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Skybarrel

Clifftop at Hepburn's David Penman has always been close to the cutting-edge. And with some more time at home recently, he’s been working ona luxury hillside home cinema among yurts and domes. Read our interview with David on the latest exciting additions to his luxury accommodation. 

The View: Recent isolation has sent us all a little crazy at times, but we hear you’ve gone fully mad. In a good way. What have you done?!

DP: Well, isolation has given us crazy folk at Clifftop our first holiday in five years. Rather than waste it, we realised a vision.

The View: What’s the vision?

DP: Provide once-in-a-lifetime accommodation experiences.

The View: And so what did you come up with?

DP: Woodstock Glamping. We’ve redefined luxury with some new 10-metre-wide by 5-metre-high yurts and domes. Inside there’s Loui Jover artworks, Tasmanian birds eye blackwood baths, along with some good old copper baths. There’s décor to die, including some bison hides and Beni Ourain rugs on the floor and a Dutch hot-tub outside.

The View: We’re listening. What else?

DP: Glad you asked. A private guest cinema on the cliff’s edge that’s got Nick Scali leather lounges, a clear laser projector and 180-inch screen surrounded by a sound system from the company that sets up pro cinemas all over the world (Krix). 

The View: Well, well. That’s impressive. Why? 

DP: We’re desperate to outdo our last project. We even bought a Polaris all-weather 6-seater to transport guests. Actually, I bought it because it looks really cool and I love toys, but I told my wife, Mani, it was for guests, so I guess I better use it for transfers, eh!

The View: And you’re only five minutes from Hepburn and Daylesford, right?

DP: Yep, if you can drag yourself away from the stunning views, then hop into town for a sumptuous meal from some of the state’s finest restaurants.

The View: We understand you’ve gone all Woodstock funky with the names of your villas?

DP: Of course. There’s the Love Shack, Wild Side, Good Vibrations, Rocket Man, Jailhouse Rock and Bed of Roses. 

The View: Congratulations David, that’s awesome. When do you open?

DP: End of the year. Keep an eye on our social media for updates down the track.

The View: We get the feeling there’s something you’re not telling us. Woodstock Glamping’s not the full story is it?

DP: Nup.

The View: C’mon then…

DP: Clifftop Skybarrels.

The View: Say what?

DP: Skybarrels. They’re luxury dwellings in massive barrels. One of them 16 metres above ground. We’ve snapped up pretty much the best views in Ballarat (literally on the side of Mount Buninyong) and we’re putting the barrels on top of an extinct volcano with an 80-metre vertical drop.

The View: Wow. Please keep talking.

DP: The interiors will leave nothing to be desired. Guests won’t want for much.

The View: Well played. What else do we need to know?

DP: The Clifftop Skybarrels are aptly named Vertigo, Pinnacle, Ravine, Precipice, Spire and Edge. ‘Altitude’ and ‘Horizon’ struck me appropriate names, but I’ve saved those for another secret-squirrel (for now) project.

The View: You’re a force to be reckoned with. What do you need from us?   

DP: Spread the word. And come for a stay yourselves. Doubt you’ll be disappointed. But get in quick.

The View: You’re on. Thanks for your time.

DP: You’re welcome.

So there it is. Extraordinary innovation emerging from coronavirus (COVID-19) isolation