December 10, 2021 | By Graeme Kemlo
Popular Yarra Valley property Balgownie Estate has risen Phoenix-like from the ashes this week after a kitchen fire in July 2020 razed its events space, restaurant and cellar door.
The former Accor branded property, now owned by a Hong Kong group, showed off its multi-million dollar rebuild to travel trade representatives. A new reception area and day spa were also part of the architect-designed redevelopment.
The 70 accommodation suites were not directly impact by the fire.
And although they are not taking group bookings before January, General Manager Mel Watson unveiled the new 1309@Balgownie restaurant with room for more than 100 guests along with a new cellar door, function area and outdoor deck bar overlooking the Dandenong Ranges.
A new menu from Executive Chef Grant Flack – winner of best chef in the Tourism Accommodation Australia Awards in 2019 – and recently promoted Head Chef Beth Candy makes the most of the renowned Yarra Valley produce matched with award-winning Balgownie Estate wines produced at a sister property in Bendigo. Both chefs have worked together previously, initially at RACV City Club Melbourne, then at Balgownie.
The 30-hectare property has extensive plantings of vines but still offers plenty of outdoor breakout space to supplement indoor function areas and the outdoor deck. It also has a range of room types – queen and king garden terrace rooms, one and two-bedroom spa suites with private balconies, refurbished deluxe spa suites and a self-contained Directors suite.
On the Melba Highway at Yarra Glen, it is ideally located one hour from the city and Tullamarine Airport. Balgownie offers conference, meeting and event planners full day conference packages starting from $85 per delegate. Team building options include sunrise hot air ballooning, wine, cheese and chocolate themed activities, trivia or murder mystery dinner experiences, moonlight cinema, private yoga or bootcamp sessions and Segway tours. Business event bookings will be available from January 2022.