I went to check out this property because we’ve been getting a lot of conference enquirers lately and I’d heard good things about it. Unlike in previous years, Melbourne-based clients seem to want to stay in Victoria, as opposed to heading interstate, so I’m keen to get out there and see what’s happening locally.
Located an hour’s drive from Melbourne, Peppers Mineral Springs Hotel is smack bang in the middle of spa country. Housed in a historic manor, the hotel has several parts to it, including a new accommodation wing at the back, the spa, the conference spaces and the standalone residence next door. The upside of this is that there are plenty of options for groups, as well as couples wanting to escape to the country for a weekend of rejuvenation, greenery and peace.
The on-site spa has three mineral spring pools – two hot and one cold – as well as a sauna and two steam rooms, perfect for detoxification and relaxation (hint: go for the 90-minute massage – you won’t regret it). You can also travel a short distance to the historic Hepburn Springs bathhouse if you want to really immerse yourself, so to speak.
Nearby Daylesford has a wealth of boutiques and craft shops. I was on the hunt for a salt lamp and my friend and I found a wonderful crystal shop that sold them.
With shopping bags in tow, we stopped for lunch at an old bakery that sells home-made pies. It was like going back to my school days when the pastry was fresh and buttery such a fun (and delicious) walk down memory lane.
We also went for a walk in the National Park behind the hotel. Nothing too strenuous but just enough fresh air and exercise to build up an appetite for dinner in The Argus Dining Room, Peppers’ in-house restaurant.
Kicking off with a martini, lovingly crafted by the bartender off the back of his retro cocktail trolley, dinner was a standout. Featuring local produce prepared with fine dining finesse, The Argus Dining Room offers five-star treatment but without the buttoned-up vibe. The steak I had there was one of the best I have ever eaten.
Ideal for: Girls’ weekends, executive retreats for women, general conferencing, and romantic couple’s escapes.
Highlight: The Argus Dining Room (link to http://www.theargusdiningroom.com.au/index.html)
Best time to go: Prices are better mid-week in Autumn. The weather is fresh but not freezing. Winter is the peak time so prices go up.
Details: Peppers Mineral Springs Hotel (link to http://www.peppers.com.au/springs/)
Note: I pay my own travel expenses. These are my own objective views and not sponsored in any way.