The family-owned Astra Lodge in Falls Creek, Victoria sets a high bar in the Australian ski industry for luxury hospitality. The recently revamped ski-in ski-out lodge delivers the full package: panoramic mountain views, fine dining, even a heated magnesium mineral pool to take a dip in.
Locals Rosy and Seumas centred the renovation’s efforts on achieving world-class luxury while remaining family friendly and the space they’ve created does so with a charming intimacy. The couple commissioned Grant Amon, of Grant Amon Architects, who was the original design and project architect for the Lodge some thirty years ago (working for HLS Architects at the time). His previous experience made him a natural fit to spearhead the transformation of the ski lodge to elevate its style, in turn resulting in an accelerated experience for guests overall.
DESIGN & ARCHITECTURE Grant Amon Architects | PHOTOGRAPHY Mark Roper + Peter Bennetts
The space is striking both internally and externally. The spaces are filled with luxury furnishings hand-selected by Rosy and Seumas from their worldly travels, jostling for attention with the breathtaking views of the natural alpine surroundings outside . The south-east end of Astra Lodge was extended to create roomier apartment-style suites and a new entry, allowing guests to make the most of their snowy adventure with ski-in -out privileges. Smaller hotel-style rooms in the existing building received a sophisticated upgrade with new balconies added to deluxe and studio front-facing rooms. The new extension to the lodge boasts a new dedicated guest entry, new lift and custom state-of-the-art ski & boot drying room, rich with timber and stone . The whole hotel is cool yet earthy, upscale yet unpretentious.
Grant Amon Architects used natural, eco-friendly materials and locally sourced (and captivating!) products. Welcoming guests in the foyer is a tailor-made chandelier constructed of tiny vegetable steamers; it glistens with materials curated by Sally Mills Design mirroring snow and ice in stainless steel before progressing to the earthy warmth of the copper. The main space is warm and welcoming, featuring a new oak floor, rough sawn cedar clad walls and ceiling. Leather crafter from Brisbane, Eleisha Nylund, created the cowhide column project for the hotel. Brindle cowhides were chosen for the visual warmth generated by their brown patterning, and the hair-on-hides element is used to captivate visitors and inspire touch.
By combining hearty and natural materials like timber, stone, leather and tiles, Grant Amon Architects have given us an unassuming yet elegant European alpine vibe. The contemporary enhancement of this 1980s hotel breathes new life and verve into its walls, showing how keeping the bones of the space can truly let its soul shine, re-energizing tired skiers and providing a lavish place to rest that is both stimulating and calming.
“Astra represents a truly contemporary enhancement of the original 1980’s design that aims to rejuvenate the entire lodge to current and future quality expectations.”
– Architect Grant Amon