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Stargazing in Victoria

Upscale Australian eco-villa offers clear views of the Southern Cross.

Photo: Matej Pribelsky
By Julie Earle-Levine

Spend the night beneath the stars, literally, in Australia's newest upscale eco-villa, Moonlight Head. Built by renowned architect Glenn Murcutt (winner of the Pritzker Prize, the Nobel of architecture) on coastal highlands in Victoria, the four-room villa invites design-conscious guests to peek at the Southern Cross—or at the family of native kookaburras living in the towering eucalyptus trees—through strategically placed windows. The simple yet stylish house (which must be rented in its entirety) is built with sustainable materials, such as volcanic-rock floors and bricks that seem to glow pink during sunset, but the vibe is decidedly luxurious. Expect Italian leather sofas, Persian rugs, contemporary art, a personal chef, and spa therapists and yoga instructors on call. If the guided nature walks or the horseback rides that lead to the famous Twelve Apostles rock formations jutting out of the ocean don't get your adrenaline running, request one of the lodge's Ducati or BMW motorcycles for a ride down the coast. With demand keeping the hotel booked solid since its opening last summer, Moonlight's owners plan to inaugurate a second one in July, as well as a thirty-three-room hotel by late 2008—both designed by Murcutt, both made with locally grown resources. Nightly rental from $2,695, including meals. 011-61-2-9363-8870;

Published on 4/1/2007
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