GIVEN all that South West Victoria has to offer, it’s not surprising that smaller towns are sometimes overlooked in favour of the more high profile, flashy alternatives. However wonderful gems can be found in these tiny villages, such as Cobden’s Heytesbury House, which was recently judged the Best Hosted Accommodation in Victoria at the RACV Victorian Tourism Awards.
The gong follows the bed and breakfast’s two Silver Awards in the Best Hosted Accommodation category in 2017 and 2016, and entry into the Trip Advisor Hall of Fame last year. The Hall of Fame is awarded to businesses that have received a Certificate of Excellence for five consecutive years.
It’s amazing recognition for owners Kathryn and Andrew Stubbings, who moved to Cobden from Melbourne eight years ago and successfully took on the challenge of operating a bed and breakfast. Heytesbury House had operated as a B&B before, but had a period of inactivity just prior to the Stubbings’ purchase. During the early 1900s the building was a doctor’s residence, followed by a hospital. Now, four suites have been individually furnished, with a nod to yesteryear but with the comforts of modern day living, such as a large screen television and iPod dock, and holiday essentials such as books, games and puzzles.
Surrounded by gorgeous gardens, the Stubbings have also introduced Murder Mystery Nights to Heytesbury House, and were the second accommodation business in Australia to become involved with Robe to Recovery. The program was founded by the owners of a B&B in the South Australian seaside town of Robe, opening its doors to veterans and their families free of charge up to four times a year, as a way of showing support and appreciation.
The Stubbings discovered the initiative on an episode of the ABC TV program Back Roads and decided to follow suit at Heytesbury House. Andrew says they are now hoping to get a few more accommodation operators along the coast involved. For more information about Heytesbury House, visit heytesburyhouse.com.au. For more information about Robe to Recovery, visit robetorecovery.com.au.
This story is from the new edition of Out & About magazine. There's plenty and see and do in South West Victoria this autumn, click here to read the entire magazine online.