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Before we set up temporary home at Sovereign Park, we checked out what the online world had to say about the place. It seemed to be one happy customer after the other, all commenting about similar plusses like the super friendly staff, the proximity to town, the Red Lion pub and bistro right next door, the list goes on...
Sovereign Park Motor Inn
223 Main Road, Ballarat
Sovereign Park Motor Inn is run by Tim, a member of the local Ballarat and Sebastapol Cycling Club. We called Tim a week or so out from our arrival and quizzed him about rides in the area. We also got him and his staff doing a little bit of booking ballet as our room configurations kept changing. Nothing was too much to ask and every time contact was made Tim just went over and above. He even came out riding with us on one of the days (and it became quickly evident that Tim is a very tidy cyclist).
But once we settled in we soon realised all the other features that make this place such a top base for cyclists. In no particular order, here are our winning reasons as to why you will want to get in quick and book Sovereign Park when you come to the Australian Road Nationals, or plan a riding adventure any other weekend of the year.
1. Keep it clean – there’s a washing machine
The worst thing about a cycling holiday is having to hand wash your kit and then hang it in weird spots around a cramped room. Not so here. There’s not only a washing machine, there is also a dryer, washing powder and a washing line in the bathroom. Not only did this save my kit bacon, but it meant I didn’t go home to multiple loads of feral, smelly, dirty washing. There’s no bigger holiday kill-joy.
2. Spa in your room
OK so spas are not in every room, but if you book a deluxe one you will indeed have your own generously sized spa and spacious shower area. That’s a big plus for tired bodies that just need to soak and relax after a serious session in the saddle.
3. Bikes in your room
Don’t worry about worrying about your bikes overnight. Get them off the car roof rack and into your room, where there is no trouble whatsoever in storing them. Peace. Of. Mind.
The mattresses were firm, which I think is a necessity for cyclists. None of this lumpy, super soft or aging mattress sensation here. On the contrary, the mattress combined with the black-out blinds and the total peace and quiet of our surrounds meant I actually have not slept better in months than I did here. The alarm clock actually woke me up – that never happens. Actually, our camera woman totally slept through her alarm on the first morning. We almost had to break into her room we were starting to get so worried that she wouldn’t come to the door. She was super sound asleep the whole time. Enough said.
5. Bike wash area
Yep – the Sovereign even has a communal bike washing and maintenance area. They talk the talk here!
See also: Top Picks for Hungry Cyclists
6. Location, location
So you’re less than five minutes’ ride from the town’s centre, about ten minutes’ ride – not even – to Lake Wendouree on the other side of town, and 10km to Buninyong. The latter of course is a major plus if you’re planning to come to town for Road Nats.
7. Indoor pool, sauna, gym, tennis court and more
If you’re cross training or you just want some recovery, the indoor rec area will look after you.