What We Love
- The 23-foot-tall jackalope (part antelope, part jack rabbit) that greets guests at the entrance
- Complimentary minibars (sadly not including wine)
- The drinking water is rainwater, collected in barrels
- Swimming up to the edge of the infinity pool to get the best view of the vines
What To Know
- Breakfast is included
- Only 20 of the 42 rooms have vineyard views
- Semi-transparent walls mean the bathrooms are not entirely private
- Free WiFi
A restored brick cottage is now just a part of a black metal exterior that looks like the coolest Amish barn in existence. The Jackalope, set in the middle of 27 hectares of vines in the Mornington Peninsula (a costal wine region that’s a popular weekend getaway for Melburnians), is a destination hotel for wine lovers, foodies and anyone who loves lounging by a sleek infinity pool sipping a cocktail. Palettes of steel grey and black make the rooms look like Star Trek cabins, but they’re laden with comforts: think Japanese soaking tubs, double vanities, Bose speakers and king-sized beds. Dining options are excellent: the casual but cool Rare Hare, with its bevy of local produce and long wine list; the sci-fi-esque Flaggerdoot, a cocktail lounge that looks like the workshop of a space-age alchemist; and Doot Doot Doot, seasonal fine dining under a Jan Flook-designed, 10,000-lamp chandelier that represents the bubbling sensation of fermenting wine.
In the Area
The immediate area surrounding Jackalope is mostly farmland and vineyards, so if you feel the need for more activity than the hotel can offer, you’ll need a car. It’s a 20-minute drive north to the McClelland Gallery & Sculpture Garden, an outdoor art space with 100 sculptures scattered among the trees. There are free tours here two days a week. Two wineries are within 15 minutes’ drive: both Polperro and Montalto make good Peninsula wines and both have sophisticated restaurants that make an excellent destination for an afternoon out. The Bushranger’s Bay Walking Track, a 25-minute drive to the south, follows the coast line along the cliffs and boasts fantastic ocean views and you’ll probably see a kangaroo or two. Fun fact: the film Where the Wild Things Are was filmed here.
How to Get There
We booked an All The Guilty Pleasures 2 night package for Monday - Wednesday nights.
Tom, the Reservations Manager, very kindly agreed to an alternative dining option to accommodate us on Tuesday evening. This was greatly appreciated and demonstrated the personalised service ethos which we noticed throughout our stay.
Our room was large and airy, and the décor was stylish and relaxing. The vineyard and pool views were beautiful. The very quiet heating, good black-out curtains and a comfortable bed contributed to very good sleep. The nook for applying make-up was practical and greatly appreciated.
The bathroom was spacious, the walk-in shower was amazing, and the toiletries were lovely. The only negative was that there was very limited storage space.
A welcome drink to be enjoyed in Flaggerdoot, a surprise bottle of bubbly, and a complimentary mini-bar which contained some delightful goodies were extra unexpected little surprises.
I applaud the hotel for offering in-room exercise options, but on this occasion, I did not have time to try any.
I loved the large range of free movies on demand (didn’t order any popcorn - will next time!) but was surprised at the limited free-to-air television stations and no Foxtel available at all.
Despite a little rain during the day, we were able to take a walk around the property later when the sun came out. We discovered the kitchen garden, which was a work of art, and a reflection of the emphasis placed on quality food being part of the dining experience at the hotel.
As Rare Hare was closed on Tuesday evenings, we decided to dine in our room. The menu was full of delicious options, and we chose burgers and fries. Sadly, the meal was not enjoyable. The ingredients and the cooking were top quality, but when the food was delivered - in open baskets - it was almost cold. This was the only disappointment in what was an exceptional food experience.
The lovely Mecca Hydrating Mist spray - left as part of the nightly turn-down service - was a beautiful momento and will be a lovely reminder each time I use it. When checking out, we were also presented with a small goodie bag containing mineral water and two leather luggage tags - these are very practical and will come in handy for our next overseas trip. The ingenuity of these thoughtful gifts is one of the several reasons why Jackalope will stay in our minds as an example of a very special boutique hotel.
We booked a weekend away at Jackalope for our wedding anniversary - the entire experience was amazing, from the hotel itself through to the dining experience (even breakfast was superb).
The staff were friendly and the rooms are amazing. You are an hour out of Melbourne but you feel like you're a million miles away.
Food was delicious but not huge portions. A little expensive because of that.
Weather was beautiful and great for outside, however expect a 60 minute wait even at 2 pm on some long weekends! We chose outside because inside was very noisy and echoey