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by Olga Junek (subscribe) I am an academic and writer living in Melbourne. I love to travel and I also love writing about all the things Melbourne, regional Victoria and other parts of Australia have to offer. Published in Weekend Notes, May 23rd 2020

Now that the restrictions have been lifted on tourism and accommodation in Victoria, here is your perfect getaway to Lakeside Villas, approximately one hour away from Melbourne CBD on the Mornington Peninsula.

These gorgeous villas are built over the lake at Crittenden Estate, an award-winning, family-owned winery. Consisting of three separate villas, each with their own kitchen, laundry and separate bedroom, the villas meet the strictest hygienic, cleaning and safety precautions as outlined by the Australia Government Health Department and you never need to meet another person if you so wish. Also after the last two months of iso, chatting to the winemaker and staff at the Wine Center might be very welcome. Customised wine tastings can be arranged for small groups too.

Just like the winery, these luxurious 4.5-star villas have also brought home some prestigious awards, namely a Gold award in the RACV Victorian Tourism Awards and a Silver in the National Tourism Awards. What their guests have known and appreciated for a while, the industry has now also acknowledged the high standard of these villas in the self-contained accommodation category.

Even though we are now entering the cold season, rain and cooler temperatures can be just as enjoyable, as the saying goes “there is no bad weather only inappropriate clothes”. Inclement weather presents an equally enjoyable stay in the villas – some would say you get to enjoy the villa more in fact, and appreciate its cosy space and great attention to detail. And you may even be rewarded with a perfect rainbow or two.

A cosy fire, a game of Scrabble, a cup of tea or a glass of wine picked from the vast choice at the Wine Centre guarantees an enjoyable evening or afternoon inside the spacious villas. Groceries can be picked up from the amazing IGA at Dromana, and it is truly amazing with the widest choice of cheeses, meat, specialty foods a, fruit and veggies and so much more – you could spend hours in here making difficult choices. A word of advice – do not go on an empty stomach. For your evening meal, if you are not up to visiting a local restaurant, a platter of cheeses and cured meats or a ready-made meal (of which there are many) that do not require a lot of preparation or a barbecued steak or fish on the outdoor barbecue will ensure your evening will be a fine one indeed. And maybe, just maybe, the sun will come out just in time for your pre-dinner drinks, and with wraps and blankets, you can enjoy the peace and calm of the lake and surrounding vineyard.

I am sure you are now ready to explore the world again in small steps and these villas are perfect just for that. Your villa is separate for the other two villas, you will have your own breakfast provisions provided, there is plenty of outdoor space and non-crowded paces in the surrounding areas to visit. So why not start exploring all the things the villas and the Peninsula have to offer.

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The Lakeside Villas at Crittenden Estate proudly acknowledge the Bunurong people of the Kulin Nation, the traditional owners of the land on which Crittenden Estate is built. We pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future.