Just 30 minutes from Melbourne, the Lancemore Mansion Hotel in Werribee feels like another world – and another time.
The wealthy Chirnside family built the 60-room Italianate mansion in 1877, and at one point there were 55 staff to look after five family members. If you’re curious what life as a pampered Chirnside would have been like, we suggest staying overnight at the attached hotel.
The avant-garde modern wing of the Lancemore Mansion Hotel was opened in 2000, and it offers larger rooms, with some of the same attention to detail and historical appreciation you’ll find in the old part of the property.
Inside your room, you will find plenty of luxurious touches, such as bath products, smart TVs, fluffy bathrobes and even a pillow menu. If you book directly with the venue, you’ll also get two complimentary mini bar items, early check-in or late check-out, plus a complimentary upgrade if available.
You'd be tempted to spend all your time in your room, given the comfortable surroundings, but then you'd miss out on the pampering that is to be had at the mansion's spa. A variety of facials, body treatments and massages are offered, along with manicures and pedicures.
Spa and hotel guests also have access to the serene, blue-tiled swimming pool, complete with jets and comfortable loungers along the edges. The space is warm and calming, with a beautiful scent in the air and calming music piped throughout.
When you've had enough of relaxation and pampering (jokes; no one ever has enough of those things), head outside to the meticulously manicured gardens of Werribee Park. There is a sculpture garden, plenty of beautiful trees and flower beds bursting with colour, depending on the season. The ten-hectare Werribee Park also includes Werribee Open Range Zoo and Shadowfax Winery. There's also the venue's on-site restaurant, Joseph's Restaurant and Bar, which is a great option for dinner or a drink.
Make sure you spend some time in the historic mansion itself. Much of the Chirnsides' original furniture and contemporary clothing are displayed in situ, with helpful plaques to give you some historical context. There is also an audio tour to talk you through what you are seeing.