TGW Q+A: Christian Melone, Mornington Peninsula Glamping

The idea of glamping hasn’t held much appeal for me before, even if I had the option of wearing sequins. But, when you place cushy tents on the same site as a prize winning winery, then you probably have my attention.

Mornington Peninsula Glamping, the first site of its kind to launch in the area, sits 300 metres above sea level and is located on the grounds of Blue Range Estate Wines, an hour’s drive from Melbourne’s CBD.

Starting with 10 luxury tents, MP Glamping founder Christian Melone has opened up the beauty of his family’s property to welcome glampers from Australia and around the world. He tells us that the combination of unique accommodation and Italian inspired dining, paired with 180 degree panoramic views of Port Phillip Bay and Bass Strait gives guests the perfect Australian experience with a taste of Southern Italian lifestyle, care of the Melone family, who run the entire show.We asked Christian to tell us more about his exciting new enterprise.

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You try reading with that view distracting you. Image supplied.
TGW: What can people expect when they stay on your property?
CM: The best view on the Mornington Peninsula! We are 300m above sea level and have views of Port Phillip Bay and Bass Strait. I welcome every guest and show them around. The majority of our glampers love sitting on the top deck watching the sun set with a bottle of our Pinot Grigio.
The majority of our glampers love sitting on the top deck watching the sun set with a bottle of our Pinot Grigio.
TGW: What activities are available on site, and what attractions are close by?
CM: We have a restaurant and Cellar Door open from 11am-5pm. We will also be serving breakfast for all guests and the public from 27 December, 2018. We are situated on 80 acres, which guests can enjoy and explore. The Two Bays walking track is only a 2 minute walk from us and stretches all the way to Cape Schank! Bay View Golf Course is also a couple minutes drive. Mount Martha beach is only 15 minutes drive from our vineyard.
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The dining area at Blue Range Estate.
TGW: Do you offer any kind of chauffeur/transfer services for people imbibing at your vineyard and others in area?
CM: This was one of the reasons why I started my glamping site. So many people would come and enjoy our food and wine and not want to leave / drive home. I now have 10 tents (sleeping 20 people) and Blue Range Estate Villas, which my family runs. I get great satisfaction seeing our guests enjoying the property, especially the sun set from our top deck.
We are the first glamping site on the Mornington Peninsula! It is very much Italian influenced from our first greeting, to the dining experience in our restaurant.
TGW: What are some of the special touches that make your Glamping experience special/spectacular?
CM: We are the first glamping site on the Mornington Peninsula! It is very much Italian influenced from our first greeting to the dining experience in our restaurant. I am someone who loves the creature comforts of home. I wanted to make sure that when people stayed with us they would not have to forego their usual comforts like power to charge phones, pillow top mattresses (some glampers have even said they feel like they are sleeping on a cloud!), boutique coffee and tea and 1000 thread count bed linen.We also have luxe bathroom facilities with Hunter shampoo, conditioner and body soaps.
TGW: It’s a very family focussed operation you have. What are some of the most important lessons you have learned from your parents and grandparents?
CM: To treat people the way you would want to be treated. We are all about family and everyone who comes to our site is treated like family. I have also learned that nothing comes easily.
My grandparents were immigrants from the south of Italy who arrived in Australia with practically nothing. They had a vision to bring the best of their small town to their new home. They lived off the land in Italy and were known for their winemaking skills which had been passed down through generations.

As a young boy I spent my weekends with my Grandpa on the property which had a sense of tranquillity and serenity. He is the person I looked up to most. He passed away in 2011. I remember him always saying that he could see a hotel overlooking the bay at our site. While I haven’t established a hotel, I am sure he would settle for a Glamping site! I think my family’s success has come from being able to use each other for support.

My grandparents were immigrants from Italy. They arrived in Australia with practically nothing. They had a vision to build a life for their family and establish a vineyard. We are all about family and everyone who comes to our site is treated like family.
TGW: Do you tend to attract party people or more those wanting to escape the stresses of the city?
CM: We have created a space for relaxation and couple bonding. We don’t allow group bookings as we want people to relax and escape their busy lives.
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TGW: I saw on your site that you have special rates for students. Can you tell us a bit about what is on offer?
CM: We offer a 10% discount for student who stay 2 nights or more. I am a student and I know how difficult it is to study and have enough money to enjoy a weekend away! We’ve hosted many students.
TGW: People stay in tents, but what amenities are available to them? 
CM: Our bathrooms are in a converted container with a strong focus on luxury. The tiles were imported from my cousin in the South of Italy. The bathrooms are shared.
TGW: Do you have any plans to work with local producers to enhance the offering in tents? 
CM: My Nonna (grandmother) has been working hard growing her own olives which she is putting in jars under oil for me to put in each tent for my glampers. I am hoping i can start putting these out in late January.
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To find out more, head to the Mornington Peninsula Glamping website.

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