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Friday 22 July 2022

Grand dame of the Bellarine reopens her doors

Portarlington on the Bellarine Peninsula is one of the most attractive seaside spots in Victoria - and the landmark Portarlington Grand Hotel will re-open next month following an extensive, multi-million-dollar renovation.

The new-look hotel will include 18 boutique rooms and has undergone refurbishment of several dining spaces including The Front Bar, Bistro, The Atrium and The Lawn.

Just 70 minutes with Port Phillip Ferries from Melbourne’s Docklands, the new Portarlington Grand Hotel aims to feature some of the state’s best food and wine.

With a history dating back to 1888, the property was acquired by The Little Group, who also operate Port Phillip Ferries, and has been under renovation for the past 18 months.

The hotels' façade and grand staircase have been restored with Melbourne-based architects Technē Architecture + Interior Design creating new interiors designed to strike a balance between modern luxury and heritage details.


Weatherworn timber has been utilised throughout to reference the old timber of the Portarlington pier, and heritage experts were consulted to retrace history and ensure the new designs were true to the original intent.

The 18 heritage-inspired rooms are located across two levels, with many featuring balconies and bay views.

The rooms retain original design features such as ornamental fireplaces and archways.

Guests will be able to enjoy regional produce across the four dining spaces, including famous Portarlington mussels harvested from local waters, craft beers and award-winning wines from local wineries such as Bennetts on Bellarine, Scotchmans Hill and Terindah Estate, as well as local gins from the Bellarine Distillery.

The Front Bar and the Bistro will offer dishes including pork knuckle and barbecued ribs, along with a seafood risotto.

New beer garden The Atrium, which opened in January, features traditional wood-fired pizzas cooked in an outdoor kitchen, along with local beer, wine and spirits.

The Lawn is aimed at families, groups and dog lovers with picnic tables and umbrellas and a full bistro menu.

Day trippers need not worry about missing the journey home, with a warning bell rung at the hotel 30 minutes before each ferry’s departure.

Overnight rates will be available from $250. Bookings can be made for after August 1. See

Images: Nikole Ramsay 

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