February 7, 2023 | By Graeme Kemlo 

Looking to take the team away to reset and plan for post-pandemic times, or simply to treat them to contemporary luxury in an historic 19th century setting?

Newly opened, Ballarat’s boutique Hotel Vera is tastefully chic, rich with historic features.

From the team that brought you Hotel Ernest in Victoria’s other 1850s goldrush town, Bendigo, comes another glamorous boutique property, this time with a culinary treat: Michelin-trained chef David Roath’s award-winning degustation restaurant Underbar is now in-house, with just 14 seats.

You are possibly thinking “buy out” and it would fit perfectly as there are just seven elegant suites – each decorated in a different hue, but offering refinements such as baths, king beds and curated artworks. The suites have been named after local townships

This already popular pair of hotels are the work of partners Martin Shew and David Cook-Doulton. Hotel Ernest, the site of a former bank, was named after Martin’s grandfather. Vera was formerly a medical building and it honours David’s grandmother.

Something of the ethos of the property is explained in David’s tribute to his grandmother: “There are those rare people who touch our lives in very special ways. They guide us with their love, wisdom and humanity. When I think of love, I see my grandmother’s face, smiling, reaching for an embrace. I want this hotel to embody this unassuming, yet extraordinary woman.”