What Would They Know? April Warren of Mansion Hotel & Spa

by | Venue Wisdom, What Would They Know?, Wisdom


Ms Floral

Today we dive into the historic world of the stunning Mansion Hotel & Spa. This grand, Palladian-inspired property is nestled on 10 acres of rolling parklands and features impeccable gardens laced with sculptural art-pieces and landmarks. As you can imagine, the photography backdrops are absolutely breathtaking. The service the Mansion Hotel & Spa team provides is exceptional too. April Warren, the venue’s wedding and events manager, takes us through all the ceremony and reception options available to bridal couples, and reveals why guests adore attending weddings here (hint: it might just have something to do with the luxurious accommodation and exquisite menu).

What draws people to your venue, particularly for weddings?
The captivating charm of the formal English gardens and the majestic Historic Mansion is like nothing else. This enchanting atmosphere and our diverse venue options truly make Mansion Hotel & Spa a one-of-a-kind wedding destination.

Can you tell us a bit about your ceremony spaces?
We have six garden ceremony locations, including the popular State Rose Garden and gazebo. With 10 acres of formal gardens our couples are wed amongst blooming flowerbeds, leafy heritage trees with the grandeur of the 1870s built Italianate Mansion as a breathtaking backdrop.

The Parterre, our most popular ceremony location, offers a dramatic 180 degree view of the Historic Mansion amongst a vibrant and ever changing flower display.

For a more intimate location to exchange vows, Silky Oak is nestled among established greenery with the Historic Mansion peeking through the tall trees beyond.

Images: Lost in Love Photography

Where are some good spots at your venue for couples to have their photos taken?
The grand lawn shows off the Historic Mansion in all its magnificence and the vibrant green lawn provides a stunning contrast to the golden sandstone.

Photography within the Historic Mansion brings to life its legacy. Completely restored with original furnishings, its historic interiors are vibrant and rich.

What’s your favourite spot?
My favourite photography site is the Greenhouse. Recently refurbished, the checkerboard tiled floors and lush green surrounds offer couples an intimate setting to capture their first moments together as husband and wife.

You offer a luxurious bridal suite. What can bridal parties expect to find in there?
Our couples are offered junior suites for the night of their wedding. With heavenly king-sized beds, a pillow menu, private balcony, smart TV, and ensuite complete with spa bath and luxurious amenities, it’s the perfect place to relax and reflect after the celebrations are over.

Image: T-one Image

You have three reception venues – The Theatre, The Pavilion and The Marquee. What does each space offer?
The Theatre – Purpose built in 1922 for use of the seminary that formerly occupied the building, it still holds its historic charm. Frequently chosen by our couples, the Theatre hosts up to 140 guests and includes a built-in dance floor, stage, excellent acoustics, high ceilings and tall arched windows. Four tall French doors flow out into a private lawn area.

The Pavilion – Overlooking an expansive polo field with floor-to-ceiling windows this modern building connects an indoor space to the outdoor lawn with timber decking. With the ability to host a celebration under the stars, the Pavilion’s lawn is a stunning setting in which to dance the night away.

The Marquee – With think flowing fabrics, chandeliers and timber floors. the Marquee offers an elegant celebration space and seats up to 280 guests. Open sides offer the option of an alfresco area with bar tables and strung with festoon lighting.

What’s the most popular space?
Both the Marquee and the Pavilion this season have been most popular; the Marquee as its able to host a larger guest list and the Pavilion for having the advantage of an outdoor space.

Image: Sigrid Petersen Photography

What’s been your favourite wedding held there in the last 12 months? What kind of set up did it have?
Earlier in the year, we had the honour of hosting a beautiful couple who created an unforgettable celebration. They exchanged vows at Silky Oak and the festivities continued at the Pavilion.

Guests mingled, enjoying pre-dinner drinks and canapés on the Pavilion lawn as the sun set on a spectacular February evening.  Simply styled with festoon lighting over the outdoor dance floor, the couple had a Cigar Bar which added a personal touch.

Inside was styled with Tiffany chairs, gold charger plates and tall floral centre pieces to match. Greenery with shades of pink blooms perfectly complimented the gold theme. The attention to detail and thoughtfulness of the pair shined throughout the day.

What décor ideas have you seen lately that other couples might like to consider?
Festoon lighting and floral chandeliers have been the showstoppers this season.

Particularly for the Pavilion, festoon lighting over an outdoor dance floor creates a magical space to enjoy warm evenings.

Festoon lighting set up between the trees at the Theatre allows guests to take in the historic features of our storied setting.

Floral chandeliers add an instant wow-factor to any space. These have become increasingly popular in the Marquee – as soon as these pieces are installed the room does not require any further enhancements. Floral chandeliers and minimal styling combined showcases the space’s elegance.

Image: Sigrid Petersen Photography

Tell us about the food and drinks…
Revered chef David Green (ex-Lakehouse Daylesford) is executive chef across all property dining. Adopting philosophies from his training at One, Two and Three Michelin starred restaurants in Europe, Green aims to continue the traditions of grand European hotels at Mansion Hotel & Spa – such as the use of game and wild foods, making fresh in-house produce, bread making, pickling, bottling and preserving.

Prior to David Green’s success overseeing a new direction for The Dining Room at Lancemore Lindenderry Red Hill,  he spent the last thirteen years at Lake House Daylesford awarded Two Hats under his helm and working in Europe at One, Two and Three Michelin starred restaurants, including the hotels and restaurants of the Roux brothers, Albert and Michael, who held Two and three Michelin stars between them.

Image: Sigrid Petersen Photography

What about your guest rooms? Have many guests can you accommodate?
Mansion Hotel & Spa has 91 boutique accommodation rooms.  We have three room types to choose from, these being our Heritage Rooms, Superior Rooms and Junior Suites. Our accommodation rooms mostly host 2 adults, with family options available.

What other facilities do you have that bridal couples and wedding guests will enjoy?
All of our overnight guests can make use of our 17-metre indoor heated pool, gym and steam rooms. They can also enjoy the formal gardens or tour the Historic Mansion.  It is possible to entertain in Joseph’s Restaurant & Bar or in the Library, Veranda or Snooker Room.

The Spa, located is the perfect place to pamper before the big day, or relax and reflect afterwards. Using Payot Paris products, enjoy a heavenly massage, revitalising facial, or an indulgent full body treatment.

Does your team offer planning and styling services or do you work with specific suppliers?
No we do not, but, here at Mansion Hotel & Spa, we provide dedicated wedding venue coordinators that liaise directly with suppliers of your choice.

So couples use their own suppliers?
Absolutely! We work with our couples to create the wedding they always imagined. We coordinate with the couple’s suppliers and oversee smooth operation on the big day.

When booking a wedding at Mansion Hotel & Spa, does the couple liaise with the same wedding planner throughout the whole wedding journey?
Wedding venue coordinators introduce themselves to their couple 6 months prior to the wedding day – before the six month countdown, our weddings team is available for any support the couple may need.

What are the top three best things about working at Mansion Hotel & Spa?
In no particular order…

Location: Driving up the driveway to work each morning is like travelling to a fairy-tale place. The scenery is unmatched with the Mansion Hotel & Spa’s Clock Tower peeking through the huge trees. Being able to spot the resident giraffes of the Werribee Open Range Zoo from the car never gets old!

Opportunity: The Mansion Hotel & Spa is part of The Lancemore Group, a family owned boutique hotel company. There is opportunity to grow in my career, work alongside experienced individuals in a supportive environment and to expand my industry knowledge.

Colleagues: I am really lucky to work along side a team of motivated, supportive, experienced and hilarious people. Our team really do make the environment at Mansion Hotel & Spa individual – this extends across all departments.

Image: Sigrid Petersen Photography

A huge thank you to April for inviting us into the Mansion Hotel & Spa world and telling us all about this fabulous venue. What a special place to get married. To find out more about this venue, head on over to the Mansion Hotel & Spa website or check them out on the Polka Dot Directory!


Image in banner: Luke Middlemiss Photography


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