But there is no sound of music. Just the peace and tranquility of NOTHING AT ALL – only the occasional sound of kookaburras and other birds, happy as we are to be living in South Gippsland.
Eighteen months ago, we decided it was time for a tree change. We had sold a business in the city, travelled far and wide, and generally took time out to smell the roses. All we could smell was gum trees.
The opportunity arose to create a life for ourselves in the country. So we took the bull by the horns, bought an old hospital, moved to Loch Village and the rest is history.
When all things “renovating” (i.e converting the building and dealing with all the permits required), overwhelmed and consumed us, we would take the afternoon off and head off to explore the surrounding hills. As we came upon a beautiful spot somewhere in the South Gippsland back roads, we would turn off the car’s engine and just sit and listen – to nothing, or maybe the distant moo of the odd cow. We were happy to get lost driving those endless remote roads of peace and tranquility. We reminded ourselves that this is why we made our tree change.
Even in our little village, the few cars, motorbikes, tractors, and cattle trucks that we do get passing through from time to time, all disappear upon dusk. Most times in Loch village “peak hour” means not one car to be seen in the main street – and that is what we love about the place! Nothing at all.
Sure, we head off to the city to visit friends and family, go to appointments and do the necessary shopping run, but when we turn off onto the South Gippsland Highway and look towards Nyora across the paddocks with dams and beautiful forests of gum trees, we breathe a sigh of relief – we relax and we are almost home.
Home to nothing at all.
The first 6 reasons were recently published in The Sydney Morning Herald.
The 7th reason is that there is great accommodation for groups of up to 18 at The Old Hospital in Loch.
We have had a stellar start up to our first year of guests choosing to stay with us. We have now taken bookings up until May 2019 – mostly from guests who rebook before they leave us. Our very first booking was taken way back in September 2017, when several of the group members came to visit us. We were in full throes of renovation, so the place was not looking it’s best. The group of wonderful ladies could share our vision and enthusiasm and finally came to stay with us a few weeks ago. They were delighted with the end results – thank you Rhonda and friends for your support.
In the summer months the entire building is cooled by fans and air conditioners. In the depths of winter our accommodation is warm and cosy, heated by a wonderfull hydronic system and backed up by reverse cycle split systems.
Some guests have chosen to self cater, but many have taken up the option of our catering service provided by Not Just Tarts. The food is gourmet standard and the choices are endless. The cost of our catering compares with less than the cost of a pub meal and is extremely good value. They are happy to offer full catering, where guests are waited on and don’t have to worry about the clean up. Alternatively, they now offer a “Heat & Serve” option, where food is freshly prepared on our premises prior to guests arrival and is left in the fridge with full instructions for guests to reheat when they are hungry.
Our guests wander down to the cafes and shops in the town several times during their stay with us. This benefits our local traders and encourages others to visit and stay awhile.
The Old Hospital offers free wifi throughout our large building, which guests have the exclusive use of.
For an extensive Heat & Serve PDF menu, visit our website
Is this how you want to be remembered?
Do you want to escape all the hype of the Grand Final weekend?
Are you going to be deserted by your partner?
Would you prefer peace and tranquility?
The Old Hospital together with Not Just Tarts, is offering a special “Footy Avoidance” weekend for those wanting to escape it all on the AFL Grand Final Weekend.
We are offering a Gourmet Getaway Package, so you can escape, relax and ponder your non-footy thoughts with a few fellow escapees and a glass of wine.
You will enjoy two nights of warm and comfortable en suite accommodation at The Old Hospital, which your group will have exclusive use of. Our fabulous catering team at Not Just Tarts will supply an extensive menu for your groups selection. Your gourmet choices will consist of 2 breakfasts, 1 lunch and 2 dinners, with complimentary desserts and sides. These will be freshly prepared for you just prior to your arrival and ready with full “Heat and Serve” instructions.
We are pleased to offer this great value all inclusive price of $249 per person (twin share).
If you wish to have a room to yourself, please add an extra $44 per person.
This offer is only available to one group of 6 to 18 adults (18 years and over) for the 28th to 30th September 2018.
Contact us on 9597 0137 to book your “Footy Avoidance” weekend.
P.S We do have a TV if you want to check the footy scores!
Guests at The Old Hospital have been leaving some lovely Reviews, such as this recent one on TripAdvisor.
“Our group of 9 girls were delighted to have our own rooms, each with ensuite bathroom, and the beds were extremely comfortable. Showers and heating were also great. Sleeping areas are in a separate wing – so no chance of being disturbed by others. Lots of lovely spaces: including sun lounge, BBQ area, large deck, large sitting and dining area.
Extroadinarily well-equipped kitchen, with everything you could possibly need and lots of extras supplied, such as kitchen towel, cling wrap, sugar, tea etc. We even found a wide variety of cheese knives/cutters for our cheese platters.
The views of the rolling countryside from the lounge and dining room windows are very pleasant. The owners Michelle and Peter were very welcoming and pleasant. They were also very responsive and helpful whenever we had any questions or needed help.”
Thanks Anne and your book group friends.
Last month saw the arrival of Royalty at The Old Hospital.
The “Regal Rubies” bestowed a visit upon us for the weekend.
This group of energetic ladies are a division of the Red Hats – a ladies social group that has world wide affiliation and has gathered enormous momentum across the globe.
The “Rubies” were gems to host and dazzled us with their energy and enthusiasm for just having a good time. Each day they were off visiting local gardens, friends in the area and food & wine producers for a taste of what South Gippsland has to offer.
The Rubies were fit and active ladies of middle age and beyond – the most senior member of the Rubies was a tap dancing nonagenarian – just as elegant as Queen Elizabeth herself, but with a lot more fun and laughs than would be found beyond the walls at Windsor Castle.
In keeping with Royal protocol, they had invited four VIP guests to dine with them on the Saturday evening. The lucky VIP guests were two locals who were friends of the Rubies, and Peter and Michelle, the Rubies fortunate hosts for the weekend.
All guests were wined and dined on beautifully Royally red tablecloths, fine bone china, silver cutlery, and crystal glassware.Actually, I embellished that bit – we had red nylon tablecloths, everyday china, cutlery and glassware was the order of the evening, but we felt very special.
Our brains were then put to the test with a cryptic quiz – Michelle scored top points and won the major prize of two mini Easter eggs and the glory of being the first place winner.
We had the most enjoyable evening being invited as the groups guests, and served a delicious meal, in our own surrounds.
Thanks to the Regal Rubies for delightful company – we will be rolling out the red carpet for their next visit!
The Old Hospital has just opened the booking calendar for 2019 and bookings are starting to come in so if your group is thinking of a getaway in 2019 please book early to avoid disappointment.
Recently The Old Hospital hosted their first Corporate Group Retreat. Here’s what they had to say about us on TripAdvisor…
“Great space, perfect for our needs. We ran our not-for-profit leadership retreat at The Old Hospital over 3 days/2 nights with 18 attendees. From our first contact to leaving on the last day, Peter was incredibly accommodating, easy to work with, and quick to respond to our many questions and changes in our requirements.
The space itself was fantastic for our needs. Our 3 days were packed with activities, and having multiple spaces to use helped break up the day and allow for multiple sessions to run comfortably at the same time (the garden and deck particularly were wonderful for our meet and greets and to get us energised in the mornings).
We were so impressed with the catering who responded to all our dietary requirements (something which can be hard with a big group!), and when we cooked our own meals, the kitchen was well equipped, although some labels on cupboards would be a good addition!
The leftovers from the hospital like the call buttons were a nice touch, and it was fun to stay somewhere with a bit of character.
We had fantastic feedback on the property from our attendees, including on the location of Loch, and we wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to similar groups.”
Our first corporate group were able to to utilise the many features The Old Hospital has to offer, such as the quiet garden setting for some meditation time, the break out spaces for one on one meetings and the large dining room where they enjoyed some excellent meals provided by our caterers.
The Old Hospital is pleased to have secured the services of our exclusive in house catering team, “Not Just Tarts”. They have many combined years of food industry experience and produce high quality, delicious cuisine at extremely reasonable prices. They are able to cater for dietary requirements, including vegetarian and vegan dishes.
The conference room comfortably accommodated the group of 18 and our facilities were well utilised – our projector and screen, whiteboard and large pin board for showcasing ideas were beneficial for their group activities.
Our inviting ensuite bedrooms provided respite from the “work” areas. At the end of the day, the participants could take a little time out from work, unwind with a hot shower and relax on our inviting plush top mattresses and allergy free quilts, before joining the rest of the group on the deck for evening drinks before dinner.
The 2018 calendar is filling up rapidly, so please visit our online booking partner to make a booking.
We have had strong interest from the crafting community, who are enjoying all The Old Hospital (TOH) has to offer for their craft retreats.
When we first embarked on our renovation project, we anticipated the most interest from the cycling community. It wasn’t until a colleague mentioned that she was a quilter and loved heading off on a craft “retreat” for a few days, that we realised TOH was the ideal place for these groups to gather, relax and allow their creativity to run wild.
Our 8.5m x 6.5m activities room was calling out to us to welcome these groups. We asked the craft community what equipment they liked to have ready for their arrival. Even though a lot of crafters are mostly self sufficient, we wanted to offer a few gadgets to lighten their load when packing the car to head away. Comfortable chairs, lamps, ample light and lots of power outlets and power boards were top priority. We bought chairs with well padded backs and seats, as our crafters spend a lot of time sitting at their sewing machines. We even bought a couple of lumbar supports for those with a “niggle” here and there.
Our adjustable lamps have heavy bases for safety and daylight globes to make their projects a little brighter at anytime of the day (our last craft group were sewing away late at night). We had 11 sewing machines whirring away, lamps all ablaze, 2 irons pressing projects all at once and our commercial electrical switchboard was not fazed.
Having once, twice, three times been a busy commercial hub, TOH’s power supply rises to the challenge of coping with whatever we throw at it. Our onsite managers test& tag all the electrical appliances, giving our crafters peace of mind that all is safe when the demand for power is increased.
Our 4 big scrap bins soon filled with the unwanted remains of our crafters masterpieces. Our new, well lit cutting table & mat was placed looking into our glorious sunroom and across the surrounding hills of Loch.
Our crafters were pleased to abandon their creations temporarily and leave everything set up, so they could gather for a drink on the deck and share a meal in our dining area, which is connected to the kitchen by a big servery window. Even the designated cooks could join in the conversation. It was lovely to hear them happily chatting & laughing – clearly they were enjoying themselves! We know this because they have booked to return in November. We loved having the ladies, with their great sense of humour, stay at TOH and look forward to seeing them again. Thank you to Heather and friends….
We were thrilled to receive such warm and genuine responses from you all.
Peter and Michelle have enjoyed listening to the laughter and chatter as everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves at The Old Hospital. It’s lovely also for them to chat to guests as they settle in and provide information on spots they wish to visit in the surrounding areas. Peter (“Mr Google Maps”) furnished one lady with directions to head to the Kongwak market via the scenic back road route.
Guests are sleeping soundly on our Plush Pillowtop Back Care mattresses. One lady with a few back “niggles” has taken away the manufacturers details and is considering one for her home! Our microfibre allergy free quilts have been personally road tested by the owners, who bought one for themselves along with the guests quilts. They easily passed the test of a chilly Gippsland winter – one of the coldest last year for many years.
Another guest spotted our 6 burner barbecue as soon as he saw our outdoor deck. He took charge as head chef to his group. Even on the second night when the others headed to a local pub for dinner, he chose to stay in with the remaining few and rose to the challenge of barbecue king again.
The guests have been utilising our substantial library and games area – and we are told the card games got quite competitive on the Meet Up groups first night in!
So again we say thank you for your continued support, as all groups intend to return to us – an endorsement that makes it all worthwhile.
Well here we are in 2018 – it’s going to be an exciting year for us, as our groups have booked with us to take advantage of the best of the summer weather.
We have had strong interest from the crafting community, as we have a large, well lit dedicated craft room, complete with lamps, plenty of extension cords and power points, 2 cutting tables, a cutting mat & steel ruler. We also have a large pinboard where our crafters love to display their works of art. The room also houses large scrap bins, irons with filtered water supplied, (so the quilts are never ruined by those ugly brown water stains from the irons), ironing boards, a small fridge in our tea & coffee nook and all provisions for drinks throughout the days activities. We have fan cooling, but we have just installed a large reverse cycle air conditioner, as well as central heating. This keeps our groups comfortable without blowing their assorted papers and fabrics all over the room!
March has only the Easter weekend available and after this morning’s enquiry from a cycling group, April is filling fast.
The cooler months continue to book up, as we have reverse cycle air conditioners in all rooms and hydronic heating in all rooms, ensuites, corridors and common areas, making The Old Hospital an ideal cosy winter retreat.
Our north facing sunroom is always about 5 degrees warmer, as it soaks up the winter sun’s rays through our large glass windows. These are shaded by outdoor awnings and blinds on warmer days. It’s a perfect place to relax with a glass of wine and read a book, or chat with friends.
We have a quiet reflection area at the end of the corridor where guests can relax, do some hand sewing or embroidery, read, or take a call on their mobile in privacy.
Our large lounge area welcomes guests to sit and enjoy the views of the surrounding hills.
We hope to see your group at The Old Hospital in 2018.
We have just had our official opening, welcoming local business owners and neighbours to come and have a look through the building and gardens we have painstakingly transformed in the past year. They have all been so supportive of us. Our beautiful north facing deck was completed just in time for the grand opening.
It has been a 10 month process of clearing out the old concrete ramping and wildly overgrown garden and pond, as well as applying for our three permits that finally allowed us to begin the construction of our beautiful new area.
Our carpenter was ready to begin the moment the permits were issued. He, his apprentice and Peter all contributed to the inaugural “throwing of the sledgehammer” to break up 3 square metres of concrete. It was back breaking work – needless to say the younger tradies recovered quicker than Peter did!
The broken concrete was barrowed into several trailer loads, then into landfill and the framework construction began the next day. It was exciting to see our vision for this area finally come to life, after 12 months of staring at overgrown mess.
Once the foundation framework was finished and the building inspector satisfied, the posts went up and the boards were bolted down. Our new deck began to look amazing already.
The carpenter named it the “Loch Deck Monster”, as it had now tripled in size.
The tension wire railing was attached and finally the safety hand rail was in place. A few weeks later the boards were acid washed and then oiled – it was like putting the icing on the cake.
We couldn’t wait to begin the landscaping, so off we went to the nursery and returned with a tree or six. The garden beds were laid out, the trees planted, mulched and watered in. We added a few shrubs that Michelle had propagated last April and it all looked fantastic! We will wait until the weather cools a bit before we complete the planting of the garden beds. We also bought a couple of large concrete planter boxes for our new mandarin and lime trees, which now have pride of place at the far end behind the decking area. Then in went some solar path lights to safely guide down from the decking to the back yard at night.
Next to come were some timber tables and seats to complement our lovely new timber boards. Add in a few umbrellas that can be tilted to shade as the sun moves across the yard.
Our views from our new deck are just beautiful – the undulating hills of South Gippsland, the cows & surrounding farms and our emerging gardens and vegie patches.
To complement our lovely new area, we have installed a large 6 burner barbeque that is sheltered from the weather, so it can be used all year round. Our gas patio heater will keep the cook warm when the nights become a little chillier.
We are thrilled with the transformation of what was once an overgrown, ugly area into our beautiful new outdoor area that will be much used.
The Old Hospital, Loch, situated in South Gippsland, is an ideal group accommodation getaway for 6 – 18 adults.