Luxury Hotels South Australia
Think indulgence, fine cuisine and vineyards and the name, The Louise, springs to mind. Located in the heart of the Barossa Valley, Australia’s most productive wine region, this flawless boutique property provides the ideal country escape. Set on a small hill, The Louise is one of Australia’s most celebrated country house hotels with a stella reputation for its cuisine and accommodation. Guest suites are sumptuously appointed with king-sized beds, open fires, spa baths and fully-stocked mini bars. The hotel dining room, Appellation, attracts foodies from around the globe. The Louise offers a choice of excursions, such as private wine tastings, cooking classes and local tours. Don’t miss the exclusive, early morning “Breakfast with the Kangaroos” experience, which takes place in a nearby conservation park from October to May, and includes delicious gourmet food (A$160 per person).
Thorn Park by the Vines
Calling Thorn Park By the Vines a b & b would be doing it a great disservice. Owners, David Hay and Michael Speers have created a magnificent country escape surrounded by tall gum trees and rolling vineyards. The property contains just three luxurious suites, but guests have the use of a library, sitting room and generous outdoor terrace. All three suites are decorated with antiques, paintings and rugs. David is a talented chef and dinner packages are available on request. The house is handy for several wineries, including Sevenhill and Skillogolee. The ever-popular Riesling Cycle Trail is nearby – it’s a wonderful experience and shouldn’t be missed. There are sister Thorn Park properties in the city and on Kangaroo Island.
Southern Ocean Lodge
This spectacular cliff-top property changed the accommodation landscape when it first opened and still defines wilderness glamour in Australia. Not only is this curved piece of modernist architecture impressive, Southern Ocean Lodge manages to provide world-class hospitality despite its splendid isolation. The property offers 21 immaculate suites – all of them with stunning ocean views, limestone floors and private outdoor terraces. Pick of the bunch is the Osprey Pavilion. There are modest discounts if you stay for three nights or more. The in-house dining experience here is equally impressive, with world-class cuisine and an extensive wine list. The lodge has a professional tour desk for those who want to explore the island and see its rich local fauna which includes sea lions, dolphins, koalas, wallabies and, of course, kangaroos.
The Vineyard Retreat
The Vineyard Retreat is located on a small working vineyard at the northern end of McLaren Vale. The property consists of four purpose-built guest houses – each enjoying pleasant vineyard and valley views. The Strand is the smallest of the four but offers a comfortable bedroom with ensuite bathroom, lounge and a galley kitchen. Interiors are fresh and contemporary, with good quality beds, sofas and well-chosen pieces of furniture, pictures and ornaments. The Strand has recently undergone a refurbishment, but couples needing more space should probably book The Ardmore. Families should reserve The Manhattan, the largest.
Fire Station Inn
The city’s most eccentric accommodation option is housed in a 19th-century fire station in North Adelaide. The property offers three self-contained suites, but most people will be drawn to the ground floor option which offers you a 1942 fire engine at the end of your bed. The Fire Engine Spa Suite offers a king-sized bed, spa bathroom, underfloor heating and plenty of memorabilia (from A$285 per night). The suite is ideal for a couple, but could accommodate children on a double sofa bed. I’d opt for the Residency Penthouse Apartment with its balconies and log fire. The fire station is just five minutes’ walk from the shops, cafes and pubs along O’Connell Street. Adelaide Oval and the Entertainment precinct are both nearby.
Hilton Adelaide Hotel
Adelaide’s oldest five-star hotel still seems fresh and modern. All of the rooms were refurbished seven years ago. A new cocktail lounge, The Collins Bar, opened in 2013. The hotel offers a wide range of room types, from standard guest rooms to glamorous suites. Interiors are handsome, with sober colour schemes and comfortable sofas and chairs. Rooms are equipped with new LCD televisions, high speed Internet and desks. All of the rooms have sweeping views of the city or the Adelaide Hills, but the corner suites deliver that “Master of the Universe” rush. Everything is literally on the doorstep, including Victoria Square, Central Markets and the main restaurant belt of Gouger Street.
Read the full review: Hilton Adelaide Hotel
Overlooking the Torrens and the Adelaide Oval, the 367-room InterContinental is the city’s grand dame of five-star hotels. Over the years it has hosted many celebrities, but this 80s style hotel is showing its age and will undergo a revamp at the end of 2014. For now, the property offers good value for money and a dress circle address. North Terrace is Adelaide’s grandest boulevard and home to imposing civic buildings, parks and the University of Adelaide. The InterContinental adjoins the entertainment precinct on the banks of the Torrens. Book a river-facing room and upgrade to a suite or executive room if budget allows.
Read the full review: InterContinental Adelaide
Sticky Rice Villas
These three Asian-style villas are part of a cooking school in the Adelaide Hills. While most people are here for one of the cooking classes, you could also use Sticky Rice as a base to explore the hills region and its 50 wineries. Each of the three villas is sumptuously equipped with a gourmet kitchen, leather sofas, plunge baths and screened courtyards. The tariff includes a large breakfast food hamper with eggs, milk, bread and other supplies. Although these villas can be rented on a b&b basis, the Short Cook and Stay Package (which includes one night’s b&b and a cooking class for two) is great value at A$610. The property is five minutes from the township of Stirling.
Mount Lofty House
In the Victorian era, Adelaide’s well-heeled elite escaped from the heat by retreating to the cool of the nearby hills. You can recapture that era by staying at Mount Lofty House for a few days. Just 20 minutes from the city, this grand heritage property offers panoramic views, a good range of guest rooms and a chance to do some wine tasting at the nearby vineyards. In addition to the 39 rooms and suites in the main building, the property also has a small range of self-contained cottages; ideal if you are planning a longer stay. The in-house Piccadilly restaurant has an excellent reputation, so make sure you book in for the seven-course degustation dinner (A$119) and really drink in the views.
Adina Apartment Hotel
The Adina Apartment Hotel occupies a magnificent building (originally the offices for the State Treasury) overlooking Victoria Square in the heart of Adelaide. Many of the original features, including the State Cabinet Room, has been retained and a number of new facilities, such as a lap pool, spa and gymnasium have been added. The property offers a wide range of studios and apartments and the service is warm, efficient and professional. Thanks to its boutique size – just 79 rooms – the Adina has always felt more intimate than its larger and more modern counterparts. All rooms are equipped with galley-style kitchens, mini bars, desks and flat-screen televisions. If you can afford it, book a premier grand apartment overlooking Victoria Square (from A$215 per night).