As any commercial interior designer will tell you, when it comes to hotels, boutique is the new black, and Hecker Guthrie’s two latest hotel designs are so boutique and so beautiful, they would be just at home, in a home, as they are in their current commercial iterations.
Ideally placed in the upmarket suburb of Red Hill on the Mornington Peninsula, Lindenderry Hotel has undergone a makeover that has taken the established, country-style hotel to into a whole new realm of sophistication. Hecker Guthrie has managed to create a country escape that retains the undeniably warm and inviting feel of the original hotel, while transporting it firmly into 2018 through a fresh and airy interior balanced by traditional accents. Its 40 rooms, surrounded by 34 acres of lush gardens and vines, are a welcome respite for weekenders travelling from the concrete jungles of the east coast who crave romance, coziness and nature in equal amounts. With Hecker Guthrie’s Scandinavian yet classic design, there is a sense of simplicity in the air, and this, of course, is not only important to the hotel’s overall design, but pivotal in creating that ever-crucial calming effect that the best country hotels are known for.
And then there’s Michelton Hotel in Nagambie in the Goulburn Valley, an already established and long-respected architectural icon that required an update. Hecker Guthrie’s signature neural palette continues at this upmarket hideaway, but this time with a slightly hardier, almost industrial edge thanks to the use of deep green, brown and slate hues.
Its ambience is contemporary and clean, with a strong reliance on hard and tactile natural materials such as stone, wood and metal balanced with cozy soft furnishings. A project of huge proportions, the design duo has melded old with new, respecting the building’s original bones as well as the Hume region’s history as horse country. This is perhaps most elegantly articulated on the walls of the hotel by the moodily beautiful photographic story, The Mitchelton Stallion Series by Susan Knight and Trevor Mein. Commissioned by Hecker Guthrie, the equestrian and photographer have captured the essence of two Thoroughbred stallions standing at Swettenham Stud, located just a short distance from Mitchelton, and the photography adds an almost other-worldly element to the hotel. The result is a perfectly balanced interior with a sense of raw luxury that is beyond worthy of becoming your go-to winter bolthole.