Roughly an hour outside of Melbourne, there’s a region in the hills well known for it’s Cabernets and Pinots. There are many vinyeards in the area, but it was the Willow Creek Vineyard that spurred the idea for “Jackalope”. When Louis Li, a hotelier, first walked through, he instantly imagined an urban hotel set among the rural landscape.
With a passion for filmmaking and art, Li wanted to create a unique experience for his guests. Luckily, he had his family’s history as property developers to help along the process. Collaborating with artists and landscape consultants was vital in the process. Nothing was more important than the Mornington Peninsula staying undisturbed as much as possible!
The name of the hotel, Jackalope, references the fictional “jack-rabbit with antlers”. Standing guard at the hotel’s entrance is Emily Floyd’s enormous sculpture. The 20-foot tall piece is jet black and serves as the hotel’s unofficial mascot. Art-driven, the space is filled with curated pieces and installation both from local and world-known artists and designers. It’s truly a feast for the eyes… from all perspectives!
The 46-room boutique hotel was designed by Carr Design Group, an established architectural and interior design firm based in Melbourne. The modern, all-black, two-story minimalist building looks “out-of-place” among the rows and rows of vines. Even the pool is black, the surface effortlessly reflecting the vines beyond. The 30-meter-long infinity pool, with it’s angular and sharp features, stands as a distinct contrast among the nature that surrounds it.
The hotel’s 46 rooms are situated in the five futuristic buildings. The rooms’ features are amazing; for example, the Asian-inspired soaking tubs and furniture by local designer firm, Zuster, perfectly compliment the minimalistic rooms. The barnyard buildings are made of a dark zinc which accentuates the green vineyards just below.
The entire experience is meant to revolve around the idea of alchemy… the idea that different ingredients can be mixed to create new and wonderful things.
The all-black background creates a blank canvas for several art installations and highlights several design pieces that are scattered throughout the room. There is a sculptural bench by Rick Owens which is adorned by antlers ,or Andrew Hazewinkel’s faceless busts. The restaurant’s chandelier is an installation of 10,000 golden-hued bulbs. “5 Flasks” is built of chemistry lab glassware and by chandelier designer, Jan Flook.
Wow, this calls for a flight to Australia!