Trawool Estate is a boutique accommodation just 90 minutes’ drive from Melbourne, occupying a grand former hotel dating back to the 1870s. It’s been seamlessly (and stylishly) brought into the modern era, though remnants of its former life can still be seen in the original turret, leadlight windows and concrete floors.
The centrepiece of the estate is Wild Water, its 100-seat dining room crowned by a colourful dome of 4500 individual stained glass pieces that catch and diffuse the morning light.
But the real drawcard is fine diner, Turbine. Here, ex-Coda chef Eric Kwek showcases the flavours of Thailand, Korea, Japan and China with snacky plates made for sharing such as roast-duck pancakes with hoisin sauce and lychee, spicy Korean soba-noodle salad, his must-order sticky Vegemite chicken ribs, and his mother’s recipe for Singaporean chicken-and-potato curry. It’s a dimly lit bunker-like space enveloped in heavy velvet curtains.
Each of the 20 refurbished hotel rooms in the historic main building look out onto the undulating Trawool Valley through French doors and wrought-iron balconies. The bright and airy King Suite has a free-standing bath, a king-size bed and a wine fridge to fill with local drops. The seven neighbouring rooms are perfect for families, equipped with kitchenettes, queen-size beds and two single beds. All bookings come with two complimentary buffet breakfasts, plus access to the outdoor pool and tennis court.