overnight

MINERAL SPRINGS HOTEL, HEPBURN SPRINGS

Checking in at the Mineral Springs Hotel, you feel refreshed, even before hitting the spa. The lemon lampshades, high ceilings and windows bathe you in light as you waltz to the reception lounge.

Breakfast (included) is served at The Conservatory, with both cooked to order items and a buffet featuring fresh produce picked from their farm. It's not a rushed affair either. Hanging lamps and cane furniture give you an air of relaxation, despite the stately surroundings.

The multi-award winning spa is the draw card for the hotel. Start with their extensive organic tea selection, and relax in the lounge (there's an open fire in winter). The outdoor deck is the perfect spot to sip on your tea before heading in to the mineral water baths, overlooking the gardens of Villa Parma.

Twilight bathing on Friday and Saturday nights is a must. Soak yourself in steaming therapeutic waters as the sun goes down - one of their signature treatments.

The springs terrace room gives you an intimate space for a couples getaway. Relaxing on a king bed, you're facing your own terrace and a bay-window bathtub. A separate bathroom behind the bedroom, and a space for writing and lounging gives you a retreat for a chocolate and wine weekend.

The in-house restaurant, The Argus Dining Room, recently awarded a Chef's Hat by the Age for 2015, serves modern Australian cuisine referencing local produce from the region. So whether you're looking for a Victorian getaway, fine dining or relaxation therapy, Mineral Springs Hotel really is the best of what Spa Country has to offer.

CHECKING-OUT DEBRIEF
FEEL: Modern grandeur.
ROOM PICK: Springs Terrace Room.
WIFI: Yes, included in the rate.
CHECKING: 2PM check-in | 11AM check-out.
BREAKFAST: Included.
RATES: Terrace Room – From $415 per couple 1 night midweek / $1055 per couple 2 night weekend. Springs Deluxe Spa Room – From $340 per couple 1 night midweek / $950 per couple 2 night weekend
CHILDREN: OK - but not recommended (no additional bedding can be provided besides a cot). Minimum spa age is 16.
IN-ROOM: TV, bathtub (in some rooms), writing space, terrace (in some rooms).
MINI BAR: Yes, limited.

THE PULLMAN, MELBOURNE

There's nothing like being in the city, but not feeling it at the same time. The Pullman in Albert Park is one of those spots where you can be on time to your meetings but sleep right through the night.

This hotel really is selling to businesses. And while I'm a fly in fly out kind of guest, I couldn't pick a better spot for the low fuss Melbourne visitor (avoid during Grand Prix). Trams on your doorstep will take you straight to the CBD, South Yarra and St Kilda, so you're not short of dining and boutiques. The Lake on one side, Botanic Gardens on the other, gives you two 3.5-5 kilometre running tracks (or walking in my case).

But what really brings me back to this spot for an overnight option is the rain shower. Newly renovated rooms give what would normally be a cookie cutter hotel some personality. The walk-in rain shower gives you that on-holiday feeling when the immense power of the water starts. There's something so spa and retreat about it.

In built charging connectivity for USB.

In built charging connectivity for USB.

Walk in rainshower. Unexpected luxury.

Walk in rainshower. Unexpected luxury.

Deep basins and Bigelow amenities provided.

Deep basins and Bigelow amenities provided.

King beds are split - to be expected.

King beds are split - to be expected.

The funky interior, with mirrored lamps and red accents can be a sign of design a bit lost, but they get a plus from me for Bigelow Apothecary amenities in the room and a useable work station. Stay here if you're on business, but don't overlook it for a no fuss vacation base either.

Rooms start at $135 via Wotif or Last Minute, depending on season.

http://www.pullmanalbertpark.com.au/