– A glass of wine on arrival from the Mitchelton Estate range.
– Dinner for two at The Muse restaurant, with regional wines to match (to the value of $200).
Just fill out the form below to enter. If you’re already on our mailing list, simply re-enter your email address into the form to be in the running to win!