Like diving into a warm, inviting cocoon…

by Friday, February 23, 2018

The first time I met Julian Clarke (pictured), we were both guests at The Mansion at Werribee.

Both of us had huge smiles on our dials… Julian was jumping out of the huge indoor pool where he’d been having a ball with his family and I was jumping in as part of my spa treatment where, as a day Guest, I could use the facilities.

The difference though is that Julian is the CEO of the company that owns The Mansion and I’m a longtime paying guest and fan of the hotel.

I loved that Julian lived and breathed the product. He adores travel, sampling different hotels, forever making notes, taking pics, constantly in search of perfecting what and how his boutique hotel group can enhance their guests’ experience. I relished the chance recently to chat to Julian and learn more about one of Australia’s most successful hotel businesses. (Listen to the podcast, here.)

My only complaint about my stay at Lindenderry at Red Hill (pictured), in Victoria? Why didn’t I stay longer! Then I could’ve slept another eight hours in one of their glorious hotel beds. I find it so difficult to sleep well in hotels (occupational hazard) so, when I find a bed that offers me an amazing sleep, well, I’ll shout it from the rooftops.

I would have spent longer lingering in the heavenly gardens created by the family who created the hotel; sampled a wine tasting at the hotels Cellar Door; swum more laps in the indoor pool; and explored the beautiful surrounding area of Red Hill.

I’ll admit to being a long-time fan of Lindenderry. First brought there for “Getaway”, I was amazed by how exquisite the region of the Mornington Peninsula was. I wanted to stop the locals in the street and ask, “Do you know how spoilt you are?”. Geez, it’s gorgeous. With its ocean views, nearby hot springs and now, legendary vineyards.

But my most recent stays at Lindenderry have been for conferences. It’s one of those brilliant places where you can have a meeting/wedding/celebration in the grounds, wander indoors for a fabulous meal, then collapse into a dreamy bed (I’ve gotta stop raving about those beds!). I love a one-stop shop.

Lindenderry has recently undergone extensive renovations and it’s even more sumptuous than before. I loved it pre-reno, too, but I’ll admit now it’s like diving into a warm, inviting cocoon. Big fireplaces surrounded by the day’s newspapers, lots of big, lovely flower arrangements and deep, wingback chairs. I should add the papers and flowers are kept well away from the fireplace, but I digress…

I was in the area most recently for a friend’s birthday, so I thought I’d treat my Husband to a little stay at Lindenderry. I really wanted to sample the new restaurant as I’d heard amazing things about it and it didn’t disappoint. David was the fellow who looked after us. I remember his name as we chatted throughout the meal and his wine selection was so good I actually asked if we could buy his recommendations to take home. Not a problem, it was all local. I’ve never asked this before, but I thought I’d share it with you as it sort of sums up how lovely the service is… and possibly that I’ve a penchant for a bounty of local wine.

Needless to say, we were late, rosy cheeked and super happy when we arrived at our friend’s party. I totally blame Lindenderry. We didn’t want to leave our little cocoon. Now, I’ve just got to find an excuse to get myself back there, if only for the eight-hour sleep. So good!

This week, on Journeys To Come…

Guest Traveller

Having just graduated from secondary school, this week’s Guest Traveller, Gretel Newton-Brown, set out to visit new places, find experiences differing from the norm, and see her home town in a whole new light. We think she nailed it… Her adventurous weekend staycation took her both high in the sky in a helicopter over Melbourne, and dinner-cruising along the city’s major waterway, the Yarra River. Read her story, here.

Ask The Concierge

Getting into the spirit of the Winter Olympics in Pyeonchang, South Korea, this week we met Jayoung Yu, Assistant General Manager at the Shilla Stay Haeundae in the country’s second-largest city, Busan. A large port city, it has seven beach districts, mountains and temples. We hear that seafood is at the top of local menus and restaurants often have fish tanks teeming with myriad choices for your dinner. Read her story, here.