Southern Ocean Lodge, Kangaroo Island
There are few properties in the Southern Hemisphere as legendary as Southern Ocean Lodge. The king of all luxury lodges in Australia, visitors travel from all around the world to ensconce in its very particular brand of luxury.
Its award-winning design seems to hover on top of a private, dramatic cliff top, oriented to maximise views of the wild Southern Ocean and unique Kangaroo Island landscape.
The dining experience rivals the views for wow factor, with the famously skilled kitchen producing gastronomic brilliance from the finest of Kangaroo Island’s remarkable bounty of artisan crops, dairy, meat, seafood, honey, eggs and home cooked ingredients.
The daily changing menu is a love letter to Kangaroo Island and South Australia’s diversity of produce, accompanied by wonderful South Australian wines.
The icing, and candles, and sparklers on this very beautiful cake are the world class spa, sublime lodgings and a dedicated staff ready with a suite of scintillating Kangaroo Island itineraries tailored to the interested of guests.
The Frames, Paringa
The Murray River’s most glamorous stay sits high on a clifftop at Paringa, three hours out of Adelaide. It comprises three villas with ultra-private balconies overlooking the river, private heated pool, spa, sauna, barbecue and immaculate design, each differently themed with artworks to match.
The owners take pride in the small details as well, such as king-sized electric beds with tilt functions, high-end appliances in the kitchens, and other comforts.
You can order sumptuous meal packages ready to heat and serve, or gourmet barbecue packs. There’s a chef available for in-villa cooking at an additional cost.
Ikara Safari Camp, Wilpena Pound
The highest point in the ancient Flinders Ranges, and arguably its most spectacular, the natural amphitheatre of Wilpena Pound is a majestic, evocative location that’s unique in the Australian outback. To stay a while is to appreciate its magnificent presence and Ikara Safari Camp is the box seat. While much of the region’s accommodation is on the rim of the national park, Ikara Safari Camp lies within it.
This award-winning operation is glamping the way it should be: 15 high quality spacious and powered safari tents are fronted by their own private verandahs, an inviting spot to enjoy a South Australian wine while watching the afternoon light play on the surrounding bush and rock formations. Inside, the accommodation is plush, with king size beds, beautiful furnishings, ensuite bathrooms, luxury amenities, ceiling fans, mini-bar, and air-conditioning.
There’s a communal tent where hot breakfast is served each morning and which contains a plush lounging area for socialising with other guests. And as part of the Wilpena Pound Resort, there’s access to a restaurant, café and swimming pool.
The Louise, Barossa
It’s no mean feat to be a destination unto yourself when situated in the stunning Barossa. But that’s exactly what The Louise has achieved. Partnered with onsite restaurant, the acclaimed Appellation, The Louise is a stay of extraordinary luxury, culinary excellence and more.
The experience starts on arrival with the first sight of the impressive architectural exterior and continues with the attentive, friendly welcome and calm interiors.
Suites are generous, relaxed and luxurious, and the hotel affords private vineyard views. And then there’s a host of activities for guests, including The Ultimate Legend of Seppeltsfield Tour which includes privileged access and tastings and Breakfast with the Kangaroos, a dawn picnic in a nearby conservation park. There are cooking classes, exclusive tastings and market tours.
The Louise will also organise balloon flights, in-suite massages, romantic touches such as champagne and flowers, helicopter or limousine transfers and endless permutations of regional tours, tastings and opportunities to meet local winemakers.
Sticky Rice Cooking School and Villas, Adelaide Hills
Claire Fuller’s hugely successful cooking school at Stirling in the Adelaide Hills is testimony to how pursuing your passion can lead to something great.
Fuller set out to create a school that was lively, inspiring, fun and fulfilling in an environment with soul.
Her 1940s building full of antiques and personal touches sets the scene for learning to cook food that comes with stories.
A roster of incredible chefs lead students through the history and significance of ingredients and the eating customs of the cuisines created, from countries such as Thailand, Vietnam, India, and Nepal.
So when guests finally get to dine on their dishes, there’s real connection.
That sense of connection and Fuller’s magic touch extends into the Sticky Rice Villas, which began garnering awards virtually as soon as they opened in 2013.
The three luxurious B&B villas, inspired by exclusive holiday offerings in Bali, Japan and Thailand, have a sense of clean calm with elegant accents that, like the dishes created in the kitchen, conjure a sense of the exotic.