Combine glamping with bed & breakfast, and you have Boroka Downs.
Located three hours from Melbourne at the base of the sublime mountain range in Victoria's Grampians region, and situated just outside (about 3 kilometres) the crowded tourist haven of Halls Gap, are six private, self-contained, luxuriously appointed modern residences.
Boroka Downs only hosts 10-14 guests at any one time. Five of the residences are for couples (king bed), and these all face the Grampians mountain range, while the sixth bungalow has two bedrooms, an outdoor hot spa and faces the property's dam.
The residences are open-plan rooms, with a well-stocked kitchen holding staples like olive oil, salt and pepper, but also extras like fresh butter, local jams, fresh milk, additional condiments; all for use in the chef's kitchen.
Opening up into the residence is a large leather couch facing a TV with music and DVD system in shelving stocked with nature books and magazines. To the left is the lovely circular spa bath, with bathroom behind, and to the right is the afore-mentioned comfortable bed.
The residences are elegantly designed with plenty of wood curves and floor-to-ceiling windows looking out into the scrub and grassland before rising to the sandstone ranges.
It is the attention to detail, thanks to hosts Bob and Stephanie, that makes Boroka Downs a wonderful occasion beyond just the location and luxury. They greet you much like an old family friend, and remind you during the succinct but comprehensive room and property tour, that they are "available 24/7, but invisible otherwise." They have thought of everything, and in case you were in any doubt, the helpful documents throughout the room highlight these.
There are the basics, like things to do in the region and how to get to Halls Gap and the Grampians, but then there are the discounts for local wineries and producers; the high-quality binoculars and digital camera available for loan; the catering, picnic baskets and wines at cellar-door prices available; and the vegetable garden to pick herbs and spices from. The minor details continue to amaze, with full washer-drier laundry facilities; outdoor seating and recliners, with electric barbecue; toiletries, including a professional hair drier; plenty of towels; fireplace prepared and ready-to-light, and freshly stocked firewood and kindling each day; the morning newspaper delivered to your door; discreet and effective anti-insect and pest deterrents (not one spider sighted!) and so on. The accommodation experience is incredible, and if you are after a break from the city or some time to wind down, time in your cabin / bath / couch / recliner / bed, is ideal.
As for the property itself, privacy and nature are the themes. A winding sandy road off the Ararat-Halls Gap Road leads one into Boroka Downs. With the mountains to the right, and dam to the left, sprinkled with kangaroos, emus, koalas, cockatoos and even the odd turtle and deer, being among nature is a constant. The residences are spaced and invisible to one another, leaving only the mountains and plains, and ever-changing light and landscape, to wake up to and admire.
Throughout the region there are wineries, olive growers, restaurants, nature trails, hikes and coffee shops to try. If one doesn't feel like leaving Boroka Downs, Bob and Stephanie have even crafted a 3-4.5 kilometre nature trail through the property that is safe, clear and a refreshing taste of the Grampians without venturing into Halls Gap.