Jackalope - a sophisticated new escape on Melbourne's doorstep
Greeted by a 7-metre tall shiny black sculpture of a jackalope (a mythical creature part-rabbit, part antelope) standing proud at the entrance of the Mornington Peninsula’s newest luxury boutique accommodation opening, you know this is not your average country escape.
Set among the vines of Willow Creek vineyard; Jackalope’s intoxicating combination of glamour and sophistication are cleverly juxtaposed with the classic country charms that surround it.
Through the front door, the décor is sleek, chic and sophisticated, but the welcome is warm and genuine.
46 glass fronted rooms feature comfortable king-size beds, modern comforts (think: complimentary high speed WiFi, on-demand new release movies and Bose sound systems) as well as custom-made fixtures and finishes like the indulgent deep black-stone bathtubs. Dark and moody charcoal interiors are accented with bronze, copper, silver and gold - And the Vineyard rooms in which we stayed all enjoy views over the vines through the floor to ceiling windows or from the private terrace area.
[caption id="attachment_281" align="alignnone" width="840"] Vineyard room at Jackalope - the Mornington Peninsula's newest and most sophisticated place to stay[/caption]
After a hard-day’s wine tasting (the region has more than 50 cellar doors to choose from) or a challenging round on one of the many stunning golf courses in the area – the ultra-slick 30-metre infinity pool and heated spa are a welcome retreat, and a relaxing spa treatment in the private poolside pavilion is a real treat .. but the highlight of our stay at Jackalope was definitely the indulgent 8-course degustation dinner (with matched wines) at the hotel’s signature restaurant - Doot Doot Doot.
Seated at comfortable leather banquettes beneath a 10,000 bulb chandelier that covers the entire ceiling, traditional techniques and culinary creativity are applied to the fresh and flavoursome menu which lives up to its decadent and theatrical surrounds.
The hotel’s bar, Flaggerdoot (which incidentally is the collective noun for a group of jackalopes!) serves classic cocktails and innovative in-house creations in the property’s original Edwardian homestead .. and from our experience also appears to have won the hearts of discerning locals, which only added to the welcoming atmosphere.
There is also a more casual on-site dining option: the Rare Hare cellar door and food store; a light and airy space warmed by the wood-fired oven which takes centre stage. The menu here showcases the freshest ingredients from the property’s kitchen garden and premium Peninsula produce, whilst the dining room overlooks the vines from which the wine list has come.
To help make the most of your stay in the region, Southern Crossings can arrange for private touring with a well-connected local wine expert, a paddock to plate cooking experience, a luxury golf day at one of Australia’s top-rated golf courses and provide countless tips of where to stop, what to do and where to eat (The nearby Merrick General Wine Store was a favourite from our recent visit).
Less than an hour from Melbourne, Jackalope is perfectly positioned to enjoy all of the Mornington Peninsula’s pleasures: great food and fine wines, local art galleries and markets, natural hot springs and spas, golf courses, sleepy seaside villages and picturesque beaches. I would also recommend this a great first night out of Melbourne on a self-drive tour of Victoria, continuing on to Sorrento at the southern end of the Peninsula for the car ferry to Queenscliff which meets up with iconic Great Ocean Road.
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[caption id="attachment_280" align="alignnone" width="701"] Jackalope luxury boutique accommodation on the Mornington Peninsula[/caption]
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