Not only does Victoria have a packed schedule of upcoming world-class events and festivals, the state is also springing into step with a cascade of new openings spanning hotels, restaurants, wineries and nature attractions. Here are some to look out for:
New to the scene in Geelong, R Hotel offers 128 deluxe rooms and self-contained apartments, within a few minutes-walk from the cultural centre of the city, Little Malop Street, and Eastern Beach. Pet-owners are well catered for, with pet-friendly one and two bedroom loft apartments, and all rooms benefit from le Café at R Hotel Geelong, bike parking and secure parking. 10 Bellerine Street, Geelong, Victoria, 3220.
Hilton Melbourne Little Queen St
Breathing new life into Melbourne’s historic Equity Chambers, Hilton Melbourne Little Queen Street is located conveniently close to Melbourne’s vibrant art, theatre and dining precincts, with Queen Victoria Market, National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) and the Royal Botanic Gardens all within three kilometres. The hotel features 244 stylish guest rooms as well as five spacious suites for special occasions. While staying, pay a visit to onsite restaurant, Luci for modern-Australian fare or stop into The Douglas Club for a tipple. 18 Little Queen St, Melbourne, Victoria, 3000.
Ovolo South Yarra
Since opening in March, Ovolo South Yarra has quickly become a place to be and be seen. The hotel interiors mesh rock star attitude with retro glamour and unique art installations are dotted around every corner including lava lamps and a circular neon central fire pit in the lobby. Music lovers will delight in discovering the four rock star suites, named after icons Sonny and Cher, John Lennon and Yoko Ono. The restaurant is worth a visit in its own right, with culinary prowess lent from two of Melbourne’s most celebrated chefs, Ian Curley and Shannon Martinez. 234 Toorak Rd, South Yarra, Victoria, 3141.
This business meets boutique new-build hotel promises to redefine the traditional five-star hospitality experience thanks to design with new era travellers in mind. A discreet Little Collins Street entrance, sophisticated spaces to drink and dine along with an exclusive Club offering set the scene for a stylish city retreat. Each of the 255 elegantly understated rooms and suites provides a residential feel, while an Australian first in-hotel barrel ageing program for spirits and cocktails bring a new dimension to the classic mini-bar offering. 80 Collins Street, Melbourne, Victoria, 3000 (entry via 103 Little Collins Street)
FOOD & DRINK
Housed within the historic space that was formerly home to modern-Japanese restaurant Kazuki’s, Kadota warmly embraces the concept of omotenashi, meaning honest service and food. Japanese-trained chef Aaron Schembri and his wife Risa Kadota have brought their passion for captivating food, drinks and hospitality from Risa’s hometown of Okayama to Aaron’s hometown of Daylesford. The considered $99 menu offers seven courses matched with tea, wine and sake, set within an intimate 40-seat dining room. 1 Camp Street, Daylesford, Victoria, 3460.
Handpicked Wines Cellar Door Melbourne
Born in the Mornington Peninsula, Handpicked is the first Australian winemaker to enter the luxury wine retail space. Having opened its doors in March within high-end precinct 80 Collins, the space doubles as a retail wine boutique, tasting facility, and premium cheese and wine bar. Visit the multi-functional three level-space for a glass of wine or flight in one of the ‘Tasting pods’, or further the wine education in the ‘Experience room’. Corner Pink Alley and Benson Walk, 80 Collins Street, Melbourne, Victoria, 3000.
Spotswood furthered its culinary credentials last month with the launch of Grazeland, a playground for foodies and families that brings tantalising food from all around the globe together with entertainment. Easily accessed by car, train or ferry, visitors can indulge their tastebuds with everything from authentic Turkish gozleme, Sri Lankan Street food, Japanese gyoza and tempura or even kilted haggis – a traditional Scottish staple. 20 Booker St, Spotswood, Victoria, 3015.
One of the Yarra Valley’s most popular wineries, Levantine Hill has swung open the doors to its new $20 million winery development by acclaimed architect Karl Fender. The spectacular new building, which incorporates the highest levels of environmentally sustainable principles, serve as a state-of-the art winemaking facility and brand showcase to the world. The three levels include a winery, display and events space, as well as wine tasting and presentation areas. 882 Maroondah Hwy, Coldstream, Victoria, 3770.
Since opening in February this year, Wildlife Wonders has offered visitors to Victoria’s iconic Great Ocean Road unsurpassed opportunities to observe and photograph the iconic animals of the area in a natural, safe setting. Accompanied by a qualified conservationist guide, visitors will be able to see koalas doze in the treetops, potoroos and bandicoots forage on the ferny forest floors and kangaroos hop along the horizon against a spectacular ocean vista. The experience has been designed and created by Brian Massey, who was the Greens Master for ‘The Lord of the Rings’ trilogy, and landscape designer of the highly successful ‘Hobbiton’ in New Zealand. 475 Great Ocean Rd, Apollo Bay, Victoria, 3233
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