Marriners View house, Apollo Bay review: Dog day afternoons

Read our writer's views on this property below

Robert Upe checks in for a beach holiday complete with canines.

There's a saying that you can't teach an old dog new tricks but I may have managed to do just that this summer. Nine-year-old German shorthair pointer Leroy holidayed beachside for the first time, chasing seagulls, swimming in the waves and trying to pilfer from fishermen's buckets.

It all came about thanks to dog-friendly accommodation in a new estate area of Apollo Bay, a short walk from the beach and overlooked by Marriners Lookout in the rolling green hills of the Otway Ranges.

This is a favourite spot with paragliders, who step off the edge and drift down towards town in the thermals. Leroy learnt to bark at the paragliders, too.

On this section of beach, away from the hubbub of town, dogs are permitted 24/7, so there is plenty of time and space to romp, especially at low tide, when there's a wide strip of sand. Early in the mornings, horses are sometimes galloped along the wet sand, causing great curiosity in city-raised Leroy.

The accommodation at the three-bedroom double-storey Marriners View house is so stylish, it's surprising dogs are allowed. The property has a secure backyard, dog bowls and dog beds with sheets and towels for inside and out.

For people, the Balinese timber furniture, polished floorboards and deck with small electric barbecue make this an appealing choice.

Each of the three downstairs bedrooms has a queen-size bed, while the main bedroom has a snug en suite with shower and toilet. The second bathroom includes a bath tub.

The supplied towels and linen seem to be good quality; they are fresh and clean, just like the rest of the house, which shows no undue evidence of previous doggie visitors.

The bedrooms have electric wall heaters but airconditioning is limited to the upstairs open-plan lounge/kitchen area surrounded by the deck, which is accessed through double doors.

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There are two-storey houses all around but the clever use of timber wall slats on the deck ensures some privacy is maintained, while the sea can be viewed through a vacant block.

The kitchen has an electric cooktop, stove, microwave, dishwasher, pantry and a good range of cooking equipment. There are also comfortable lounges, a dining table that seats eight and a plasma television, one of three throughout the house.

There are a few minor gripes. The ceiling of a small downstairs lounge area is stained from water damage and a promised voucher to Buffs Bistro is not found. However, we present ourselves at the bistro and the missing voucher is gladly honoured for wine and dips.

For more dog-friendly accommodation, the 11th edition of Holidaying with Dogs (Pepper Publishing), $24.95, has just been released. See holidayingwithdogs.com.au.

VISITORS' BOOK

Address 9B Seaview Drive, Apollo Bay.

Bookings Phone 0428 315 060, see otwaygetaways.com.au, marrinersview.com.au.

Cost $1985 a week for two people in peak season, $225 for each extra person. Low-season midweek prices from $245 a night, $45 for each extra person (minimum stay two nights).

Getting there 3½⁄-hour drive from Melbourne via Great Ocean Road or three hours via Birregurra and Forrest.

Summary A stylish dog-friendly, double-storey house in a new-estate area, short walk to beach and town.

Verdict 16

The score: 19-20 excellent; 17-18 great; 15-16 good; 13-14 comfortable.

All weekends away are conducted anonymously and paid for by Traveller.