Perched on the lip of the Bass Strait amid dunes and dense scrubland is one of the country’s most ambitious new hotels. RACV Cape Schanck is a striking contemporary building set within a largely untamed landscape.
Opening in 2005, the seaside resort has been transformed over the past few years. Working to a design by Wood Marsh Architecture, the building aims to mimic the fluid, wavelike structures found in the surrounding natural landscape. The form itself is unusual, a three-sided amoeba resting on a heavier stone plinth, with internal rooms giving the impression of organic cells in a botanical drawing. The view while driving across parkland to see the hotel rise up is dramatic.
Inside you’ll find all the trappings of the contemporary hotel: 184 rooms including an opulent penthouse suite with views over the peninsula; a 25-metre indoor pool with attached sauna and gymnasium; a handsomely-appointed day-spa with extensive menu of treatments and its own modern take on the Turkish bath; and a world-class restaurant run by Josh Pelham, formerly of The Square in London and The Estelle by Scott Pickett.
The grounds are also home to a manicured eighteen-hole golf course, but it’s the wild environment here that’ll be the drawcard for many. Just out the front door are walking trails that follow along Bushrangers Bay or otherwise hug the clifftops through to Gunnamatta back beach. It’s barely an hour outside of Melbourne but feels a world away.