Jackalope, Mornington Peninsula review

Come for the views, stay for the food.
Jackalope, Mornington Peninsula

The view isn't the only reason Jackalope was our Hotel of the Year for 2017.


Where 166 Balnarring Rd, Merricks North, (03) 5931 2500,

Cost From $650, with breakfast.

At a glance 46 rooms and suites, adjoining rooms; bar, restaurants, pool, free parking.

In room Free WiFi, Bose Bluetooth speaker, Samsung tablet, balcony, some baths, pillow menu, free minibar, Hunter Lab toiletries.

Best rooms The Lair suites have indoor-outdoor fireplaces, dining and lounge areas, kitchenette and enormous bathrooms. A general rule of thumb: ask for a vineyard view.

When Jackalope opened in a Mornington Peninsula winery last year, it was like an alien spacecraft landing. The charred timber-clad building, full of arresting art and neon-lit corridors, is like nothing else in the region. Neither are the dark and handsome rooms, many with freestanding stone tubs, all with spacious balconies and complimentary minibars. Guests lounge beside a black infinity pool, contemplating the vineyard and an all-day menu, or shoot pool in the starkly contemporary bar housed in the 1876 homestead. Other diversions includes dégustation-only restaurant Doot Doot Doot and an excellent bistro, Rare Hare. Alien maybe, but Jackalope landed in the right place at the right time.

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We love

Jackalope’s dedication to wine is endearing, from the glass-walled wine cellar at reception and estate-grown bottles in the bistro, to the 10,000-globe chandelier in the restaurant, designed to evoke the fermentation process.


Don’t miss having a meal in Rare Hare, which has local ingredients and wine as its backbone, and a wood-burning oven as its heart.

Dining options

Breakfast in Doot Doot Doot is a highlight. There’s a mini buffet of fruit, baked goods and cereals, but concentrate on the hot dishes, the likes of chicken congee, spanner crab omelette, and heirloom tomatoes with stracciatella. In-room dining is smart, too, and includes a stellar club sandwich spiked with chicken skin and bacon jam.

Doot Doot Doot is the property’s fine-diner.

Drink up

Flaggerdoot bar has some of the best original cocktails in Victoria. Its list changes monthly and leans herbal, with drinks such as The Sage, a lively mix of jalapeño-infused tequila, Chartreuse, lime and sage.


This review was made independently for the Gourmet Traveller Hotel Guide. The guide’s reviewers visit unannounced and pay their way.

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