Weekend Away: Torquay

Torquay is the gateway to the Great Ocean Road. The RACV Torquay Resort.
Shanghai night field

Jane Reddy tees up for a relaxing stay at the new RACV resort in TORQUAY.

THE SETTING

The Royal Automobile Club of Victoria’s spanking new resort is at the start of Great Ocean Road, the winding stretch best known for the 12 Apostles, Bells Beach and the world’s longest-running professional surf event, the Rip Curl Pro. It’s the RACV’s sixth Australian resort and ideal for exploring one of Victoria’s top attractions (pulling about 7.2 million visitors a year).

THE SPACE

Wood Marsh Architecture has been at the helm of the $115 million resort. The five-floor rammed-earth structure, described as an elongated sequence of concave, convex and converging curves, is striking, with an ironbark fascia designed to form part of the coastal landscape. Overlooking the Ogilvy Clayton 18-hole traditional coastal links golf course, home to the Torquay Golf Club, it’s a vast space tempered with open fires, lounges, American oak floors, wool carpets and works from the Ian Potter Museum of Art. One of RACV’s first patrol cars, a yellow 1937 Austin 7 Coupe utility, is a reminder of the club’s history. Spend an afternoon fireside with a tipple from surrounding wineries, watching golfers on the course and ocean swell beyond.

MOD CONS

It has everything: indoor 25-metre pool with separate spa, children’s paddle pool and sauna, gym with 40 pieces of cardio equipment, resistance training machines and free weights. After a spell in the quiet hammam at One Spa with reclining lounges in bubbling pools, rain showers and marble steam chambers with the scent of citrus and cinnamon, your locker combination will be a vague memory.

COMFORT FACTOR

In each of the 92 rooms there’s little danger of cabin fever, with three-metre-high ceilings and, on the upper levels, true ocean views, not glimpses, through big picture windows and slider doors.

Bathrooms are similarly spacious, with separate showers and deep baths. Four ocean spa suites have separate bedrooms and for families there are interconnecting rooms. Curtains are a shimmering shade of the sea, upstaged only by underwater photographs on the walls by local artist Stephen Wickham.

FOOD

Local produce stars at Number One Restaurant, including Kennedys Creek Beef, Western Plains pigs and L’Artisan Cheese Timboon. Affable Frenchman and food and beverage manager Andre Smaniotto is known in the area for his macaroons and his grandmother’s recipe using Portarlington mussels, a house specialty, is served in the White’s Paddock bar and bistro.

WORTH STEPPING OUT FOR

Take the 1.2-kilometre walk or cycle to the patrolled Torquay and Jan Juc beaches.

THE VERDICT

Standout accommodation, dining and recreation in one place. A space to rejuvenate before striking out along the Great Ocean Road.

HOW TO GET THERE

It’s a 90-minute drive from Melbourne’s city centre, 80 minutes from Melbourne Airport, 45 minutes from Avalon Airport, 20 minutes from Geelong railway station and 45 minutes from the Queenscliff Sorrento Ferry Service.

ESSENTIALS

1 Great Ocean Road, Torquay, Victoria, 3228. Phone (03) 5261 1600; see racv上海夜生活m.au.

Members (RACV, NRMA and affiliated motoring clubs across Australia and New Zealand): Golf view, ocean view from $195 a night; premium ocean view $235; ocean spa suite $335. Buffet breakfast is included for two adults.

For a family booking (children under 14), the second interconnecting room is half-price (golf and ocean view rooms).

Non-members: Golf view, ocean view from $260 a night; premium ocean view $314; ocean spa suite $447.

The writer stayed courtesy of RACV Torquay Resort.

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Shanghai Night Net.