Waverley House Cottages, Lakes Entrance review: Bush cottage with reel allure

Read our writer's views on this property below

Lorna Edwards is hooked on cosy comforts like a warm hot tub and an open fire.

When you're on a holiday mission, unwavering focus and steely discipline are vital. Distractions and temptations - however pleasant they might be - are the road to ruin. The mission is simple enough: my husband is going to impress me with his hunter-gatherer skills by outsmarting several tasty fish that will then form the basis of a sumptuous seafood feast.

Catching an edible quota of fish might not sound like a tough task, given our destination is the fishing town of Lakes Entrance, but that's where those distractions and temptations come into play.

From the moment we arrive at our accommodation at Waverley House Cottages, we know our mission is doomed. Early-morning fishing trips and shivering evenings by the water's edge stand no chance against the cosier options of indulgent sleep-ins, drinks on the verandah and warm, bubbling spa baths. Pity, that.

Waverley House Cottages are owned by Rob and Jan Davis. The original Waverley House in Lakes Entrance was a guest house run by Rob's grandparents, Amy and Alfred Carstairs. The Carstairs family settled in the area in 1878 and were pioneers of the local fishing industry.

Waverley House has six modern cottages in a resort-style maze of landscaped gardens and towering gums on a hill five minutes' drive from the town.

Adding to the resort feel is a small solar-heated pool with deckchairs, a barbecue and covered dining area - but that's not the best bit. The piece de resistance all year round is the large gazebo featuring a huge hot tub and large open fireplace with a beautiful sheltered dining area alongside. The perfect spot for a seafood feast, really.

Our cottage turns out to be an equally pleasant surprise, with a verandah capitalising on the view, but more on that later. The lounge is an elegant room with leather couches, plasma television and a stone feature wall with a woodfire.

The cottages are self-contained so the roomy kitchen is big enough and sufficiently equipped to fulfil most culinary ambitions. There's a full-size fridge and a dishwasher.

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The breakfast provisions are basic. Two slices of bread per person, a few spreads and a small selection of cereals and muesli. The fridge yields some long-life milk, a litre of orange juice and two small fruit salads. A local brand, Arrandene Coffee, is supplied for the coffee plunger.

Perhaps a bit more attention to the kitchen wouldn't go astray. The salt and pepper shakers are nearly empty and one bruised and battered frypan with its coating flaking off is past its retirement age.

Our cottage's two bedrooms are located on opposite ends of the lounge with their own en suites, which would be great for keeping other couples - or kids - at a distance. The king-size beds are extremely comfortable and the gleaming white bathrooms immaculate. A nice touch are the fluffy bathrobes and beach towels provided for the pool and spa. You do have to book your time in the communal spa but if that's taken, the cottage also has a corner spa.

Now about that view. The cottages are set in landscaped gardens as the brochure promises but the "overlooking the ocean" part might be a tad creative. Sure, the Bass Cottage we booked for the view offers what you might call a small triangular glimpse of distant ocean but it more accurately overlooks the seventh hole of the Lakes View Golf Course. Golfers won't mind at all but the point is you're not going to spot any passing whales.

Speaking of things that swim, you might be wondering what became of the trip's mission. The husband did manage to embark on a boat fishing tour but the catch of the day came from a local fish shop. The bounty of fresh local seafood was enjoyed beside the barbecue before a lovely plunge into the hot tub.

VISITORS' BOOK

Waverley House Cottages

Address 205 Palmers Road, Lakes Entrance, 3909.

Bookings Phone 5155 1257, see waverleyhousecottages.com.au.

Cost Two nights $340 to $440.

Getting there About a four-hour (330-kilometre) drive from Melbourne. Take the Princes Highway east from Melbourne. In Lakes Entrance, turn into Myer Street, then right at Roadknight Street, which becomes Palmers Road.

Summary A beautiful bushland getaway perfect for those who want a little luxury in winter or summer.

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.