Meringa Springs, Grampians National Park $$$$
From the editors of Condé Nast Traveler:The latest luxe lodge overlooking the spectacular sandstone ridges of Grampians National Park is all about soaking up the experience. Perched on a hill, all four freestanding villas (along with two standard doubles tucked inside the main lodge) have panoramic sunrise-to-sunset mountain views, as does the lodge's restaurant and its aptly named Sunset Bar. The villas' relative austerity (utterly unadorned bedrooms, kitchenettes cum living rooms, wood-burning fireplaces, private decks) ensure that nothing detracts from the viewsexcept the gloriously sybaritic bathrooms. The Grampians, three hours west of Melbourne, are chockablock with ancient Aboriginal rock art and roads more often obstructed by ambling echidnas than traffic. Meringa, too, is full of surpriseslike its ability to deliver top-notch service and a rare sense of intimacy amid this epic landscape.2005 Hot List
When to go: December through February, to see the park at its most starkly beautiful, and September, when the abundant wildflowers are in bloom.
Which room to book: The Eric Barber Suite, for its proximity to the main lodge
Amenities: Bar/loungeSubscribe now to Condé Nast Traveler for just $1 an issue! ›
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