Hotels are a fun escape from everyday life, and they are often a convenient jumping-off point to explore an interesting city or region. Lindenderry at Red Hill certainly is that, as the wineries, beaches, walks and attractions of the Mornington Peninsula are almost literally on the doorstep. But it's also a destination in itself, sitting on almost 14 hectares of vineyards and gardens to explore and enjoy.
In inclement weather or once the sun goes down, there's no need to leave the building itself, which feels more like a grand manor house than a hotel. There are nooks and crannies aplenty, semi-secluded rooms with open fireplaces and comfy couches that are crying out to be enjoyed with a good book and a glass of red.
If you forgot to bring your own, there are books in the rooms to borrow, as well as plenty in the library to peruse. It's the kind of place that encourages – nay, insists – on relaxation, where you can lose yourself in a book, wander the grounds or just watch the world go by out the floor-to-ceiling windows.
If you'd rather enjoy a crackling fire in your own space rather than in a common area, you can make use of the wood, kindling and matches in your room. The wood is listed as a minibar item, so you'll pay to burn it – but can you really put a price on cosiness?
You don't even need to leave the hotel for fine dining, as there's a hatted restaurant in the building. There is no à la carte option, but it's really best to leave your fate in the chef's hands anyway. The menu changes seasonally and depending on what's available, but when we visited it included purple sapphire potato with spanner crab and smoked salmon roe; salt-baked beets with sheep's milk curd and rhubarb; dry-aged duck breast with parsnip; and a dessert that looked like a snowstorm, with shards of hardened milk looming over feijoa ice cream. The restaurant can accommodate dietary restrictions, and every dish is created with ingenuity and care, with appropriate reverence paid to ingredients.
There's also an onsite winery, and you can do tastings on weekends between 11am and 3pm. After all, you'll need something to fill your wineglass as you put your feet up by the fire.
If you finally tire of all that good food and relaxation, you will find all of the delights of the Mornington Peninsula just beyond the driveway. If you're feeling energetic, there are plenty of walks and hikes, as well as excellent restaurants and wineries to change things up. But if you never leave the property, it will be a restful holiday well spent.