Mornington Peninsula, Victoria, Australia - November 2022
Ethereal and unreal. Those are the two words that pop into my head as I make my way up to the Martha Beach House. An elevated two-storey abode built for family escapes. With four bedrooms, a rumpus, and a full-sized billiards table, tucked against the backdrop of the peninsula, it boasts an aura of calmness and serenity and acts as a soft contrast to the hustle and bustle of Melbourne. To say I am intrigued as I walk in is a definite understatement.
Coming closer, I’m delighted by the masterful use of timber, stone, and marble, with natural textures complemented with gentle, delicate hues. There’s a warmth to this place that promises comfort and clarity, and I can feel any tension in my body immediately unfurl upon entry.
I take my shoes off—completely invested in their theme of Barefoot Luxe—and enter.
Inspired by a ‘70’s-style home with slate floors and a central fireplace, the house is a modern masterpiece. Instantly, I’m soothed by the organic elements and rusticated masonry in welcoming earthy colours of slate grey tempered by rich oaks, creamy beiges, deep pinks and dusty roses.
I take a moment to appreciate the almost tumultuous mix of Castlemaine Slate floors, luxe Italian Breccia Oniciata marble benches, and fluffy Moroccan wool rugs bathed in natural sunlight.
The combination of textures and finishes is uncommon and unexpected but visually stunning nonetheless.
The spacious kitchen houses an ILVE oven and butler’s pantry—definitely something worth checking out later and there's still another floor to explore.
Enter the master bedroom—a daydream of quiet, modern comforts draped in pastel-soft shades and crisp French linen. The open-air design lets in a cool breeze tinged with the scent of fresh fabrics and sandalwood. The morning sunlight streams through the bedroom windows, dappled and utterly enchanting.
It continues to glide and dance on the curved walls as the day goes on, like a kaleidoscope. Truly one of the most mesmerising sights I’ve witnessed.
Peeking over the main balcony, we’re greeted by a splash of bright aquamarine. There’s a circular pool on the grounds, near the living space, and the thought of a morning swim is all too tempting. So we do just that, enjoying the feeling of different textures— marble then wood, then crazy-paved slate—beneath our bare feet as we head back out.
The feeling of sun-warmed slate giving way to cool pool water is pleasant and grounding, a simple, wholesome joy.
After our swim, it’s breakfast. We head over to a nearby Miller’s Bread and treat ourselves to a couple of favourites; perfectly-glazed cinnamon rolls oozing with cream cheese and fluffy focaccia—fresh from the oven and garnished with bright tomatoes and ricotta cheese.
We munch on our treats as we enjoy the local colour, basking in the subdued murmur of the morning crowd.
Then, we nip off to lunch–an unforgettable experience masterfully organized by DayAway, a company that provides previously exclusive guest-only hotel experiences to the public.
We’re taken to Jackalope Hotel on the Mornington Peninsula, a location known for its pristine vineyards and fresh green acreages.
Of course, this means a vineyard walk capped with some light wine tasting is a must.
The early noon sun casts a bright, butter-yellow tinge to everything, making the event feel even more enchanting and picturesque. Then, it’s a long, delicious winery lunch with a fabulous view over at the Rare Hare, followed by 180 minutes of total bliss—courtesy of Jackalope Spa’s Body Bliss package.
A full pampering session of body scrubs, rain showers, and full-body massages. I can’t think of a better way to wrap up our afternoon.
We return to our Airbnb, utterly relaxed and in high spirits. Our attention is drawn to one of the local fish trucks down by the beach, beautifully propped up against the backdrop of a clear coastal sky. The thought of fresh seafood for dinner, cooked and seasoned to perfection, has us picking out a fairly large barramundi for the main course. We exchange a bit of idle chatter with the fishermen and sellers before heading in.
Back indoors, we agree it would be a waste not to take full advantage of the gorgeous alfresco dining space with a built-in BBQ area. So the barramundi gets barbecued while we’re treated to the absolutely breathtaking view of Red Hill and Port Phillip Bay. Its mesmerising crystalline waters provide soft, soothing background visuals as we partake in flavourful food and pleasant conversation.
The moment is subdued yet satisfying, the perfect fade-to-black moment as we bask in the scents of clean linen and cool evening breeze. Truly one of the most enchanting, romantic places I’ve ever been. I am unashamedly smitten and may very well return.