OR­DER RE­STORED AT THE ESPY

Sunday Herald Sun - Escape - - TRAVEL NEWS - SU­SAN BUGG

Not all the build­ing ac­tion in Mel­bourne bay­side hub St Kilda this year has been The Block con­tes­tants reimag­in­ing the down­trod­den Gatwick Ho­tel into lux­ury apart­ments. The air of restora­tion is blow­ing right through the sub­urb.

Just down the road from The Block site, Mel­bur­ni­ans are em­brac­ing the re­open­ing of the iconic Es­planade Ho­tel, re­stored in the past 18 months to a state above and be­yond its for­mer glory as a live mu­sic venue and sum­mer hang­out with an un­ri­valled loy­alty in the city. Pub­lic space at the “Espy” has been ex­panded from three lev­els to six, to in­clude 12 bars, two restau­rants and three mu­sic stages.

As well as gleam­ing bars, cop­per beer tanks, luxe vel­vet fit­tings and elab­o­rate mu­rals and a top-floor bar, new to the ho­tel is Can­tonese restau­rant Mya Tiga. But live mu­sic venue the Gersh­win Room – where TV mu­sic show RocKwiz was filmed – re­mains, the pub also pay­ing homage to the venue’s past in a col­lab­o­ra­tion with Yarra Val­ley

ES­PLANADE HO­TEL

dis­tillery Four Pil­lars on a “Sticky Car­pet” gin.

Also in St Kilda, the re­vamped Prince of Wales is about to re-open its re­con­structed for­mer fine diner Circa as the Prince Ho­tel and fur­ther down Port Phillip Bay in Port­sea, water­front Port­sea Ho­tel is re­open­ing this week after its $7 mil­lion ren­o­va­tion. HOTELESPLANADE.COM.AU

QUOKKAS AND GLAMPING

In­sta­gram­mers look­ing for the per­fect quokka selfie can stay in eco tents on WA’s Rot­tnest Is­land from next March. Book­ings are open for Dis­cov­ery Rot­tnest Is­land, new glamping ac­com­mo­da­tion nes­tled be­hind the dunes of Pinky Beach and Bathurst Light­house.

Prices range from $119 a night (low sea­son) for a stan­dard tent, to $592 a night for a deluxe tent in high sea­son. All tents have en­suites and a pri­vate deck and are linked by board­walks to Pinky’s Beach Club, which will have a pool, pool­side bar and restau­rant. DISCOVERYHOLIDAYPARKS.COM.AU

OVOLO TANTALISES

Lux­ury de­sign ho­tel Ovolo The Val­ley is newly open in Bris­bane, but a “watch this space” note is out on what will be its sig­na­ture din­ing space. The restau­rant and bar con­cept is set to open early next year un­der the eye of Syd­ney chef Justin North, who has al­ready worked on Ovolo 1888 Dar­ling Har­bour restau­rant Mis­ter Percy. OVOLOHOTELS.COM.AU/OVOLOTHEVALLEY/

EPIC JA­PAN SKI NEWS

Per­isher skiers will be able to use Epic Aus­tralia passes at Rusutsu Re­sort in Ja­pan next year. Pass hold­ers will get five con­sec­u­tive days at the Hokkaido re­sort, known for its deep pow­der and tree ski­ing. They al­ready have ac­cess to 10 re­sorts in Hakuba Val­ley. PER­ISHER.COM.AU

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