The story of the estate. São Lourenço do Barrocal has been in the same family for more than 200 years, and it was José António Uva (who is eight generation of the same family) who had a vision to turn the family property into a farm retreat he could share with others. The passion and dedication behind José António’s dream, and what he has created, is incredibly inspiring.
The interiors. Perfectly simple and calming. The interior design was led by José António’s wife Ana’s design studio, AnahoryAlmeida (also responsible for the interiors of many of Lisbon’s finest restaurants) and it is a dream.
Hortelão, their outdoor restaurant. The most beautiful place to dine between Spring through Autumn, this slow-food, farm to fork restaurant is located next to the pool, right by the organic kitchen garden, and is the perfect place to enjoy a dinner under the stars.
BEECHWORTH, VICTORIA • BOUTIQUE HOTEL • SLEEPS 2 | 1 BEDROOMS | 1 BATH
High on the hill overlooking Beechworth in Victoria's High Country sits The Benev. This striking property with its two Flemish gables was built in 1862 and was recently brought back to life by its passionate owners as a boutique hotel, day spa and store.
The Benev and The Spa Beechworth form part of the 'Being Precinct', an area committed to cultivating community and connection for those seeking optimum wellness for mind, body, spirit and the planet.
The idea here is to 'slow your mind, and slow your living'.
Each of the signature wellness suites at The Benev deliver an unparalleled luxury with curated inclusions designed to leave you feeling rested and restored as you unwind in beautiful Beechworth. In each suite you will find a refreshment bar, daily DIY spa rituals, a light breakfast to enjoy on your first morning at the hotel, essential oils, and a 'dabble bar' to enjoy at your own leisure. With beautifully high ceilings, these suites are incredibly spacious and come complete with an indoor wood fireplace and a deep-soak stone bath, plus king size beds with nurturing linens. The Benev's beautiful gardens are lovely to look out on to, walk around, or sit under a tree with a good book. There is a small communal area, an honesty bar and wine offering as well. The other highlight is The Spa Beechworth, a delicious day spa that offers a host of exquisite treatments. Not only that, The Benev is a 5min walk from the centre of town, making it easy to explore and experience the country charm this charming town has become accustomed to.
Why I love it
The design of The Benev is lovely. The rooms are spacious and there is a real warmth in their design. I love the bathtub at the end of the bed. I also love that their own bath products are featured in the bathrooms, and the gorgeous little touch of essential oils in the shower with a note to encourage you to infuse your shower by placing three drops of the oil on the floor, making the warm water lift the aromas. I love that The Spa Beechworth is onsite as well, meaning you can duck in for treatments throughout your stay. The treatment rooms are grand and spacious.
About the owners
The current custodians of The Benev are Deb and Kade and their philosophy for this historic space is one of ‘quiet living’, embracing the principles of slow design, encouraging a more gentle pace of life that is better for people and planet. Their ethos is to create a thoughtful and intuitive precinct that satisfies real human needs and restores meaning to our lives. Deb has lived and breathed wellbeing, business and design for more than 20 years and longs for people to make the time to connect back to themselves, and to make their biggest impact from a place of clarity and confidence.
The property today is preserved as a National Trust of Australia (Victoria) building. The Benevolent means giving back, which seemed appropriate to Deb and Kade now that its rebirth is a place for respite and wellness.
What was once a 17th century hospital (the former Murray Ovens Benevolent Asylum - a place that housed immigrant miners and orphans from the gold rush era, providing somewhere for them to feel safe while they recovered and gained there health), the couple saved the rundown property back in 2015, beginning a huge restoration project that finally began its rebuild in 2017 (after a long haul of conservation planning and permits).
Built in 1862 it was the two Flemish gables that were a feature of the township for many years, high on the hill top overlooking Beechworth. Each of the gables was capped with stone dressing and decorative iron finial. One of Deb's favourite features is the dark diaperwork (the pattern in the bricks) - remembering that each brick was hand made and glazed, the appreciation for the true workmanship and skills of the men is constant, and the longer you spend here, the more that appreciation starts to grow.
They opened the first section - The Spa Beechworth - in July 2018 and from there have gradually worked their way around the building with new offerings opening as their energy allows.
What to do nearby
Coffee at Tiny
What to bring