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RACV Inverloch Resort

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by Nadine Cresswell-Myatt (subscribe)
Freelance writer exploring Melbourne and beyond. If you enjoy the following article click on the Like button, Facebook it to your friends or subscribe. I'll update you with yummy and often free events. Like my photos? I instagram @redbagwilltravel
Published June 30th 2018
Great deal on gourmet package and other discounts
Inverloch RACV Resort
View from the restaurant


The Deal

The RACV Inverloch Resort has quite a good deal in the winter months. It is $349 for two nights (not including Saturday nights) with some incredible gourmet inclusions.

It offers:

Two nights accommodation for two in a cabin or resort Room
Complimentary welcome drink in their Zenith Lounge
Set 2-course dinner for two in Radius Restaurant
Daily breakfast

'Great', I thought as I picked up the phone. I rang through and said, 'I am travelling solo. Could I please spread the dinner for two over two nights as it will just be me.' The lady on reception checked with her manager and yes, I could. She booked the room and made the dinner reservations.

Zenith Lounge

After check-in and depositing my bag in my room I went to the bar for my included welcome drink. Zenith Lounge is lovely, well carpeted with huge flower arrangments and comfortable couches. There was a large TV up one end but at least it was muted. Instead, people were staring out at the far more contemplative sight of the ocean on the horizon.

I was pleasantly surprised by the young bartender, who when I offered up my voucher, suggested I save it and use it over dinner as it was happy hour in Zenith Bar where drinks were only $5.

'Champagne?'

'Yes, please.'

Inverloch RACV Resort
'Champagne.' Yes, please'.


I value these kindnesses as in my experience tourists remember the friendliness and helpfulness of staff well above the amenities of a resort or hotel.



The dinner -Radius restaurant

The included dinner is really the great part of this package as it is indeed gourmet. Executive chef, Rohan McCullagh undertook his apprenticeship under a Michelin-starred French chef and it shows in his flair for food.

He sources local ingredients such as organic heirloom fruit and vegetables. His signature dish is the Koonwarra lamb rump with parsnip puree, heirloom carrots and puffed quinoa. The lamb rump is sous vide to 61C and then char-grilled to achieve a perfect medium every time.

The choice of starters for the package included pea and ham soup with grilled Turkish bread; roasted vegetable dip, Fish Creek olive oil and dukkah; gyoza, or crispy chilli calamari strips, smoked paprika sauce

I ordered the steamed pork and prawn gyoza - ginger and soya dipping sauce shown below. Beautifully shaped and presented with a scattering of vivid green shoots.



The choice of mains in the package included the gorgeous lamb signature dish already mentioned; roasted chicken breast potato gratin; fish; charred corn, raisin jam, prosciutto crumbs and sherry jus; and for vegetarians, Bass Coast linguine, Gippsland mushroom ragout, hazelnuts, whipped goats cheese, truffle oil

I chose fresh cider battered flathead tails, nori salted chips, with pickled pear slaw shown below.



This was a wonderful dish even though I am not a huge seafood fan. I mainly chose it because of the novelty of cider batter. It arrived and the fish was golden brown and crispy. Such a wonderful spectrum of tastes, the slaw was incredibly tangy and complemented perfectly with nori chips and crispy-crusted fish.

The deal was for two courses but you could add a dessert for only $5 or a starter for the same price if you opted to have a main and dessert.

Dessert choices included dark chocolate nemesis, double cream, peppermint choc chip ice cream, a warm sticky date and pear pudding, with riesling butterscotch sauce, vanilla bean ice cream.

The other choice and my preference was a vanilla bean pannacotta, poached rhubarb, strawberry sorbet, and pistachios. This was quite special. Nothing on the dish was over-sweet and the rhubarb at least to my palate held a hint of tartness, then there was the texture of the finely chopped pistachios and the wobbly pannacotta that makes one think of the joys of childhood jellies.

I was seated in front of the fire with the flames creating a mesmerising sight.

Inverloch RACV Resort
Photo: Nadine Cresswell-Myatt


For the second night, there was a weekly buffet of roast meats and vegetables, some interesting salads and a large range of desserts from fruit salad, to a warm pudding with custard, to the little cup like creations that you took from a display fridge. The night was quite crowded and many people were saying how they just loved this buffet style of eating.



My preferences is for coordinated fare. I like it when a chef has put real thought into creating a balanced meal and a perfectly apportioned plate of married ingredients. So if you are of the same school, you would do better to book your package on a night when the buffet is not on offer and then you can experience a three-course grand menu that I believe probably offers better value if you are buying this winter package.

Inverloch RACV Resort
The popular buffet meals


If however, you are just visiting here without the dinner package then the buffet at $29 does offer excellent value.

I was also pleasantly surprised by the lovely waitress, who when I gave her my drink voucher, suggested without any prompting for me that as I was travelling solo and my package was for two people that I should use the one voucher over two nights. Again, as a customer, I valued her thoughtfulness.

Inverloch RACV Resort
The view at dusk



Check-in

This brings me to check-in, which I did not mention earlier for fear of starting with a negative, when in fact, this is a lovely place to stay. When I arrived, I was greeted. All okay in terms of the paperwork being done and my room was ready.

But when I checked on my dinner bookings, yes, I was booked in for two nights for dinner but the man working on reception said I would need to pay for my meal on the second night.

No guest wants to go through arguing for something they have pre-organised. I also felt an unfairness in relation to solo travellers that rarely occurs when I travel overseas.

In paying for a double room, I had paid for two but here I was being asked to pay twice for the dinner that I was having, because I was a solo traveller.

It was an irritable exchange. In the end, I hung my head and said the only reason I had made the booking was that I had been guaranteed I could use the dinner package for two on two separate nights for myself.

He capitulated but it felt wrong that the records had not been kept well enough for a seamless check-in.

Along with cross-generation family travel, solo travel is one of the biggest growth areas in the travel industry. So let's hope such slights don't happen too often.

Breakfasts

Breakfasts are good. All the usual cereals, toasts and hot items such as breakfast sausages, beans and bacon. Excellent scrambled eggs. The resort obviously tries to add a few different items such as a kale dish that goes well with poached eggs and little glass pots of various yoghurts.


A Few Tips on Booking Rooms

I had upgraded to an ocean view room (bringing the package to $385) for which I envisioned views over the ocean. Well, yes, and no. And perhaps we build up pictures in our mind about what an ocean room represents, depending on our previous experiences. Just to let you know, ocean view rooms at least mine, gave me a glimpse of the ocean if I walked out on my verandah which was at ground level. The glimpse of the ocean was certainly not available if I was seated or lying on the bed and being winter it was too cold to go out on the verandah.



The Premium Ocean View Room ($410 for two nights)I believe might give the ocean view you are perhaps envisaging.



Activities

There is a good walking track around the 32-hectare resort that does take in some fine views over the wetlands and beyond. There is a walkway through the wetlands down to the beach.

A lot of people seemed to stay at the resort all day reading books, playing cards and only stopping for Devonshire teas or light and well-priced lunches such as pizzas from the bar. A few, like me, were working. I am fortunate in being able to work from anywhere I can access wifi, so often combine working with a change of scenery.

Inverloch RACV Resort
My camera did have a zoom.


The RACV Inverloch resort also has a provisions shop next to reception and you can order BBQ or picnic packs and everything you need is supplied.

I used the indoor heated pool one night after an early dinner. I was lucky to find it totally vacant and enjoyed my own private swim in the 25m pool, spa and sauna.

Families

There was also a toddlers' pool. I glanced in at the playroom for young children and one for teenagers which had a snooker table and table tennis. The resort runs school holiday activities and the timetable I saw offered arts and crafts, sports and games, beach cricket, sandcastle building, painting, trivia nights, craft sessions, and movie nights.

Other facilities for children include the flying fox and games room in addition to other resort facilities such as tennis courts and spaces for football, cricket, tennis, basketball as well as a jumping pillow and playground.

Camping and Caravaning

The resort has a 4.5-star spacious camping area that offers privacy, and excellent communal areas and services.

People I met who were holidaying in their campervan and staying in the camping area of the resort said they had extended their stay by three days because of the great amenities. They also said that since leaving Adelaide three months ago, this was the best park facility they had stayed at.

Acessibility

Senior travellers who need such aids will find the resort quite accessible. Bathrooms seemed to have strategically placed handrails. There is a lift between the two floors and wide if long corridors. But I noticed that along the way there were resort owned electric scooters plugged into the power sockets, so I assume that if you have mobility issues, you could organise to use one of these if you had a long trek to your room.




Electric Car

There are some great road trips from the RACV Resort including Phillip Island and the Bunurong Coastal Drive where you will find lookouts secluded beaches and rock pools.

If visiting the famous Penguin Parade, you can organise discounted ticket through the RACV. Click here.

A novel way to do one of these short road trips is to take the electric car that the resort supplies as part of the RACV Electric Green Car program. Apparently, it is super quiet. You can rent it for around $20 for half a day.
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Why? Great for couples and families whether you want camping or luxury
When: Open all year around - but winter special during winter months
Phone: 61 3 5674 0000
Where: The RACV Inverloch Resort is located at 70 Cape Paterson-Inverloch Rd, Inverloch VIC 3996, a two hour drive from Melbourne and 5km outside Inverloch township. It is a two hour trip down the M3 from Melbourne.
Cost: Winter package $349 for two nights (not including Saturday nights) with gourmet inclusions. Other seasons it is full price (see the website) but don't forget that RACV members receive significant discounts on stays
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