So earlier in the year I was up in Margaret River enjoying the wineries, breweries and other gourmet food on a short holiday to relax. The one thing I knew I wanted to do while down in this famous wine region was to stay on a winery somewhere, rather than in a hotel like the Rendezvous Grand Scarborough which I stayed in on my first night there. It took a little researching, but I ended up finding a cute little place called Amon-Ra, in a little winery called Ibizan Wines.
If you’re looking to really escape from civilization and stay in a nice homey sorta place for a decent price, I highly recommend you check this place out. More below…
Ibizan Wines doesn’t have a retail front, so it’s not listed on the official Margaret River Tourism Map – it’s located south-east of the main Margaret River town in Rosa Glen. You’ll most probably be driving around this region when you visit, so it’s not difficult to get to on your own, but it is a little out of the way if you’re talking about proximity to town – as you can see from the map there’s not much out there save for rolling green fields! The good news is that you can avoid some of the heavier traffic (or roadblocks) which usually take place in the main roads…
Also, it’s either the remote location or something about grape vines, because there is no telephone signal on the winery. Yes, that’s right, the house has no internet, no wi-fi, no phone signals, so you’re welcome to drop off the face of humanity for a little bit when you’re out there! GPS still works though so you won’t be completely lost finding your way there, and the owners are happy to make any calls for you if you need – Michelle offered to make reservations for us, helping us get lunch at Leeuwin Estate.
The owners Brian and Michelle live on the winery, and Amon-Ra is actually a separate guest house about 100m or so from their own property. And that’s it, no other people on the land but you and them, so it’s really good if you want to get away from the maddening crowds. It is pretty damn peaceful when sitting out on the verandah at any time of the day!
The house itself is mostly made up of one large room with a King-sized bed, complete with floral couch from your childhood and an old but servicable TV. There’s quite a lot of space so you don’t feel cramped up, and the general furnishing and has the look of being rather lived-in so you feel like you’re staying over in someone’s quaint little home rather than in an impersonal hotel. There’s also a heater behind the couch, which is quite welcome as it can get cold at night.
It comes with an ensuite bathroom and shower, quite decently sized and also equipped with heaters. Another godsend were also these really thick fuzzy bathrobes that made getting out of the bath a less chilly experience!
There is also a kitchenette next to the room, though it’s not attached to the room directly – you have to walk out onto the verandah to access it. It comes with a fridge and is equipped with most stuff you’ll need if you’re preparing your own food. There’s also a little grill on the verandah which you can use for cooking, which is exactly what we did one night with steaks and mushrooms from the supermarket!
AROUND THE HOUSE
The winery is a working vineyard, so throughout the day you’re likely to see the owners pottering around the place working. Behind the house is a backyard/shed filled with tools and materials.
And in front of the house, you can’t miss this very charming little treehouse, which gives you great views of the house and the surrounding vineyard area.
You’re free to wander the grounds as you please, so it’s great for a good walk. The house is located right next to a gate that leads to the vineyards. If you walk all the way to the end of the vineyard, you’ll find yourself at the edge of the woods, and you could probably wander in for a bit, but I didn’t venture out so far.
And when you’re tired of all the outdoorsy stuff in the day, you can curl up in bed and watch TV or their little hodgepodge collection of DVDs at night – it’s an old TV, and the collection of DVDs ranges from ok to rather suspect (and I mean the sort where you get people standing up in the middle of them or terrible English subtitling) so bring your own entertainment if you need some!
But the best thing you could do is probably enjoy the complimentary bottle of wine thrown into the room stay – what better way to enjoy a winery stay? They also have additional bottles of wine in the room available for sale, so you can drink first and pay later, or order more to ship home!
AROUND THE AREA
From the map above, the nearest ‘town centre’ is Witchcliffe, though I can tell you that there really isn’t anything there – it’s just a part of the highway which has some buildings on either side of it. You’ll need to head into Margaret River if you want to pick up groceries or find a restaurant.
We had breakfast at The Berry Farm one morning. And for the beach lovers, Redgate beach is also quite near, as is the Mammoth Cave along Caves Road.
Their rate for Easter at that point was A$120/night (and down to A$110/night if you paid by cash on arrival), which was quite reasonable all things considered! Margaret River gets a lot of visitors during that period, and this was actually one of the more reasonably priced accommodations that I managed to find.
All in all, I really enjoyed my stay at Amon-Ra! I think couples would enjoy getting away from the hustle and bustle, and just the fact that there’s no phone signal there, forces you to enjoy holidays the old fashion way, by communicating and talking, and it doesn’t hurt that their wine is pretty decent (the white Chardonnay that we had was more dry, but still quite tasty)
Find out more about Amon-Ra on their website at ibizanwines.com.au.
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