‘Quirky’ hotel for valley visitors

An artist''s impression of the proposed hotel.

A new 170-room, six-storey hotel is set to rise from a former petrol station site in Lilydale.

Barnes Capital director Martyn Barnes said the complex proposed for 487 Maroondah Highway would open in 2021 under IHG’s voco label.

The Mail understands the project does not yet have council approval and the land includes commercial and green wedge zoning.

Mr Barnes said the “quirky” design would have the hotel building rise to six storeys at one end and taper to one storey at the other.

He’s proposed 20 cabins in addition to the 170 hotel rooms, an on-site gin distillery, a lavender farm, mirrored maze, an amphitheatre cut from natural ground, and a provedore to serve and sell Yarra Valley produce.

Plans also include a large conference and meeting facilities, a gym, bars, an on-site family restaurant and kids’ entertainment facilities.

“As one of Australia’s premier wine regions, the last thing people want when they arrive in Yarra Valley is a vanilla experience,” Mr Barnes said.

IHG has 48 other hotels in Australia under four brands: InterContinental, Crowne Plaza, Holiday Inn and Holiday Inn Express.