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Hotel Vera: the epitome of true luxury

Visit Ballarat

17 Jan 2023

Filed underPlaces to Stay

Contemporary luxury meets historic wonder at Ballarat’s newest boutique offering, Hotel Vera.

Situated in an historic 19th century mansion, the seven-suite Sturt Street hotel merges modernity, sustainability and seclusion.

We recently spoke to owners David Cook-Doulton and Martin Shew about Hotel Vera‘s grand vision, sustainability ethos and unassuming namesake….

Over 130 years old, Hotel Vera is located in a former medical building in Ballarat’s Sturt Street. Image: Leon Schoots

Why the name Vera?

“The hotel is named after David’s maternal grandmother.

We wanted the hotel to embody her warmth, generosity and most importantly her beautiful heart – quite fitting since the hotel’s eponym literally translates to truth.

Hotel Vera is infused with graciousness and beauty – virtues embodied by Vera herself.

There are those rare people who touch our lives in very special ways. They guide us with their love, wisdom and humanity.

When I think of love, I see my grandmother’s face, smiling, reaching for an embrace. I want this hotel to embody this unassuming yet extraordinary woman.”

Hotel Vera is an ambassador for the region’s treasures, talents and personalities. Image: Leon Schoots

What is the vision behind Hotel Vera?

“We wanted the hotel to represent a more inclusive vision of luxury, where we celebrate the individual.

We want the hotel to be an ambassador to the region and its many treasures, talents and personalities.

Most importantly, we wanted the guest to be part of it, to feel part of the story and connected to the Ballarat community.

The word ‘luxury’ is often overused when it comes to describing accommodation offerings, but you can take our word for it when we say Vera will epitomise true luxury.

Our mantra is to treat guests as individuals, each with their own tailored needs, instead of seeing them as numbers.”

The Kingston suite at Hotel Vera. Image: Leon Schoots

What makes your suites unique?

“Hotel Vera features seven suites, each a sanctuary in its own right.

Boasting only the finest features, furnishings and finishings, each room is envisioned to infuse a sense of slowness and sense-memory, leaving guests with a narrative that will linger beyond their stay.

Each suite is positioned within the existing layout of the building to respect the original intention of the building.

And each suite is named after a local region.

For example, the Kingston suite is painted in a glorious potato leaf green to reflect the potato fields of the region. The Smeaton suite is painted in frosty green to reflect the canola fields.

Each suite features amazing original art, custom fittings and furnishings and a pamper bathroom.

The hotel feels very intimate. Having only seven suites, it has the feel of a hybrid home, hotel and gallery.”

What can guests expect during their stay?

“The hotel is all about pampering and slow living.

Some suites feature stone plunge baths whilst others have beautiful marble bench seats and rain showers.

We also welcome pets with open arms.

The team at Vera is focused on tailoring each stay to the guests’ individual tastes. We offer a concierge service for activities, dining and pampering.

Breakfast is a seasonal-inspired continental breakfast and is included when booking direct. It varies from day to day and is determined by what is the most delicious right now.

It may include some of our brilliant purveyors such as Schulz Dairy, 1816 Bakehouse‘s breads and pastries, St Ali coffee, Irrewarra granola, Salt Kitchen Charcuterie hams, poached eggs and fresh fruit.

Vera’s indulgent design doesn’t end indoors.

Outside, guests will be able to take solace in the gardens. A car stacker is amongst other standout features.

We have also partnered with Porsche Melbourne to provide electric car charge facilities – a Ballarat hotel first.”

What’s the sustainability ethos behind Hotel Vera?

“Sustainable practices are integral in the forging of true luxury.

Our commitment is evident through the restoration of an historic building, the recycling of demolished materials, and the lush on-site gardens.

All rooms also feature integrated climate control, double glazed windows and premium insulation.

We also partnered with Ballarat social enterprise Fifteen Trees, which has planted 250 trees in order to help offset the impact of the hotel build. Fifteen Trees is set to plant one tree for every guest booking.”

You’ll find Hotel Vera at 710 Sturt Street, Ballarat. Bookings via

Across Victoria’s Midwest, we acknowledge that we travel across the ancient landscapes of many First Peoples communities.

These lands have been nurtured and cared for over tens of thousands of years and we respect the work of Traditional Custodians for their ongoing care and protection.

We recognise the past injustices against Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in this country. As our knowledge grows, we hope that we can learn from their resilience and creativity that has guided them for over 60,000 years.

As we invite people to visit and explore Victoria’s Midwest, we ask that alongside us, you also grow to respect the stories, living culture and connection to Country of the Ancestors and Elders of our First Peoples.