One of Victoria’s most historic Art Deco mansions and estates is set to undergo a breathtaking transformation, with Six Senses Burnham Beeches – a luxurious five star hotel, restaurant and spa retreat – slated to open its doors in 2025.
Less than an hour’s drive from Melbourne in the Dandenong Ranges, alongside the enchanting Alfred Nicholas Memorial Gardens in Sherbrooke, the property will mark the Australian debut of the Six Senses brand, already well-known around the globe. However, plans are yet to be approved.
Designed by architect Harry Norris, the iconic ‘Burnham Beeches’ mansion was built in 1933 for the Nicholas Family – creators of Australia’s ‘Aspro’ aspirin – and added to the Victorian Heritage Register in 1991.
Despite its charm and heritage status though, the building has fallen into a significant state of disrepair, most recently becoming a canvas for Melbourne-based artist Rone.
Led by the Trenerry Consortium, which transformed the Continental ‘Conti’ Hotel into the InterContinental Sorrento Mornington Peninsula earlier this year, the $100 million redevelopment is designed by renowned architecture firm Woods Bagot.
Resembling an ocean liner in the middle of the forest, the original mansion will be restored, creating 43 rooms furnished in a ‘rustic-luxe’ style throughout its wings. There will also be a separate two-bedroom cottage, with additional plans lodged for a glamping retreat.
In true Six Senses style, wellness is set to be a key focus. Plans reveal a signature spa on the lower level of the mansion, complete with multiple treatment rooms, a gym, hydro area and sauna.
A separate pool house is also set to house an ‘Earth Lab’, part of Six Senses environmental commitment, to engage guests and showcase efforts to reduce consumption and produce locally.
“For Six Senses Burnham Beeches to be regenerative, it will not be a static place,” explains Six Senses CEO Neil Jacobs.
“We’ll evolve and respond to bring the rich heritage of Burnham Beeches to life, inviting moments of exploration, discovery, connection to nature, and delight through interactive gastronomy, wellness, and sustainability experiences.”
In addition, the gardens will feature a glass-sided restaurant with outdoor terrace – a warming fireplace will keep the winter chill away – plus beautiful arched walkways and water feature.
Burnham Beeches, Sherbrooke, and Nicholas Gardens are to be linked by a series of walking trails weaving across the site.
Guests will be able to explore the ecological, historical and cultural significance of the site, including indigenous stories from the Wurundjeri and Kulin nation lands, thanks to signage, architecture and art throughout the grounds.
Part of the InterContinental Hotels & Resorts family, Six Senses boasts 20 properties in locales from Fiji and Thailand to Oman and Bhutan. A further 34 are on the way too, including Six Senses The Palm, Dubai and Six Senses Svart in Norway, both opening in 2024.