An idyllic and inspiring retreat just outside Daylesford has won two gongs in the Stayz 2017 Holiday Rental Awards.
More than 40,000 Stayz properties across 2000 locations were in contention at this year’s awards, judged by a panel of industry experts.
The most awarded property was Clifftop at Hepburn – an architect-designed retreat just outside Daylesford, Victoria – which took out both the “Romantic” and “People’s Choice” categories. This property was a previous recipient of the “Interior Design” category at the 2016 awards.
Now in its sixth year, this year’s awards saw a shift from the typical beachside holiday homes, with all except one on a small acreage or in a regional area.
Among the homes honoured were a converted church, luxury resort-style property for 10, farmhouses and cottages overlooking vineyards.
“The traditional Aussie holiday rental is no longer your beachside shack, although still popular,” Stayz spokeswoman Simone McDermid says.
Best unique property
Yandoit Church – Country Getaway, Yandoit, VIC
Yandoit Church, the best unique property.
The Yandoit Church was built in 1884 and remained in operation until 1993.
Since converted and extended, the property features original hand-painted friezes, vaulted ceilings and gothic windows, with the church nave acting as the centrepiece of the home.
Best interior and design property
Eqeleni Byron Hinterland Retreat, Wilsons Creek, NSW
Eqeleni Byron Hinterland Retreat, the best interior and design property.
This resort-like property presents the ideal group getaway among the Byron Bay Hinterland.
Among its luxury features are expansive outdoor entertaining decks, a 14-metre saltwater pool, gazebo bar, freestanding bath and rainforest shower.
Best at one with nature property
Wyadup House, Yallingup, WA
Wyadup House, the best at one with nature property.
This farmhouse set on 15 hectares, offers spectacular and tranquil views over Wyadup Brook, natural bushland and an olive grove.
The house is surrounded by terraced gardens leading to a picturesque brook and jetty.
Best family friendly property
Berry Beach Farm, Berry, NSW
Berry Beach Farm, the best family friendly property.
Located on a private 10-hectare farm, this architect-designed property hosts enough space and activities for the whole family to enjoy.
Relax around the double-sided open fireplace, soak in the pool, play in the large TV/games room or visit Seven Mile Beach just down the road.
Best value property
Saddleback Cottage – Pudding Hill Farm, Berry, NSW
Saddleback Cottage, the best value property.
Pudding Hill Farm is 10 minutes outside Berry among the rolling hills of Foxground. The farm starts at the foot of the valley and stretches up into the rainforest, with views of the escarpment and ocean.
On the property are two cottages – Saddleback Cottage and Broughton Cottage – allowing the option to book one or both cottages at once. Prices start from $179 per night.
Best pet-friendly property
Blue Island, Culburra Beach, NSW
Blue Island, the best pet-friendly property.
Blue Island is designed for absolute relaxation on the NSW South Coast, with timber decking extending from each of the four bedrooms and its own street entry to Culburra Beach, just 100 metres away.
It is also fully fenced with a grassed lawn, making it secure for any pet.
Best indulgence property
Wilburra, Kangaroo Valley, NSW
Wilburra, the best indulgence property.
This prestigious home showcases modern but classic style among 40 hectares of private bushland frequented by kangaroos, wombats, turtles and echidnas.
Enjoy the beautiful pool and the wide verandah in summer and the warming log fire in winter.
Best romance property and winner of the people’s choice award
Clifftop at Hepburn – Evoke, Daylesford, VIC
Clifftop at Hepburn – Evoke, the best romance property and winner of the people’s choice award. Photo: Martina Gemmola
Designed by local Daylesford architect Robin Larsen, Clifftop at Hepburn is a spectacular getaway of design and luxury.
This is place where you feel both at home and in awe of your spa villa surroundings, including an imported French fireplace, romantic couple’s spa, Apaiser stone baths, hanging daybeds, high beamed ceilings and wraparound windows.
Most valuable property
Loft Over The Vines, Richmond, TAS
Loft Over The Vines, the most valuable property.
This self-contained cottage is set on 1.2 hectares overlooking the stunning Tolpuddle Vineyard, 20 minutes from Hobart.
Attention to detail is showcased throughout the entire home, from the rustic design, locally sourced kitchen items and cosy decor.