Seacombe House, Port Fairy

Until last Christmas, Port Fairy was one of those mysterious places I had often heard about but never visited. I’m planning to go far more often as it is a relaxing, magical town offering a perfect mix of history and natural beauty. We chose to stay at Seacombe House which offers three different accommodation style options. The four-star luxury serviced Historic Cottages (originally built in 1853 as banking chambers), the four-star Comfort Inn premier and executive suites and finally Seacombe Guest House, the original private hotel built in 1847 (when Port Fairy was a flourishing town known as Belfast and the hotel was the Stag Inn).  The Historic Cottages (with open fire and double spa) are $202 a night while the contemporary and generous sized Comfort Inn suites range from $155 to $165 a night. Both the hotel and cottages are heritage listed and have a fantastic location in the ocean end of the main street of Port Fairy. So we were only a short walk from the wharf and Moyne River as well as the shops and cafes.

A family member had recommended Comfort Inn to us but as we were budget conscious at the time, and I was intrigued by its fascinating history, we chose to stay at Seacombe Guest House. When I rang to make the booking for a traditional guest room ($93 a night for double; $81 for a single), I was gently reminded that I was booking an original hotel room from the 1800s (it might not be what I was expecting— it is a budget and backpackers option with shared bathroom and toilet facilities). I assured them I knew what I was doing and I was not disappointed! Whilst being clean, the room was truly tiny and the bed was pretty small too—everything about it was quaint. It was fascinating to see how times had changed; both body sizes and expectations. Fortunately we like different experiences, our tiny room made us laugh and from our second storey window we had a beautiful view of the historic main street buildings. It is worth noting that Seacombe Guest House also has the Luxury Gun Alley Suite (for $165 a night) and double rooms with ensuites (for $118). We ate our breakfasts, and one dinner, at the superb Stag Restaurant which is housed in the original 1847 dining room and would have hosted many wild scenes over the years if the colourful tales of earlier licensees and patrons are anything to go by! The Stag Restaurant offers a high quality, contemporary menu and is open for dinner from Tuesday to Saturday, from 6 pm.

Seacombe House is situated in the heart of Port Fairy, and is well worth a visit. Don’t say I didn’t warn you if you choose to stay in a tiny room!

Written by Jean Watson