Nestled among manicured grapevines in the heart of some of Australia’s finest wine country, the luxurious new Jackalope Hotel brings sophisticated accommodations to out-of-the-way Mornington Peninsula. Located an hour’s drive from the heart of Melbourne, the boutique hotel is the brainchild of entrepreneur and filmmaker Louis Li, who created the property with an eye toward generating memories—rather than just a place to stay.
To that end, guests will find touches of whimsy from the moment they arrive, spotting a sculpture of a giant jackalope (a mythical horned jackrabbit) at the entrance; sipping alchemy-themed cocktails at Flaggerdoot (the term for a group of jackalopes), a bar adorned with a giant wall of chemistry-style glass vessels, two gold leather chairs, and a Rick Owens Stag Bench; and dining on four- and eight-course degustation menus by chef Guy Stanaway—formerly of Bali’s Amankila—at Doot Doot Doot (the term for a jackalope leader). A mesmerizing 10,000-light chandelier that resembles bubbling wine takes center stage in the handsome restaurant, which is home to a 1,200-bottle wine cellar that features international brands and local labels sourced from boutique vineyards.
The hotel offers 46 rooms, all spacious and lavish with deep black stone tubs and/or double-head showers, exclusive Hunter Lab bath products, and striking decor. Guests can take a dip in the black infinity-edge pool, indulge in a spa treatment, or visit some of the region’s 50 cellar doors. Closer to home, there’s also the on-site cellar door, Rare Hare—another furry reference, of course—which offers casual dining and wine tastings. (jackalopehotels.com)