Sunnymead Hotel Is the Cheery New Stay Bringing Year-Round Sunshine to the Great Ocean Road

An old-school motor inn has been reborn with a summery retro colour palette, and now sports 20 rooms, a day spa and a modern Asian restaurant.
Libby Curran
Published on February 20, 2023

We all know summer can't actually last forever, but at the Great Ocean Road's newest retreat, it sure feels like it could. Occupying a prominent spot in Aireys Inlet towards the start of the famed Victorian coastal strip, Sunnymead Hotel is about as cheery as they come.

Sibling to Anglesea Riverside Motel, it's the work of Damien Cerantonio (also behind Great Ocean Road Resort) and Graeme Harris, who've managed to transform a tired old-school motor inn into a beaming ray of sunshine.

Heavy on upbeat charm, the 20-room boutique hotel also boasts an onsite spa and bathhouse, a modern Indian-fusion restaurant and an openair pool bar dubbed Sunnies. A retro-inspired aesthetic features throughout, anchored by a signature palette of warm yellows and oranges.

Open now for bookings, Sunnymead has two different styles of rooms, all abundant in those cheerful hues, and kitted out with king-size beds, bath products by Surf Coast brand The Herbalist and mini bars stocked with local delights. You'll find locally-made ceramics by artists Angela Nicholson and Melinda Solly, and fluffy bathrobes in a playful yellow and white check that mirrors that of the eye-catching verandahs.

Named in a nod to the Hindi word for orange, intimate onsite restaurant Santara is set to embrace a mix of modern Asian flavours when it opens the doors on Friday, March 17. Here, you'll be able to tuck into bites like chicken momos, beef shin tacos and soft-shell crab pakora, along with larger plates like Kashmiri chilli lamb ribs, ginger coconut mussels served with black garlic naan, and a chicken makhani curry with pomegranate.

Meanwhile, Thursday, March 2 will mark the launch of Indie Spa, with its trio of private treatment rooms, DIY vichy shower, group-friendly rasul, bathhouse and lounge. This will be your go-to for a range of classic therapies designed to rejuvenate and relax, from facials and remedial massages to body scrubs and detoxifying steam sessions.

While the solar-heated magnesium mineral outdoor pool is already open for business, it'll soon be joined by bar offering Sunnies, serving cocktails, poolside snacks and tunes. There'll even be a fire pit for cosying up beside during the cooler months.

Keep an eye out, too, for Sunnymead's bright yellow VW kombi Daisy, which'll be used for group tours and transfers.

Find Sunnymead Hotel at 64 Great Ocean Road, Aireys Inlet.


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Published on February 20, 2023 by Libby Curran
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