Homes for the hol­i­days

The best hide­aways across Aus­tralia

The Weekend Australian - Travel - - TRAVEL & INDULGENCE -

EAST HO­TEL, CAN­BERRA:

This pri­vately owned ho­tel in Kingston opened its lobby-level Joe’s Bar this year, named for the Bisa fam­ily pa­tri­arch and with a dis­cernible nod to the clan’s Ital­ian her­itage. It has be­come a neigh­bour­hood favourite, much loved for its in­clu­sive feel and hearty fare, and with fre­quent drop-ins from nearby Cap­i­tal Hill when par­lia­ment is sit­ting. This must please the own­ers enor­mously as so­cia­bil­ity is ev­ery­thing at East Ho­tel, which caters well to fam­i­lies with spa­cious gue­strooms equipped with kitch­enettes, clev­erly con­cealed laun­dry fa­cil­i­ties and all-white bath­rooms stocked with or­ganic Appelles toi­letries in apothe­cary-style pack­ag­ing. The monochro­matic decor is bright­ened with bursts of mul­berry and or­ange, teal and mus­tard, and retro chairs and couches have but­toned backs and Scan­di­na­vian lines. There’s max­i­mum stor­age and fa­cil­i­ties with­out sac­ri­fic­ing a sense of space across 140 gue­strooms and stu­dios, which even in­clude con­nect­ing kids’ cub­bies with bunks and bean­bags, ju­nior-sized fur­ni­ture and Xbox 360s. The long foyer, too, is well con­ceived and wel­com­ing, with clus­ters of seat­ing, rugs pat­terned with big discs of colour and cruiser-bikes lined up for guests’ use. Per­haps a leisurely cy­cle be­side Lake Bur­ley Grif­fin and then set­tle back at Joe’s Bar with a sun­shine­coloured aper­i­tivo? More: east­ho­tel.com.au.

SUSAN KURO­SAWA

THE RE­TREAT, LAKE HOUSE, DAYLES­FORD:

It’s hard to imag­ine how the Wolf-Taskers — chef Alla, artist Al­lan and their daugh­ter and ho­tel mar­ket­ing whiz Larissa — could im­prove on this con­sum­mate Vic­to­rian lake­front ho­tel and restau­rant, but they have. The res­i­den­tial Re­treat op­er­ates as a ho­tel within a ho­tel; it’s a snug coun­try house (sleep­ing two cou­ples) that’s per­fect for a mid­win­ter es­cape with al fresco hot tub, and a court­yard gar­den where the fire pit seems mag­i­cally to be al­ways blaz­ing. Af­ter a pri­vate check-in, cock­tails and canapés are de­liv­ered to The Re­treat where the el­e­gant liv­ing ar­eas are kit­ted out with comfy so­fas and open fires and stocked with wine, mag­a­zines and books. Take a stroll down to the Lake House Salus Spa for a mas­sage or pe­ruse the restau­rant’s out­stand­ing wine list, per­haps pop up to the de­light­ful Wom­bat Hill Botanic Gar­dens where lunch at Alla’s gar­den-to-plate cafe is about as far from The Re­treat as most guests will care to wan­der. More: lake­house.com.au.

ART­HOUSE, HO­BART:

Al­most a third of Ho­bart’s hol­i­day-makers visit MONA, the ground­break­ing pri­vate mu­seum on the banks of the Der­went River, but few will know of Ho­bart’s other hill­side art house. Art­house Sala­manca is a 19th-cen­tury Marine Board cot­tage in beau­ti­ful Bat­tery Point, a stroll from the week­end mar­kets and MONA ferry. The quaint ex­te­rior con­ceals a can­vas of con­vict-hewn sand­stone and brick that artist Genevieve De Cou­vreur has trans­formed into a cap­ti­vat­ing pied-à-terre. The two and a half lev­els con­tain two queen-sized bed­rooms, two in­dul­gent bath­rooms, an en­ter­tainer’s kitchen (com­plete with pantry es­sen­tials and el Bullí cook­book) and se­cluded ter­race with sparkling river glimpses. There is art every­where cour­tesy of De Cou­vreur, for­mer wife of Charles Black­man and a cel­e­brated artist in her own right, and her col­lec­tion. It’s an ex­clu­sive ad­dress but ba­bies and chil­dren over 12 are wel­come, giv­ing fam­i­lies the op­tion of full im­mer­sion in the city’s cul­tural life. More: art­house­ho­bart.com.au.

THE BILLI RE­SORT, BROOME:

CHRISTINE McCABE

KEN­DALL HILL

A lit­tle bit of Africa ar­rived in Broome in 2011 with the open­ing of The Billi Re­sort. Amanda and Dave Tre­leaven’s bou­tique prop-

Clock­wise from top left, Cre­morne Point Manor, Sydney; East Ho­tel, Can­berra; Eco Tent at The Billi Re­sort, Broome; Ocean House, Lorne; The Frames in South Aus­tralia’s River­land

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