Drift House Port Fairy – Wins Eat, Drink Design Awards 2019

Multi award-winning boutique hotel, Drift House, has recently taken out top gong in the highly coveted Eat, Drink Design Awards 2019. The award was collected mid November by co-owner Colleen Guiney. ‘We are absolutely delighted to have won the award for best hotel design for the stage II developments at Drift House’ says Guiney. The top prize was shared with the fabulous Calile Hotel in Brisbane. ‘To be awarded joint winners with such a big budget, high profile property made the win even more special’ adds Guiney.
The small boutique hotel in Victoria’s Port Fairy, Drift House designed by Multiplicity impressed the jurors with its intimacy, its emphasis on pared-down, natural materials and its striking sense of place. Encompassing a double-storey Victorian bluestone house, an adjacent single-storey Edwardian home, and a newly built garden pavilion and reception centre, the project uses reclaimed wood and stone from a local quarry to create a subtle sense of luxury that also reflects the town’s hardscrabble history. Communal spaces are cleverly designed to be adaptable, transforming from dining room to lounge area to event space. These spaces invite a sense of home and comradery that’s rare in any hotel setting, encouraging guests to intermingle or retreat to the secluded privacy of their rooms as they see fit.
‘We like to think that this expansion is all about little Drift House growing up’ says co-owner John Watkinson. ‘We have worked really hard to establish ourselves as a “must do” on the itineraries of domestic and international luxury travellers; and take great pride in rubbing shoulders with big-hitting, big-budget uber-lodges. At times we have felt a little overawed by this company, but we think these new additions will allow us to hold our head up high.’
To date Drift House has been all about the stunning interiors of the suites and the striking external architecture of the original Victorian building and its modern extension. The new developments add a range of spectacular shared spaces for guests to enjoy. Central to everything is The Salon, best described as the Drift House clubroom and open all day for the use of house guests.
Recently my partner and I booked a stay at the small hotel with a big reputation and we got to experience first hand why The Drift House has received critical acclaim since opening in late 2013, the exemplary architectural design is at the core, resulting in some truly breathtaking spaces that are well considered and make you feel at home. A typical day at Drift House starts with breakfast in The Salon, but don’t expect poached eggs and smashed avocado. They serve a simple yet stunning continental breakfast, with a focus on superb local produce and a few delicious surprises thrown in along the way; all backed up with great coffee. Breakfast was truly a memorable experience as was our stay.

Photo credits Martina Gemmola


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