Lancemore Milawa – a luxurious 40-room lodge located in Victoria’s King Valley – has revealed its multimillion-dollar refurbishment with a new look courtesy of award-winning, Melbourne-based studio The Stella Collective. 

Tucked between the twisting grapevines of the famed Brown Brothers winery, the 40-room hotel emanates the elegance and style of a sophisticated country residence, forming an idyllic base from which to explore the rich bounty of produce, local history and neighbouring towns. Underscored by the sun-kissed palette made famous by the Moors, the new design offers a nostalgic nod to the hotel’s original fit-out. 

“Our design language is always encapsulated by the feeling of escaping to somewhere entrenched in beauty, with a modern Mediterranean, Moorish infusion to it,” says British-born Syrian Hana Hakim, founder and principal designer of The Stella Collective. 

Lancemore Milawa
Photo credit: Lillie Thompson
Grounded and glamourous

“Lancemore CEO Julian Clark felt our aesthetic was a perfect fit for the hotel because when his mother Jan designed it 20 years ago, she had been inspired by her travels to Morocco and used those experiences as the backdrop of her design. That was a lovely starting point for us. Our palette, textures and finishes all reflect this – everything is really raw and robust. It has a grounded and glamorous beauty to it,” explains Hana.

Guests can enter the hotel through a reimagined foyer, where room keys are dispatched from behind a sculptural mosaic-lined counter. The ground floor is also where the hotel’s two main gathering places are located. 

Merlot, the onsite restaurant named for the grapevines it overlooks, features a sophisticated dining room and adjoining bar. Grounded by warm white walls and polished concrete floors, with floating banquettes, sumptuous ecru-coloured curtains and natural timber seating, the spaces transition seamlessly with the climate. In the bar, guests can enjoy the legendary works of Australian artist, Sidney Nolan.  

Lancemore Milawa
Photo credit: Lillie Thompson 
Relaxation zones

Also located on the ground floor is the Vineyard Room. With floor-to-ceiling windows framing views across the grapevines, this relaxation zone cocoons guests with low-slung sofas and linen-lined armchairs from day to night. 

Guests are greeted by custom bouclé love seats or linen-covered sofas in the 40 rooms and suites. The rooms also feature polished concrete floors, sisal rugs and custom-made teak joinery. Patterned throws, brass sconces and specially commissioned artworks add visual punch. “The artworks were hand-painted in Morocco,” explains Hana.

“We wanted to bring something to the rooms that was very now, supporting the artisans from Morocco just as Jan did back in the day.” 

Photo credit: Rhiannon Taylor

The rooms and suites offer a choice of sunrise or sunset views. The upper options spill out to shared balconies with masses of wisteria in spring. The lower rooms and suites open to ground-level courtyards, overlooking the fishpond and rambling rose bushes to the east or manicured gardens to the west. 

Milawa is a very special pocket of Victoria,” says Hana. “I didn’t realise something like it existed within Australia. I hope we’ve added to the region by bringing grounded glam to the High Country.”

Find out more about Lancemore Milawa here