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The Sydney Morning Herald: national, world, business, entertainment, sport and technology news from Australia's leading newspaper.

Moonlit and marvellous

Darren Gray
June 10, 2008 - 11:25AM
Page 1 of 3 | Single page
Inside the Moonlight Head lodges, designed by Australian architects
Glenn Murcutt and Wendy Lewin.

Inside the Moonlight Head lodges, designed by Australian architects Glenn Murcutt and Wendy Lewin.

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Be careful what you ask for if you visit the luxurious Moonlight Head lodges in the Otway Ranges - because you'll probably get it.

Want to drive along the Great Ocean Road in a hot, eye-catching Ferrari? No problem, Moonlight Head will organise one for you. Feel like a gallop along the beach or river flats on horseback while watching the sun set over the water? Again, no problem, that can be organised, too.

How about a short trip to the Twelve Apostles or along the coast to Apollo Bay? Consider it sorted. Would you like to do that in a helicopter?

How about your own chef to cook up a sumptuous dinner of your choosing? No problem there, chef Paul is part of the deal (and he's quite witty). And how about some champagne to celebrate your indulgent stay? It's in the fridge waiting to be opened.

That's the kind of place Moonlight Head is. Nothing seems too difficult to deliver.

The setting for the two-year-old lodges is a 40.5-hectare parcel of land surrounded by green Otway forest. The lodges are a short drive west of Lavers Hill, about two kilometres on the water side of the Great Ocean Road, and about 70 kilometres west of Apollo Bay.

In its current format, Moonlight Head consists of two large, sleek, separate lodges, designed by award-winning Australian architects Glenn Murcutt and Wendy Lewin. They are among only a small number of Murcutt-designed homes in Victoria.

When complete, there will be five lodges, arranged in a design resembling fingers fanning out from a hand. Although the lodges are close together, you get a feeling of privacy because you cannot see one lodge from another.

The third lodge is being built and is expected to be completed in October, while the final two are expected to be built next year.

So if you're at the lodge on a weekday, you might find the third lodge attended by utes and workmen rather than holidaymakers. But apparently they'll stop working if you ask them to.

Inside, the lodges are heaven for designer junkies who know their Murcutts from their meerkats. There are Philippe Starck ghost chairs, cashmere throws on the Italian leather sofas, Jo Malone toiletries and Bang & Olufsen sound systems.

The lodges are stylish and furnished with most of the best and the latest. Sit down on one of the eye-catching Starck chairs and you'll be surprised at how comfortable a perspex seat can actually be.

While the designer features and trappings might please some visitors more than others, the lodge promises a focus on service that will probably appeal to all. Its website invites visitors to be pampered "with a range of treatments to soothe and soften".

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