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Kendall Hill reviews the newest luxury guesthouse in the Adelaide Hills


Australia’s newest luxury lodge is ready to be unveiled this month, greater than a yr late.

The delay’s partly on account of a sure virus, clearly, but additionally as a result of – as Mount Lofty House normal supervisor Jesse Kornoff concedes – you’ve acquired to get all the things excellent to earn a spot amongst the nation’s prime lodging.



The 14-suite Sequoia Lodge, anchored at the fringe of an escarpment above the panoramic Piccadilly Valley, will formally open on the final weekend in July as the deluxe annex to Mount Lofty House, the grand mansion resort of the Adelaide Hills. Hotel workers have been quietly checking company into the suites since final winter, but it surely was solely this month that the ultimate titivations had been accomplished at Sequoia.

The Sequoia will open on the final weekend of July 2021. Credit: Aaron Citti

Among them: three sizzling swimming pools set above the valley and fed by artesian springs tapped straight from the mountain. The lodge’s fire-warmed lounge, full with bar and glass partitions like cinema screens onto the pure world. A stone amphitheatre and firepit at the backside of the native gardens. And a serene three-room spa, which opened in a renovated gatekeeper’s cottage again in December.

All they’re ready on now could be a supply of kangaroos and wallabies from close by Warrawong Sanctuary so company can have shut encounters with Australian wildlife.

Developing the lodge has been “quite an organic process”, Kornoff explains. Owner David Horbelt “wanted to get it right. For him this is really a legacy project.”

Every aspect is designed to capitalise on the mind-blowing landscapes. Picture: Aaron Citti

Every side is designed to capitalise on the mind-blowing landscapes. Picture: Aaron Citti

Views needed to be “mind-blowing”, so suites cling to the ridge for mesmerising valley outlooks. These are exploited to nice dramatic impact when company arrive at their lodging; workers flick a swap and the block-out blinds rise slowly for the massive reveal of the painterly Piccadilly Valley, a dwelling canvas of rolling hills, tidy villages, forest and farmland that locations company firmly in the Adelaide Hills.

Suite interiors had been designed as “calm, private oases”, impressed by spectacular Aussie sanctuaries as Tasmania’s Saffire and Kangaroo Island’s Southern Ocean Lodge (destroyed in the 2020 wildfires however set to be rebuilt by 2023). Like each these lodges, each side of the Sequoia suites capitalises on the setting and sense of place.

The developers took their time to put all the finishing touches in place. Picture: Supplied

The builders took their time to place all the ending touches in place. Picture: Supplied

Tiered dwelling areas in the 75sqm areas be sure that, whether or not snuggled on the balcony daybed, lazing on the mushy leather-based sofa, mendacity in the king-sized mattress or soaking in the bathtub, nature’s splendour is at all times on show. That sense of context extends to the inside design, from regionally made furnishings and joinery to stone fireplaces quarried from close by Basket Range, and ornamental glass- and ceramic-ware from the Jam Factory, South Australia’s craft incubator.

Sequoia, named for the towering redwood in the centre of the lodge compound, additionally provides the kind of five-star trappings you’d anticipate at a property of this calibre. The helipad. The heated lavatory flooring. TVs that pop up from the finish of the mattress. Wireless telephone chargers. The high-tech however simple-to-use contact panels controlling all the things from lighting and blinds to music and temper.

It has all the trappings guests would expect of a five-star experience. Credit: Aaron Citti

It has all the trappings company would anticipate of a five-star expertise. Credit: Aaron Citti

The complimentary bottle of native glowing. The distinctive experiences – from a heli-lunch with winemaker Stephen Henschke at his Eden Valley property tasting again vintages of Barossa shiraz, to guided hikes alongside a brief part of the 1200km Heysen Trail. And nightfall gatherings round the amphitheatre firepit to listen to tales of how Mount Lofty, the highest level in the Hills, was the gathering floor of First Nations individuals pre-colonisation.

According to native Peramangk man Ivan-Tiwu Copley, “Mount Lofty (Yurre-idla) was a place… tied to essential creation stories. Everyone could see that this was the important place where law was agreed to and spiritual things happened.”

There was no everlasting settlement on this sacred hill till Mount Lofty House was constructed as a non-public house 170 years in the past. It opened as a resort in the Eighties. Today the 33-room country-house inn is finest identified for its Hardy’s Verandah Restaurant, opened in 2017, awarded three hats in the nationwide good meals information, and the in-house eating room for Sequoia company.

Head chef Jun Choi’s shocking seven-course degustations ($205 individual) may pair charred beetroot with vegan chocolate, and black vinegar-cod with pipi clams. The wine checklist, curated by sommelier Liinaa Berry, is a powerful roll-call of vintages from close to and much.

There's a lot to do in the area, including wildlife encounters at Cleland Wildlife Park. Credit: Adam Bruzzone

There’s rather a lot to do in the space, together with wildlife encounters at Cleland Wildlife Park. Credit: Adam Bruzzone

Epic wine lists are commonplace in the Adelaide Hills, the place prestigious native producers vary from Penfold’s and Tapanappa chardonnays to Deviation Road’s glowing wines and the pure producers of the Basket Range resembling Ochota Barrels and Gentle Folk. There are round 50 cellar doorways to discover however, if time’s tight, ebook a tasting at The Tank in the eclectic, circa 1867 Uraidla Hotel.

Launched in November, this transformed water tank has been stacked with extra 3500 bottles of cult Australian and Euro wines by sommelier Owen Colin. Colin is a person of passionate enthusiasms, particularly for the present 2021 classic. “Buy everything from the Adelaide Hills, and from South Australia,” he urges. “It’s going to be a vintage for the ages.”

Kendall Hill was a visitor of the South Australian Tourism Commission.

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