It’s not often that the words ‘budget’ and ‘spa weekend’ sit comfortably in the same sentence, add ‘family friendly’ and you’d think I was pulling your leg. But I’m here to tell you that I’ve found a hidden gem, Hepburn Springs Chalet, in the heart of Victoria’s spa country, perfect for a family weekend escape which won’t break the bank.
Oh and I’ve left out the best bit, the property has a cool retro vibe that feels like you’ve stepped back to a time when life moved at a much more sensible pace. It’s the perfect place for the whole family to unwind from a hectic week.
We were invited to stay for a night by the Chalet’s manager Jaret Hogarth, an avid collector of mid-century furniture, ceramics, and art. Jaret took over the lease of the property five years ago after it had been sitting unused, apart from functions, for many years. The fact that it had been closed for such a long time meant that the original fittings and decor were all original and in pristine condition.
Wood paneled walls, patterned retro carpeting and stunning stone feature walls means that for lovers of mid-century decor and interiors, the Hepburn Springs Chalet is a little slice of heaven.
Because the property is all very original, you won’t find luxury marble bathrooms and big screen TVs in your room, but what this 2.5 star property lacks in fancy accoutrements like bathrobes, it makes up in charm.
Don’t get me wrong, I do like a bit of luxury, and all the important bits were there for me:
Bed – super comfortable with crisp white clean sheets and fluffy pillows.
Shower – Hot and strong with plenty of clean fluffy towels and little toiletries.
Cleanliness – Retro and Vintage doesn’t mean dusty and musty, everything was spotless and well maintained.
Breakfast – Complimentary continental breakfast is included which saved us about $50 if we had to go out for breakfast at a cafe.
Even though we only stayed one night, the slow pace of the little town of Hepburn Springs helped us really unwind.
Emma instantly made friends with Jaret’s daughter Jonnie who, according to Emma, has the coolest house in the world. They played board games in the sitting room while I sat in the sunny annex area and crocheted.
Before heading out to dinner I’d recommend grabbing a drink and maybe a game of pool or darts in the Lounge Bar.
If you are looking for somewhere to get away inexpensively with a group of friends, I’d certainly recommend the Hepburn Springs Chalet.
The Mineral Waters
But no weekend in Hepburn Springs is complete without partaking in it’s mineral waters. People have been coming here since the turn of the century to drink and bathe in natural spring water which is believed to have health benefits.
We took a walk down to the Hepburn Springs Mineral Reserve where you can pump your own water (for free) from the various springs. It comes out bubbly like soda water so take an empty bottle or cup with you and have a taste. There were lots of people filling up big containers to take home with them.
It’s a beautiful spot for a picnic and if you are after a little treat, take some time out and enjoy a relaxing Devonshire tea at the Hepburn Pavilion Cafe. Our Devonshire teas were only $5 each as part of an offer when we pre-purchased them with our bathhouse tickets.
Of course a visit to the Hepburn Bathhouse was a must, admittedly it was a bit pricier than I expected for a 2 hour soak, $113 for the three of us (peak time), but if you compare it to some of the other experiences they offer, which start at around $60 per person off-peak, it was the budget option. Children are only allowed in the bathhouse section which has a relaxation pool and spa. The sanctuary area which has salt pools, outdoor bathing, steam rooms and a Moroccan hammam, welcomes guests over 16 years old.
The Sunday Market
All chilled out from our mineral water soak and with a belly full of scones, we headed back through Daylesford, stopping at the Sunday Market to check out some of the stalls and take a look at the old railway station.
What a fun and relaxing weekend with a vintage twist! I can’t wait to visit the Hepburn Springs Chalet again, maybe with a group of crafty friends next time.
HEPBURN SPRINGS CHALET
WHERE: 78 Main Rd Hepburn Springs, Victoria
PHONE: 03 53482344
HOW MUCH: Rooms start at $99 mid-week, Family rooms from $130
We stayed in a Queen + Single room as guests of Hepburn Springs Chalet for the purposes of this review – all thoughts and opinions are my own.