Lon Re­treat and Spa.

A new re­treat makes the case for Vic­to­ria’s “other” penin­sula. MICHAEL HAR­DEN

Gourmet Traveller (Australia) - - News -

“We want peo­ple to re­con­nect with the beauty of do­ing noth­ing,” says Claire Gemes. Hence the pri­vate court­yards fur­nished with ham­mocks and out­door show­ers, and “spa bars” in each suite at Lon, her new re­treat and spa on Vic­to­ria’s Bel­lar­ine Penin­sula.

The 80-hectare prop­erty has been owned and farmed by Gemes’ fam­ily since the 19th cen­tury. The sand­stone farm­house, pre­vi­ously the fam­ily home and a B&B run by her par­ents, has been ren­o­vated so each of the seven suites has views of Bass Strait, Lake Vic­to­ria and the Point Lons­dale Light­house.

With the num­ber of guests capped at 16, an adults-only pol­icy, an hon­esty bar and a min­i­mum two-night stay, Lon is geared for wind­ing down and switch­ing off. “Some­times a walk to the beach is all you’ll do all day,” Gemes says of the short stroll to Point Lons­dale’s back beach.

The day spa’s three rooms are po­si­tioned so guests can watch ships sail past their mas­sage ta­bles, and the heated hy­drother­apy pool is fed by a spring that fil­ters through caves be­neath the prop­erty.

Each suite has a bar­be­cue and ac­cess to a pantry of lo­cal pro­duce so guests can DIY, while des­ti­na­tion restau­rants in­clude Oak­dene Vine­yards and Gee­long’s Igni.

While much of the new in­vest­ment in tourism has funded projects on the Morn­ing­ton Penin­sula, the Bel­lar­ine Penin­sula – just across the heads of Port Phillip Bay – is catch­ing up. Camp­bell Point House, on Lake Con­newarre, opened in Oc­to­ber with eight lux­ury suites, and ar­ti­san brew­ers and dis­tillers, such as Bel­lar­ine Dis­tillery in Drys­dale, are mov­ing into the wine-grow­ing re­gion. Lon Re­treat and Spa, 25 Gill Rd, Point Lons­dale, Vic, (03) 5258 2990, lon­re­treat.com.au

Right: Lon Re­sort and Spa’s main foyer. Be­low, from top: the Alto suite; Point Lons­dale’s back beach; The Cu­mu­lus suite’s bath­room.

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