Point Lonsdale Guest House review: Finding the key to calm

Far shore ... Point Lonsdale Guest House.
Far shore ... Point Lonsdale Guest House. 

Read our writer's views on this property below

Andrew Murfett savours the sleepy vibe and seaside flavours in two coastal towns.

As anyone who has attempted to traverse the Westgate Bridge after 4pm on a Friday can attest, the city has some serious traffic congestion issues.

So we thought it prescient when planning a weekend jaunt to Point Lonsdale, about 100 kilometres to the south-west of the city, to leave close to lunchtime.

Things, however, went awry at the office - blame this newspaper - and what should have been a leisurely 90-minute drive became an almost three-hour slog.

Yet by the time we pull into the refreshingly laid-back confines of the Point Lonsdale Guest House, any stress or tension we brought with us has evaporated.

We are greeted at the small, quaint check-in office by Peter, handed our key - yes, key, not plastic card - and instructed to park our car at the rear of the property.

For the first time in living memory I'm not asked to provide a credit-card imprint (either when I emailed to make the booking or when I check in). It feels good to be deemed trustworthy again.

The name of the Point Lonsdale Guest House is a little misleading.

The place operates much like a hotel. While there's no room service or, say, reliable internet, there is a range of modest but comfortable guest rooms.

Ours is a family suite. It is split into two rooms, one of which has a queen bed, unassuming en suite, 34-centimetre television and a bar fridge. The adjacent room has a two-seater kitchen table and a bunk bed.

After a relaxing drink, we head to the beach, a five-minute stroll away, and order fish and chips. Although it is the summer peak, the strip, which has a supermarket and a small cluster of cafes and eateries, appears to be busy rather than hectic.

On Saturday morning, we join about 15 others, as well as guest-house operators Sue and Peter, for breakfast in the front room.

It's a hearty, albeit old-fashioned, buffet meal of scrambled eggs, spinach, baked beans and toast. Sue and Peter also serve tea and coffee.

Before too long, though, we head to the next town, Queenscliff, which, depending on the traffic, can take between five and 15 minutes to reach by car.

Queenscliff is home to an array of bookshops, pubs and restaurants. We're instantly drawn to Vue Grand (vuegrand.com.au), a glorious old hotel on Hesse Street.

The Vue has an outstanding selection of local craft beers, including the superb Southern Bay Brewing Company's Southern Ocean Ale, which is brewed a few kilometres down the road.

On Sunday, after breakfast at Point Lonsdale Guest House, we sprawl on the beach with the papers and excellent coffee from the lively cafe Grow.

Happily, the late-afternoon drive back to the city is unobstructed by traffic snarls.

The deal maker If you time your run right, Point Lonsdale is a superb weekend away from Melbourne. Accommodation and meals are reasonably priced and you have direct access to excellent beaches.

Stepping out Point Lonsdale is a quiet town, so it is easy to be seduced by the eating and drinking choices offered in Queenscliff. Our tip: do as we did, and sample the best of both towns.

The excellent selection of local craft beer at Vue Grand should be celebrated in itself.

Vue Grand also offers a serviceable dinner and snacks menu. We opted for dishes of pulled-pork sliders and delicious kipfler potato pizza to accompany our pints.

VISITORS' BOOK

Point Lonsdale Guest House

Address 31 Point Lonsdale Road, Point Lonsdale.

Price Standard room from $220 a night.

Bookings Phone 5258 1142, see pointlonsdaleguesthouse.com.au.

The verdict Friendly operators, terrific location and fair prices help make for a relaxing break.

Ideal for Families and couples alike.

Wheelchair access Yes.

While you're there Take a walk along the Point Lonsdale beach path for some sweeping views of the ocean.