Mansion Hotel and Spa at Werribee Park

The Magic of the Mansion

Not so long ago I wrote a story singing the praises of Wyndham City, a short 30 minute drive out of Melbourne. Well, during my exploration of the area I came across what I would call the jewel in the Werribee crown. It’s a taste of history, luxury, decadency and nature all in one small pocket of the Wyndham City region.

Werribee Mansion Hotel and Spa is the location that I speak of and it is an absolutely fantastic venue for a weekend away or for an even better experience may I suggest a mid-week escape? I offer the midweek option as, with the mansion grounds being so visually impressive, they’re fairly popular on weekends. Still, whatever your choice I know you’ll be impressed.

The Mansion itself has a very interesting history, one that began in 1874 and has seen it transform in many ways over the ensuing years. From pastoral empire to Catholic seminary to its current life as a museum piece and five star hotel and spa. Currently ranked in the top 25 hotels in all of Australia, there are varied room choices, all having their own individual impression and flavour but keeping a chic finish that you would expect from any five star establishment.

The generously sized junior suites and superior rooms were added to the location when architects Wood Marsh performed some of their handy work, and in doing so created the complete experience that has turned the mansion into an award-winning boutique venue.

With the main building being heritage-listed and the Heritage Rooms once being home to the former students of the St Joseph’s seminary they’re on the smaller side, but they still supply all the modern amenities that you may wish for whilst maintaining the opulent period features.

As the priests in training did during their time, you can also strive for contemplation and this can only be helped by engaging yourself in the on-site spa, which, apart from offering all the delightful pampering you can imagine, also has some of my favourites like an indoor heated pool, steam rooms and a small but well-equipped gym. A day lost here is a week gained in the head’s space!

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There are also little escape rooms like the bar, the billiard room or the reading library with its gorgeous open fire that offer relaxation and restitution.

When it comes to culinary offerings here at Werribee Mansion Hotel and Spa, I believe you will be totally impressed. The aptly named Joseph’s Restaurant overlooks a delightful section of the gardens and delivers delectable daily offerings for breakfast (for hotel guests) lunch, dinner and high tea on a Sunday. The best of the best seasonal produce is used in creating mouth-watering pleasures that will have you relishing a gastronomic experience to match the best available. With friendly and engaging staff combined with the overall experience of the location and its opulence I believe you’ll be suitably impressed.

To get a real understanding of all its lives, you must visit this Italianate grand offering, that way you’ll see and feel the overwhelming aura that it exudes at the same time as having the physical experience.

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If you’re looking for extra incentive to visit, you’ll find it within walking distance of the mansion in the shape of Shadowfax Wines. I have to include them in this tale as my visit there on a sunny winter afternoon was a real treat.

Shadowfax Wines is the closest winery to Melbourne and I must say surprised me with the quality and sophistication of the wines on offer. The shiraz and riesling I found to be extremely enjoyable and the fare provided by Head Chef Ben D’Arcy and his team were something to experience. Mediterranean inspired delicacies like, goat’s cheese croquette, house-cured duck prosciutto and beetroot chutney. Charcuterie boards featuring, jamon serrano, fennel and garlic finocchiona, duck liver pate, capacollo, chorizo Pamplona! Just to name couple of classics.

House made pastas and wood-fired pizza make the perfect companions for a lazy Sunday in the sun, and if you do visit on a weekend you’ll also have the joy of being entertained with live music, and that’s always a winning ingredient for me.

Shadowfax is just a divine little venue that I’m sure you will love. So when you’re at the mansion pop down and say hello.

These are just two examples of the unexpected brilliance that I discovered on my Wyndham City adventure, so you might like to explore the area yourself and make up your own mind.
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