February 13, 2023
8 mins Read
Visitors to Australia’s most beautiful wine region are spoilt for choice with wineries catering to every imaginable taste and enough breweries, distilleries and fine dining restaurants to keep even the most discerning consumer occupied for weeks. And it’s no surprise that McLaren Vale’s accommodation options are equally diverse.
Whether you want to splurge on a luxury retreat just metres from the beach, lie back and be pampered at a cosy bed and breakfast or check into a good value motel for a budget break, you’ll find plenty of great spots to rest your head. And when you wake up in the morning, you’ll find everything you need right on your doorstep in this compact region.
Opulent reds, mindblowing degustations and sumptuous stays; McLaren Vale knows how to do luxury right.
Clean mid-century design meets the laidback vibe of an Aussie beach shack at this immaculately appointed hideaway that incorporates Japanese, Indian and Scandinavian elements. A flourishing garden and well-appointed kitchen make it tempting to spend an entire weekend in, but if you somehow tire of switching between a king bed draped with French flax linens and the wraparound deck, you can stretch your legs on a short stroll to gorgeous Port Willunga beach.
You don’t even need to close the doors to shut out the rest of the world at these two off-grid cabins. Flanked by vineyards on three sides (and a seldom-used dirt road on the other), the property is an oasis of calm and the only neighbours you’re likely to see are sheep grazing between the vines and native birds and microbats that have made their homes in nearby trees.
That makes it the perfect place to switch off and unwind for a few days – simply soak up the tranquil atmosphere in the outdoor tub or enjoy the views from the glass-fronted sauna, crack open a bottle of sparkling and sink back into the outrageously comfortable bed.
The best way to avoid arguments over who’s going to be the designated driver is to make sure you can walk home from your last stop. Fortunately, it’s just a short stroll from this winery’s modern tasting pavilion (which also offers beer and spirits flights) to the 15 luxury suites filled with local artworks.
Book one of the Grand Reserve suites and you’ll also get a private plunge pool on a deck that looks up to a hilltop brewery and restaurant, and if you don’t feel like walking all the way up you can always get room service delivered.
Whether you need to hire out the whole venue for a family reunion or a single room for a romantic weekend, these comfortable options won’t break the bank.
A peaceful onsite lake, enormous lawns and centuries-old gum trees shading the vines make this welcoming winery a popular wedding venue. The 30 rooms include a number of family rooms with a king and two singles, as well as several self-contained units and roomy spa suites. And because it’s located on the edge of McLaren Vale township, you’ll find dozens of wineries, restaurants and bars within a five-minute drive.
Situated opposite the McLaren Vale and Fleurieu Coast Visitor Centre, this spot is the most centrally located accommodation in McLaren Vale and the well-connected staff are almost as knowledgeable as the experts across the road when it comes to recommending local activities. There are a number of drinking and dining options within easy walking distance, and the 44 ground-level rooms include five two-bedroom units as well as several family rooms and studio apartments.
Your one-stop shop for the most Insta-friendly accommodation in McLaren Vale.
One of McLaren Vale’s great drawcards is its proximity to both beach and wineries, and this modernist beach house lets you experience the best of both worlds.
It’s so close to Aldinga Beach that you could throw a line in from the balcony, but just a couple of minutes’ drive from the heart of the Vale.
The four large bedrooms are perfect for group getaways and the airy open living area and roomy balcony make hosting dinner parties a breeze, while the heated magnesium pool is a drawcard year round.
If you’ve ever dreamed of spending a few days in a log cabin, this charming spot filled with timber both inside and out is for you. Simply pop Folklore on repeat and check out the two upper-floor bedrooms that open out onto a deck overlooking the surrounding vineyards (there’s even a telescope if you want to look further afield).
Friendly owners Nicholas and Amanda can help you plan the perfect weekend itinerary, and if you ask nicely you might even get a personal bike tour of the region.
A soothing neutral colour scheme and warm limestone walls give this renovated two-bedroom cottage a relaxed atmosphere and make it feel like a secluded hideaway, despite the fact that McLaren Vale’s main street is just a few minutes away.
There’s plenty of space for entertaining in the open living area and spacious kitchen filled with timber surfaces, while the outdoor fire pit with redwood benches is the perfect spot to enjoy a glass of red after dinner.
For when you want a truly intimate weekend away.
Nestled in the shadow of the Mount Lofty Ranges, these delightful cottages have been built with a light touch to emphasise the natural beauty nearby. All three cottages are furnished with a mix of upcycled antiques and fittings built from found timber, and reusable containers for toiletries and provisions help to eliminate single-use plastic (the generous breakfast hamper includes organic jam made from the onsite orchard).
But perhaps the biggest drawcard is its proximity to local wineries – you can walk to three cellar doors within 500 metres, and several longer trails connect additional wineries and restaurants into an all-day itinerary.
There’s no shortage of green spaces to disappear into at this cute little cottage surrounded by well-tended gardens, and if you want to venture further afield you’ll find plenty of spots to walk, cycle or even paddle a canoe nearby. Of course, any action-packed day should start with a good feed, so make sure to take advantage of the full English breakfast provided in the light-filled conservatory each morning.
The four comfortable options here come in two distinct styles; the self-contained Cottage and Studio suites both sport handmade four-poster beds, while The Retreat and Contemporary suites have a decidedly more modern look. But they all have crackling open fireplaces and roomy two-person baths that beg to be used. The supplied decanter of port makes both options even more inviting, and the provisions also include well-stocked hampers for cooked or continental breakfasts and a bottle of local wine.
Unplug and check in to tent life for a few days.
If you’re looking for off-grid accommodation in McLaren Vale, these safari-style tents are your best bet. Intimate enough for a romantic getaway, each tent includes a sofa and minibar (with a complimentary bottle of wine), while the spacious outdoor deck means there’s still plenty of room to spread out if you need a little alone time.
Set on a quiet dead-end road with no traffic, these five-metre-tall canvas bell tents present McLaren Vale at its rural best. The secluded location makes it easy to greet the day by listening to birdsong from the comfortable queen bed and bid it farewell from a picnic rug as you watch the setting sun light the sky on fire. And when it gets dark, simply pull up a seat by the fire pit and lose count of the myriad stars glittering in the night sky.
Set in dappled pink gum woodland near the impressive gorge carved by the Onkaparinga River, this bush campsite consists of eleven cleared sites with plenty of room to set your tents up beside the car. A network of trails wanders from the camp out through open forest and down into the gorge; keep your eyes open and you might spot kangaroos, koalas, echidnas or even bandicoots, especially in the early morning.
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