Just a one hour drive from Melbourne sits the Mornington Peninsula, a world-renowned wine region, known for its rolling hills dotted with restaurants, vineyards, golf courses and bright beaches. It’s the perfect location for the establishment of Jackalope, a high-end hotel that champions the art of storytelling through the infusion of art, design, and dining.

The hotel is a personal project of 29 year-old Louis Li, who moved to Melbourne in 2006 to study filmmaking. Rather than telling stories through film, Li immerses his audience through a sensory journey of luxury-hotel living. From the hotel’s bold and contemporary form, designed by Carr Design Group, to the statement furnishings by Melbourne furniture makers, Zuster, guests at Jackalope are delivered an interplay between the ideal and the surreal. The result of Li and his colleagues’ vision is a re-imagination of luxury and a new voice in high-end Australian holiday destinations.

Jackalope’s 46 rooms introduce guests to a reverie of relaxation. Rooms range from ‘vineyard view’ categories to the mysterious 85 sqm ‘Lairs’. Floor-to-ceiling windows and private terraces connect guests to the rural surrounds while, inside, bathroom features include deep-soak, black Japanese tubs, rain showers and double vanities. The spa-like setting is complete with bath luxuries developed exclusively by Melbourne’s Hunter Lab, including a pinot grape skin and seed bath soak and body scrub, made using grapes from the hotel’s vineyard.

Outside, a black 30-metre infinity pool laps up to the surrounding vineyard, while a poolside pavilion offers sun lounge service, massage treatments or private dining. The distinct experimental atmosphere continues into the hotel’s bar, Flaggerdoot, where guests are impressed by daring cocktail menus of both classic and in-house creations. This space is a curated clash of herringbone floors with open fires providing warmth, and guests are able to enjoy the commissions and installations from artistic icons such as Andrew Hazewinkel and Rick Owens. The hotel also presents custom-made Tait pieces including the Breeze Modular and the Linear Sunlounge.

For those seeking refined dining, Jackalope’s restaurant, Doot Doot Doot, offers a menu intrinsically linked to the land, while those seeking an immersive wine and culinary experience will also enjoy the hotel’s winery restaurant, Rare Hare.

Ultimately, the energy of the hotel comes from its name. The word “Jackalope” is derived from the mythological creature of the same name – a rabbit with the horns of an antelope – and this nod to mythology channels the magical essence of the hotel’s experience.

Rates start at $650 per night and include a la carte breakfast, in-room mini bar, wine on arrival and WiFi.

For more information visit Jackalope.