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A Look Inside the Mornington Peninsula's Extravagant New Jackalope Hotel

It will have two restaurants, an infinity pool and a seven-metre sculpture at the entrance.

Victoria's newest boutique hotel is set to take a weekend on the Mornington Peninsula to a new level of luxury. Opening to guests on Saturday, April 1, Jackalope Hotel is smack-bang in the middle of the Peninsula's wine region in Merricks North, just next to Red Hill.

The hotel is the 'passion project' of 28-year-old entrepreneur Louis Li, who worked with architecture firm Carr Design Group and Fabio Ongarato Design studio to design the hotel, which is his first. From what we've seen, the exterior is quite impressive and maintains a modern austerity while naturally fitting into the rolling landscape.

At the entrance to the hotel, guests will be greeted by a seven-metre-tall sculpture of a Jackalope, the mythical horned rabbit of North American folklore the hotel is named after, which does seem overdone — but then, that also seems to be the point of the hotel's 'extravagance to surreal proportions' mindset. The 46 rooms offer terrace or vineyard views, with their double-the-size 'lair' suites offering the best views in the house. Each room boasts floor-to-ceiling windows, private terraces and hand-crafted bespoke furnishings. If you're one for a good bath, the deep-soak, black Japanese tubs and exclusive Hunter Lab bath products will keep you utterly relaxed while you admire your fabulous self in the double vanities. It's a bathroom well deserving of a nice glass (or bottle) of local wine, that's for sure.

If your private bath isn't quite enough, the landscaped gardens include a black 30-metre infinity pool with an adjacent pavilion for spa treatments. The hotel also houses an extensive art collection, commissioned and installed specifically for the space for anyone looking to soak up some culture instead of sun. Yes, it's incredibly luxe.

And to be certain they are not outdone, Jackalope is also home to not one, but two restaurants, headed by chef Guy Stanaway. The fine dining option, oddly named Doot Doot Doot, centres around a menu of seasonal, local produce, while the cellar door, Rare Hare, is set amongst the hotel's winery and offers the requisite wine and food pairing. If you somehow get bored in this lap of luxury, the Peninsula is already home to over 50 cellar doors and restaurants, not to mention golf courses, natural hot springs, national parks and bay beaches. You can use our weekender's guide to the area to navigate.

Of course, all this will cost you a pretty penny — rooms start at around $650 and go up to over $1000 per night. But for those looking to give themselves a little (or a lot) of pampering, Jackalope sounds like it'll be the ideal spot for it.

Jackalope Hotel will open on Saturday, April 1 at 166 Balnarring Road, Merricks North. For more info or to book a room, visit jackalopehotels.com.

Published on March 09, 2017 by Marissa Ciampi

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