The only way to describe the design of Starhaven Retreat – a luxury, award-winning bed and breakfast on the Bellarine Peninsula, – is grand. And as a testament to the property’s ground-breaking architecture and stunning location, it deservedly featured on Grand Designs Australia.
Situated at Indented Head near Portarlington, with five suites, a games room, cinema, bar and spa area, staying at Starhaven is the ultimate way to enjoy the very best of the region.
Ian McDonald and Rob Wilhelm are the inspiration behind the internationally acclaimed accommodation. They initially designed the property to be a weekend holiday home, offering an exquisite break from their jobs in the hospitality industry. Ian is the former general manager of catering operations at Crown, while Rob was sales director for international hospitality properties in Melbourne and Sydney. It’s this exceptional background that gave them the expertise to transform their unique home and create a new type of luxury lodging.
You’ll see just how their experience has influenced Starhaven as soon as you walk through the door. Built over three levels, the retreat features four one-bedroom balcony suites and a two-bedroom suite. Each has a private ensuite, tea and coffee making facilities, and a 3D LED flatscreen television complete with on-demand movies.
As tempting as snuggling up in one of the luxurious bedrooms might sound, you’ll want to explore the other features Starhaven has to offer. And you’ll never be lost for things to do. The lower floor houses a cocktail bar, starlit cinema and a spa area, complete with a jet-stream swim spa and sauna.
Head upstairs, or take the elevator to level two where the multi-functional living space sits beneath a magnificent atrium. This lounge and recreation area is also fitted out with a full size billiard table and another integrated flatscreen TV. The open gas fire makes sure Starhaven is a cosy year-round retreat.
The top level is even more impressive, providing a second living area with another open gas-fire and a glass-roofed dining area. This gives Starhaven’s diners the ideal spot to enjoy a meal under the stars or a place to relax. This open-plan room has glass doors leading onto a large balcony where guests can appreciate the stunning panoramic views of Port Phillip Bay. You can even see the city skyline in the distance. If it’s a 360-degree view you really want, head upstairs to the roof terrace.
Starhaven Retreat is luxury living at its best. But staying there isn’t just about what this magnificent house has to offer – it’s also about experiencing Ian and Rob’s generous hospitality. Enjoy a satisfying Starhaven breakfast every day and you can even opt to stay home and enjoy a delicious dinner there too.
Your hosts are also very familiar with all there is to see and do around the Bellarine Peninsula and will be happy to help you plan your day. Exploring the surrounding area could include sampling the local produce at nearby wineries and olive groves, or checking out the green at the Portarlington 18-hole golf course. Whatever you fancy, there’s an activity for you.
Starhaven Retreat, with its perfect beachside location, stunning grand-design architecture and convivial hosts, should be your next holiday destination.