ORDER RESTORED AT THE ESPY
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
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
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