52 weekends away: South Australia
SOak everything South Australia has to offer – from outdoor swimming to a chandelier-lit indoor pool.
108 Currie Street, Adelaide; (08) 8432 1900.
THE LOCATION The hotel is centrally located on bustling Currie Street, just east of the main King William Street, from which everything is easily accessible on foot.
THE PLACE In step with Adelaide’s rapidly changing luxury accommodation scene, Sofitel is the city’s first internationally acclaimed five-star luxury hotel. The $150 million project opened in November 2021 and has been custom designed to incorporate distinct elements of South Australian heritage, with French luxury and style in mind.
THE EXPERIENCE No expense has been spared here. Each of the hotel’s public spaces is awe-inspiring, starting with the red wine-inspired sculpture that leads guests from the main entrance to the lobby. There are 251 sophisticated suites and rooms, with Balmain Paris toiletries and a shower adorned with a stained-glass mosaic. These elements represent both the cathedrals of Paris and the city of churches. The fitness area has state-of-the-art equipment, while an indoor pool — a beautiful corridor of marble and pale blue — is softly lit by three blue chandeliers. There are also three dining and wine offerings, including Deja Vu, a champagne bar on the ground floor and, on the ninth floor, the spectacular Garçon Bleu.
DO NOT MISS It’s only a short walk to the restaurant district of Leigh and Peel Street, which includes the Fugazzi Bar and Dining Room, a successful New York-inspired restaurant.
OF $320 a night. Kylie McLaughlin
Esca at Nest and Nature
459 Strangways Road, Inman Valley; 0499 174 654.
THE LOCATION While these luxurious, off-the-grid pods in the little-known Inman Valley on South Australia‘s Fleurieu Peninsula seem secluded, you’re only a 75-minute drive from Adelaide city centre.
THE PLACE Specially chosen as a pilot project for ESCA’s concept of an off-grid retreat network, these two custom suites offer an immersive and luxurious experience where you least expect it. Designed by Adelaide-based DAS Studio and built off-site to minimize their environmental footprint, the two 62-square-metre suites (Nest at the top of the site; Mist a discreet distance below) feature wood-burning radiators, stone and bespoke furniture and lighting by Jam Factory of Adelaide.
THE EXPERIENCE From your king-size bed, soak up sweeping views across the valley to the Southern Ocean beyond. Pour yourself an outdoor bath (or ask on-site host and owner Mark Kirk to make one for you) and take a dip under the stars. Watch the wallabies graze while you light up the barbie on the patio and roast marshmallows around the fire pit. Breakfast, appetizers and local wine are included.
DO NOT MISS Book for lunch at the friendly Star of Greece restaurant, located on the top of a cliff, which overlooks Port Willunga beach.
OF $599/night; minimum stay two nights. sheriden rhodes
37 Victoria Street, Gumeracha; 0417 211 888.
THE LOCATION Take a 45-minute drive northwest of Adelaide, winding through vineyards and dairy cows, and you’ll come to the sleepy town of Gumeracha (pronounced gum-a-rack-a), famous for its ‘big thing’: the Great Rocking Horse.
THE PLACE In the mid-1800s William Beavis Randell built Randells Mill on the banks of Kenton Creek as a flour mill. Today the historic stone building has been lovingly restored to create two charming self-contained apartments. Each features high ceilings and a loft bedroom with a king-size bed, while eclectic treasures worthy of a “rustic farmhouse” board on Pinterest adorn each space.
THE EXPERIENCE Warm up after a day touring the cellars of the Adelaide Hills in Loft 1 with its roaring log burner and spa for two. Settle in for a romantic evening in Loft 2 with its comfy sofa, warm underfloor heating and classic clawfoot tub. Roam the property’s verdant gardens and say hello to Roy and HG, the resident alpacas. Stays include generous provisions for breakfast, to be enjoyed in the cozy kitchens or outside in the sunny courtyard.
DO NOT MISS Stroll 10 minutes into town and grab a coffee at The Good Pantry cafe before browsing the artisan finds at the Peregrine store across the road.
OF $220/night; minimum stay two nights. Genevieve Quigley
351 Sawpit Gully Road, Keyneton; (07) 5458 7700.
THE LOCATION Brockenchack feels like you’re in the middle of nowhere as you sit on the patio and gaze out over the empty pastures of Eden Valley. The truth, however, is that it is only a 15 minute drive from the heart of the Barossa Valley.
THE PLACE This is a working winery, featuring a network of vineyards and three private accommodation options, the best of which is the Retreat. This sleek, modern property may seem at odds with its bucolic surroundings, but it works. The Retreat has three double bedrooms, a full kitchen and a huge open-plan living room with views out to the patio and gnarly old river red gum. There is a fire pit and two outdoor baths.
THE EXPERIENCE You could spend your days going back and forth to the Barossa, which is a great idea, or you could visit nearby Eden Valley wineries, which is also smart. Another option is to take advantage of a Brockenchack Wines vineyard tour, which is free for guests. Either way, every evening should be spent around this fire pit, enjoying the silence and beauty of the Australian bush, with a glass of wine in hand.
DO NOT MISS Stop at Poonawata, a neighboring Eden Valley winery, for an in-depth tasting. The welcome is warm and the wine is top notch.
OF $665/night; minimum stay two nights. Ben Groundwater
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