Thanks to Australia’s love of public holidays, we’re lucky to have several long weekends (and in some cases weeks when using those in-between days) for adventures away. And for wine lovers, what better way to spend the extra time off than by booking a winery stay? We don’t mean any old cottage among the vines either. We’re talking about a full-service suite with access to lap pools, spa treatments and top-notch restaurants in the one place, so that you can choose the best of tasting and touring or staying on-site to soak up some truly indulgent downtime. Let the incredible hotels ahead inspire your next escape.
Mitchelton Estate, Nagambie Lakes, Victoria
Nagambie Lakes in Central Victoria is a serene region surrounded by rivers and lakes. It has a handful of top wineries that should be easy enough to explore in a weekend, but once you’ve checked into your luxe stay at Mitchelton Estate, you might have trouble leaving. Set on the banks of the Goulburn River and with gum trees and native Australian wildlife all around, you’ll exhale as soon as you pull into the vine-lined driveway. Drop off your bags and enjoy your welcome wine in the sleek lobby of the Hecker Guthrie-designed hotel. Your room features a rainwater shower, fluffy robes, soft linens, and vineyard or river views. Muse Restaurant is excellent for breakfast, lunch or dinner, and watching the sun set from the iconic Ashton Tower is a must. Fill any free time you have by exploring the cellar, the Aboriginal art gallery, going for massages and spa treatments, walking along the river or lolling about the heated pool. There’s also a produce shop where you can gather up goodies to take home.
Mount Lofty House, Adelaide Hills, South Australia
The Adelaide Hills is one of the most celebrated regions in Australia right now, with its producers turning out everything from classic wines to more experimental styles. It doesn’t hurt that its vine-strewn hills are incredibly pretty either. Mount Lofty House is a heritage hotel at the heart of it all, with a range of elegant suites featuring four-poster beds, botanical prints, plush armchairs and big picture windows taking in leafy green views. This 19th-century beauty was originally a summer house for botanist Arthur Hardy, which goes some way to explaining the beautiful gardens. Following welcome drinks in the library, settle in for a drawn-out meal at the three-hat Hardys Restaurant knowing you’ll have a bed to collapse into metres away. After full days of touring the surrounding vineyards, enjoy some post-wine pampering in the day spa, go for a refreshing dip in the outdoor pool, or work up an appetite for more indulgence with a game of tennis or badminton.
MONA Pavilions, Hobart, Tasmania
With owner David Walsh sparing no expense for his boundary-pushing museum of art and its neighbouring winery, brewery and restaurant, why not have a place to stay in the same space? This dramatic peninsula and its evocative delights are Hobart’s ultimate day-trip destination, and given the amount to see and do, it makes sense to be able to turn it into a weekend. The ultra-plush MONA Pavilions boast art from the collection, breezy balconies overlooking the River Derwent, minibars stocked with Moorilla Estate wine and Moo Brew beer, nightly room service, Aesop bath products, and access to a shared sauna and infinity pool. Your booking comes with breakfast at The Source restaurant, and given its phenomenal cellar, you’ll probably want to dine there for lunch or dinner too. A tour of the museum goes without saying and after that, unwinding with a local produce board and beers at Moo Brew will likely be necessary. If you have a few extra days, get out and see all that southern Tasmania has to offer, including exceptional wineries pouring some of Australia’s best pinot noir. If not, MONA provides more than enough to fill a weekend.
Jackalope, Mornington Peninsula, Victoria
A new and extravagant addition to Australia’s collection of winery stays is Jackalope. Set among the picturesque vineyards of Merricks on the Mornington Peninsula (getting there is a beautiful drive), this is a winery hotel befitting the glamour of its surroundings. This wine region is replete with highly rated restaurants, trendy brunch spots and cute produce shops, as well as offering hot springs, fruit orchards, mazes, sculpture gardens and more. You’ll only scrape the surface of that at the best of times, and staying at Jackalope will make it harder still. This hotel on the Willow Creek Vineyard site houses 45 contemporary suites with floor-to-ceiling windows, secluded terraces and pillowy king-sized beds. All stays include breakfast at one-hat restaurant Doot Doot Doot, and you can choose from a range of extras – from a deep-soak Japanese bathtub for your room, to daily Champagne/caviar service and massages (really!). The infinity pool overlooking the vines is a highlight, where you can order up drinks and snacks from your sunbed with a view (and book in for poolside dining or day spa treatments). Wandering around the estate is a discovery it itself, with several sculptures and art installations to scope out. And when you’re ready to relax, find your favourite seat at the bar or in the more casual Rare Hare restaurant.
The Louise, Barossa Valley, South Australia
It’s only natural that one of Australia’s favourite wine regions would have a headlining place to stay. Enter The Louise, a boutique Barossa Valley hotel with vineyard views and award-winning dining. There is a mix of offerings among the 15 suites, but all include private courtyards (many with outdoor showers for starlit rinsing), spa baths and comfy beds. Be sure to book in for dinner at Appellation restaurant, and while you wait for your table, sip sundowners on the terrace overlooking the Stonewell Vineyard. On the days when you return from winery touring wiped out from an oversupply of shiraz, enjoy the unadulterated bliss of chowing down a room service burger in your robe. Other options for your stay are swims, saunas, in-room massages, and bike rides alongside the vines.
Spicers Vineyards Estate, Hunter Valley, New South Wales
The historic Hunter Valley is a well-loved destination for Sydneysiders and interstate wine lovers alike. With a rich offering of restaurants, cellar doors and wine styles (from the hero shiraz, semillon and chardonnay to more unusual types), there’s plenty to cover off, so you’ll want to stay close to the action. The Spicers Vineyards Estate in Pokolbin provides the best of location and luxury, with a manor-style aesthetic that suits the setting. Its 13 suites come with wood-burning fireplaces, bucolic views, and an a la carte breakfast featuring produce from the on-site kitchen gardens. The hotel restaurant has a farm-to-table philosophy that means fresh, seasonal ingredients sourced from the grounds and its surrounds, and the award-winning drinks list is also a draw, with more than 350 wines from the estate’s cellar. Spend mornings using the hotel’s bikes for touring the neighbouring vineyards, and then return for relaxed afternoons at the day spa or by the pool.