Weddings, wine and wildlife: welcome to these beautiful hotels in the Yarra Valley, Australia.
Less than an hour’s drive from Melbourne will land you among the Yarra Valley’s sprawling vineyards, cellars and luxe day spas. The equivalent of New South Wales’s Hunter Valley, this is Victoria’s oldest wine region, dating back to 1838. Its close proximity to Melbourne means it’s primed for a weekender, but spend a little longer here to take in its fine-dining options and superb national parks – and to spot a kangaroo or two hopping among the vines.
In a former Masonic lodge just off the Maroondah Highway, Tuck Inn is a lovely boutique option for those wanting to explore the Yarra Valley. Owners Ozzie and Donna have completely refurbished the B&B into four stunning self-contained apartments – our pick is the loft-style Tree Top Retreat. Sleeping just two adults each, it’s the ideal space for a romantic getaway.
Sitting neatly on a 120ha (297ac) estate, Yarra Valley Lodge is surrounded by swathes of native bush and wildlife; try to spot mobs of kangaroos on the nearby hills. It’s a design-led wonder, and the common areas are Scandi-style, with wood panelling and crisp lines, an ethos that extends to the 96 rooms and six suites. When you’re not wine tasting, have a go on the 18-hole golf course, play a spot of tennis or pamper yourself in the on-site day spa.
A very modern oasis nestled in the forested foothills of Victoria’s Great Dividing Range, the Vibe hotel group continues its Australian dominance with this Marysville outpost. Rooms are smart, with soft grey hues, blond timber panelling and pops of colour. For warmer days, the heated outdoor pool is a must (especially after a game of tennis at the on-site court). You can sample a selection of hyper-local gins, ales and ciders at the hotel’s restaurant, Radius.
Wake up to the sound of bellbirds at Nightcap at York on Lilydale, set among 4.5ha (11ac) of native bush. Part of the charming Nightcap hotel group, rooms continue the group’s minimalist theme (expect lots of white and muted hues). Dine on classic Aussie dishes such as chicken parmigiana at the on-site pub, best accompanied by one of the local beers on tap.
Built in 1888, the stately Yarra Valley Grand is a National Trust-classified hotel. Rooms are beautifully appointed; the walls are adorned with warm hues and antiquated paintings, and there are plenty of mahogany furnishings. Opt for the three-level Tower Suite with its own rooftop, or the House, with a private outdoor pool. The in-house restaurant is peppered with pub-style favourites with a distinctly Australian twist.
Set just beside Yering Station, Victoria’s oldest winery, Chateau Yering Hotel offers a wonderfully romantic stay in the Yarra Valley. The hotel, which overlooks the river, was built by Swiss-Italian settlers in 1854, and its historic influences still show today. Each of the 32 sumptuous suites is individually decorated with antique furniture and fine art; all have large marble bathrooms (most with spa baths or claw-foot tubs) and expansive balconies from which to take in the stunning views.
Surrounded by native bush, Sanctuary House Resort Motel is just minutes from the famed Healesville Sanctuary, with plenty of native animals to see, such as kangaroos and koalas. Rooms are smart, with large windows, plush beds and timber panelling. When the heat gets a bit much, cool off in the outdoor pool before settling in for a hearty meal with local wines at the in-house restaurant.
A restaurant with rooms set in a storied inn dating back to 1863, Black Spur Inn sits in the heart of the Yarra Valley, a short drive to Gallipoli Park and the Bicentennial National Trail. Its 17 rooms are modern, with pinot-red feature walls, but it’s the food that’s the real draw here. The garden view restaurant offers local delights (the cheeseboard is a standout), best washed down with a glass of wine from one of the nearby vineyards.
With its Edwardian facade, it’s no surprise that the Healesville Hotel is stacked with old-world charm. The seven individually designed rooms boast a minimalist vibe, dotted with rattan furniture, wood-burning fireplaces and velvet-clad armchairs. Downstairs, the restaurant offers a heady mix of pub fare and fancier dishes. If you’re visiting at the weekend, opt for its three-course set menu of ham hock, chermoula baked fish and baked ginger custard.