The best of South Australia; boutique hotels and refurbished gems plus a few new places to stay.
SA Verdicts from 2007/08
The environmentalists among us gave Miller Apartments the thumbs up for its green credentials, but reviews of the serviced apartments have been mixed. Traveller Robert Weir, 61, stayed there in August ‘08 and says his one bedroom apartment had “no natural light”. And those open windows for fresh air ventilation we mentioned? Non-existent, according to Robert. Traveller Michelle Jones “enjoyed the modern facilities and friendly staff” and says she’d stay there again, even though both Robert and Michelle felt their rooms were on the small side.
Hindley St, Adelaide, (08) 8410 1888, www.millerapartments.com.au
Southern Ocean Lodge
Last year we were envious of the Kiwis’ world-class lodges. This year we reckon those over at Southern Ocean Lodge on Kangaroo Island could teach the Kiwis a thing or two. Traveller Mary Mackiernan, 50, from Hawaii, visited with her husband in September ’08 and found the lodge to be “brilliant” and difficult to fault. “I don’t quite see how [owner/developers] the Baillies do it. But they have the magic touch. The sum of its component parts – the location by the sea, the people who work there, the marvellous design of the hotel and the rooms, the local wine and food – add up to an amazingly beautiful and relaxing experience.” Mary would recommend the lodge to well-off travellers “who don’t need TV or golf to survive. Teenagers glued to a Gameboy would probably be bored.”
Kangaroo Island, (02) 9918 4355, www.southernoceanlodge.com.au
Fresh out of the Wrapper
Majestic Minima Hotel
This Hot Hotel on Melbourne St brings quality boutique-style accommodation to Adelaide, with sleek and ultramodern designs that would impress even Victorian trendsetters, adding an affordable (and hip) option to SA’s landscape. Rooms might be small at only 14m2, but Adelaide’s first self check-in hotel squeezes in all the essentials (king size beds, flatscreens). There’s a reason for the name though – claustrophobes and the technologically challenged should probably look elsewhere.
146 Melbourne St, North Adelaide, (08) 8334 7766, www.majestichotels.com.au
Clarion Hotel Soho
Who would have thought? A little slice of Soho has hit our shores, and it’s nowhere near Sydney or Melbourne. You’ll find the newest arthouse project, Clarion Hotel Soho, at the Paris end of Adelaide’s Hutt St shopping precinct. “Our vision for the Soho was to create Adelaide’s first boutique, eco-responsible hotel, with the spirit and intimacy of Soho districts elsewhere,” says architect Michael Loucas from Loucas and Zahous. Guests can peruse an ever-changing collection of eclectic local art while sipping signature Sohitini cocktails, and the hotel’s Decant restaurant specialises in organic produce sourced from within 100km of the kitchen.
264 Flinders St, Adelaide, (08) 8412 5600, www.choicehotels.com.au
Made-up and Made-over
Rawnsley Park Station
Four villas simply weren’t enough at this Flinders Ranges eco-resort, so another four will open in April 2009. Nestled on a private site in the national park, the modern villas have uninterrupted views of the spectacular Wilpena Pound. But for the best views you don’t have to move an inch: the villas’ skylights give you a front-row seat to the stunning nighttime stars from your bed.
Wilpena Rd, Flinders Ranges, (08) 8648 0030, www.rawnsleypark.com.au
Wilpena Pound Resort
New owners mean big things for Wilpena Pound Resort. The resort is superbly located on the banks of Wilpena Creek and new high-end travel company Anthology are determined to transform all 60 rooms into four star lodgings before Easter 2009. It’ll be a hard task, but if anyone can pull it off it’s Anthology’s visionary head Grant Hunt. AT is optimistic.
Wilpena Rd, Flinders Ranges, (08) 8648 0004, www.wilpenapound.com.au
SA Rumour Mill
1. “Time to coast” is the catchphrase of The Dunes, a $250m five star resort with a Greg Norman-designed links course being built on the Yorke Peninsula. And it’s not just golfers looking for a seachange: apparently SA is scorching hot right now – the first allotments in the Yorke Peninsula’s new dune and wetland resort sale were gone within a two-hour buying frenzy.
2. Six years after plans for the McLaren Vale Resort were first tabled, construction will apparently begin “soon” – expect completion of this five star, 100-room colossus in 2011.
3. It’s pretty much brand new, but rumour has it that isn’t stopping the Port Lincoln Hotel from planning another potential 60 rooms over the next two years.
AT’s Top Five – not new, not refurbed, just our favourites
1. Southern Ocean Lodge // SA has waited 50,000 years for five star lodge. The wait has been worth it.
2. The Louise // Heaven in the Barossa, with dinner at Appellation, is very difficult to top.
3. LifeTime Private Retreats // Coastal bliss on Kangaroo Island with service second to none.
4. Medina Treasury // We love the high ceilings, spacious rooms, the location and great price tag.
5. Hotel Richmond // Restored 1920s classic on Rundle Mall with quirky furniture and artworks. Perfect for business travel.
Thinking of going somewhere else? Find the hotest hotels in all the other states: