Even before the first guests checked in to new rooms at Brae, Dan Hunter's celebrated restaurant in Victoria's Otway hinterland, weekend stays were booked out until July.
The six-room hotel opened last week on the 12-hectare Birregurra property in a long, corrugated building that mirrors a neighbour's shearing shed. Hunter and his partner Julianne Bagnato collaborated with Melbourne design houses Six Degrees and Studio Round on the structure and styling of rooms, and engaged artist Rhys Lee and industrial designer Dave Murray to lend each space a unique personality.
"It's what Dan and I want when we go away," says Bagnato. "To stay somewhere that's like home, but much better."
The hotel, which can be booked by diners only, shares the restaurant's artisan, handcrafted aesthetic and features natural materials - blackbutt carpentry, slate floors, marble - and some special effects; customised cocktail versions of the minibar, for example, and an eclectic record collection ready for Thorens turntables hooked up to ceiling speakers.
Guests wake in their organic cotton bedding to pastoral views and epic breakfasts: just-baked pastries and bread, honey from Brae's bees, jams from Brae's orchards, and kitchen-made charcuterie and muesli.
Rooms with breakfast from $425 per night, 4285 Cape Otway Rd, Birregurra, Vic, (03) 5236 2226, braerestaurant.com