After seeing the sign “To Bendigo” on our various trips to Melbourne, my wife and I decided a couple of nights in this historic town would be a great short break. Bendigo is about two hours drive along the Calder Highway from Melbourne. We did not want to take our car all the way from Sydney, so on flying into Melbourne we headed to the nearby “The Larwill”, part of the Art Series Hotel Group, to pick up our Smart Car. Apparently some of the Art Series hotels offer bicycles and Smart Cars at a very reasonable rate.

DSC06409We chose our Smart Car, a very “green” and compact vehicle, made by Mercedes from a selection parked outside the hotel. This compact car fitted my fairly large frame more than adequately and once I was made aware of all the controls by the hotel’s concierge, we were soon on our way to Bendigo, 152 km away. The car’s hire cost was a very reasonable $50 per day.

On arrival in Bendigo at The Schaller Studio, we were checked in by a very delightful front office person and preceded to our room, which was certainly different from the normal hotel style. I would describe it as modern funky, whatever that means. Anyhow, we two seniors enjoyed the vibe, and our room had all the comforts we look for in a hotel.

A substantial continental breakfast was included and during the day, snacks, coffee and cakes were available for purchase.

DSC06377 (1)Purported to be the number one hotel in town, it is situated right next to the town’s hospital. The hotel is recently built and has all the modern features one would expect in a 4 star property. The staff went out of their way to please, with that true “Aussie country” hospitality. In the hotel’s foyer, there were several comfortable lounge areas where one could sit, have a coffee and just enjoy the multitude of artworks and sculptures. As a bonus, there was a large outdoor seating area.

The Schaller Studio takes its name from Australian artist Mark Schaller whose works can be seen throughout the hotel.

Car parking is complimentary. The hotel is located 2.5 km from the Bendigo train station and 1.5 km to the town centre. There is so much to do in historic Bendigo, the Art Gallery is a must. In walking around this beautiful town one can clearly see where much of the money from the famous gold rush era went. The town’s gardens with their floral display are a pleasure to walk through.

We certainly enjoyed every minute of our hotel stay and the joys of Bendigo.

The Schaller Studio, corner of Lucan & Bayne Streets, Bendigo, Victoria, Australia Phone: +61 3 4433 6100

About John Pond, J.P.

Pioneer in television as producer of thousands of hours of TV shows on Australian and American television including Graham Kennedy, Tommy Leonetti, People in Conflict, Hollywood Bowl, Major Specials and Dr John‘s Casebook TV Shows. TV manager J. Walter Thompson & McCannErickson Advertising and head of production for Columbia Pictures TV. John changed careers to the hospitality industry working for Sydney’s top 5 star hotel as director of sales and marketing and GM. Then with Harrah’s/Caesar's World, the world’s largest hotel and casino group in Nevada. Playboy Magazine in Chicago, head of worldwide PR/Marketing, for their Resorts, Clubs, Hotels & Casinos. Producer at Fox Studios in Los Angeles. Co-creator of hit US network TV show Joker, Joker, Joker, first TV show to give away a million dollars. Writer travel articles for magazines and newspapers including Washington Post, New York Times, American Playboy as well as local Australian papers and magazines. In the USA represented many personalities including Frank Sinatra, John Wayne, Bob Hope, Mel Torme, and many other major names. John is Editor at Sea of Australia’s leading cruise magazine, Travel & Cruise writer for The Retiree Magazine, Destinations Magazine and Spectator Group of Newspapers. John reviews cruise ships, Destinations and Hotels, and is ably assisted by his Associate Editor Sandra Tiltman.
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