Collene and Phil realised that the important things in life were family, friends, love and shared experiences so they set out to achieve their dream of owning their very own piece of paradise in their beloved Daylesford.
Collene and Phil have been visiting Daylesford (very) regularly for over 20 years, so much so that they are often described as Daylesford’s #1 fans by their friends!
For them, there is just something so beautiful about the town and surrounds. From its European history, the mineral springs, inspiring architecture and design to the incredible produce, unique restaurants, wineries, and eclectic and endlessly interesting people.
Over the years they visited under the guise of ‘market research’ staying at many of the beautiful houses on the Dayget portfolio. Having a place of their own was always on their wish list.
However, they had to put these ideas on hold, when in November 2011 at 15 months of age, their son Van was diagnosed with MECP2 duplication syndrome. There was so little information about this disorder at the time that even the medical team who gave the diagnosis had not heard of it. Getting a diagnosis was a struggle. From that point, Colleen and Phil vowed to raise awareness of MECP2 duplication syndrome and fund research so that a cure may be found establishing the Van Wright Foundation, a not-for-profit charity in March 2012.
With their son battling this severe disease, running the charity, as well as juggling work, they increasingly felt the yearning to invest in the important things in life – family, friends, love, time and experience. So it was in early 2018 when they decided to have a quick peek at the Daylesford property market.
St Remy was the first house they looked at and within weeks had purchased it. For a house that was relocated from Glen Huntly in 2004, it was hard to believe that it wasn’t purpose-built for the block. For them, it was the extensive windows that capture so many vistas and garden aspects that they fell instantly in love with.
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Finally we had a place fitting of our many treasured pieces and curios collected over decades! We spent the rest of the year renovating and landscaping to complete our vision. We knew it would be a big job and it was even bigger than we initially thought, with almost everything needing to be replaced and or added. But determined not to let it beat us, we persisted, driving up from Melbourne with the kids every weekend, even in winter before the ducted heating was installed. We ended up doing more than we had originally planned, and loved seeing the house transform into our long imagined Daylesford dream”.
Situated between Daylesford and Hepburn, St Remy is an easy 1km stroll into Daylesford township and 1.8km walk in the opposite direction to the Hepburn General Store and a little further to the Hepburn Springs Bathhouse & Spa. St Remy is perched halfway down the side of a hill that meets Doctors Gully. With its 360-degree access around the house, St Remy is a wonderful place to either follow or hide from the sun as it makes its way around the property through the course of the day.
Mornings offer beautiful light through the lounge room and kitchen. Sunrays drench the deck in winter, whilst in summer you can wander around the grounds and take in the big sky and spectacular sunsets looking out over the gully and beyond.
For us St Remy is an expression of who we are, our hopes, our dreams our heart. We hope guests feel the love that has gone into making St Remy a dreamy getaway and that they feel at home when they are there. A place where time is spent with loved ones, relaxing, laughing, sharing, rejuvenating and where just ‘being’ feels like a healing tonic”.