November 21, 2019
Wine & Dine

Room service: Where the VIPs stay

Looking for a luxurious stay that's fit for the rich and famous? Check out these top-of-the-range rooms oozing opulence, views and VIP service.

Barossa Luxury Retreats, Barossa 

Barossa Luxury Retreats brings together two of the Barossa Valley’s newest luxury accommodation options, Kingsford Homestead and Tanunda House.

Kingsford Homestead was owned by media mogul Kerry Packer and was the set for the long-running television series McLeod’s Daughters from 2001 to 2009. It was then purchased by the Ahrens family, a fifth-generation Barossa family, who set about converting the homestead into luxury accommodation as part of Barossa Luxury Retreats.

The heritage-listed homestead now boasts seven suites, which cater for 14 guests. There are five suites on the first floor, the single Ahrens Suite on the ground floor, and the Stonemasons’ Cottage, which sits alongside the main house.

The picturesque setting takes in 225 acres of relaxing countryside along the North Para River. A signature offering at Kingsford Homestead is the outdoor bush bath, an alfresco bath tucked away in a secluded corner of the property, which apparently fits two people comfortably. There is also a full in-room spa menu with a variety of treatments.

For exclusive use of the gorgeous property for 14 guests, rates vary from $4000 to $4500 per night, depending on the day of the week. 

Tanunda House was built in 1910 by piano importer Theodor Geyer. Current owners Stefan and Leanne Ahrens purchased the property and the acre block in 2006 as their family home. However, since 2014 and after extensive renovations, it now serves as guest accommodation where relaxing in luxury is the aim. There’s a cinema room, swimming pool and tennis court. The outdoor entertaining area also includes a Teppanyaki grill, bar, flat screen TV, fireplace and sound system.

The InterContinental, Adelaide 

Keen on 24-hour butler service? Tick. What about a spa bath with sweeping views over Adelaide Oval? Tick. An in-room sauna and spa? Tick. Baby grand piano? Tick.

Welcome to the Presidential Suite at The Intercontinental in the heart of the Adelaide CBD. The luxurious suite is situated on the 24th floor and offers views over the city skyline and nearby Adelaide Oval. It is Adelaide’s largest suite at 156 square metres and features a sitting room and spacious lounge where the baby grand piano is situated. 

This is top of the range luxury accommodation overlooking the Riverbank precinct. Other hotel facilities include a heated outdoor pool on the upper lobby level, and a recently updated fitness centre.

There are 367 rooms at the InterContinental, all with marble bathrooms and many with glittering city views. If you’ve had enough of the 24-hour butler service in the Presidential Suite, you could head out to one of the three restaurants and bars within the hotel, including Shiki, an award-winning, authentic Japanese restaurant.

The Louise, Barossa

The Louise, in the heart of the Barossa Valley, is all about authenticity. Most of the staff are Barossa locals, meaning guests can tap into insider knowledge upon arrival.

There are 15 suites, comprising four different types. The top-end Estate Suites, which feature two bedrooms and are designed for two couples, provide stunning sunset views over the vineyards from the private terrace. There’s also a cosy gas log fire and outdoor rain showers. Rates for the Estate Suites start from $1866 per night (to accommodate four guests).

The Stonewall Suites offer an indulgent spa bath, plus private courtyard and terrace. Other layers of luxury available to all guests are the infinity pool overlooking the vines, and the in-house gym and sauna.

The Louise and its dining destination Appellation were established 15 years ago by US transplants Jim and Helen Carreker. The entrepreneurial couple spent two years travelling the world looking for the right spot to set up their luxurious venture. Appellation has recently undergone a major update, which includes a new casual dining space opening at the end of September.

The Hilton, Adelaide 

Whitney Houston, Sammy Davis Jnr, George Harrison and Janet Jackson — just a few of the famous faces who have checked into the Hilton Adelaide since it opened almost 40 years ago.

One reason the rich and famous choose the Hilton is that all rooms feature connecting doors, meaning those with a full entourage of security staff, employees, family and friends can have them all staying close by in adjoining suites.

The King Executive, on the 16th floor, is the most luxurious suite with a spacious corner bedroom taking in sweeping city views down towards Adelaide Town Hall. There’s also a large lounge area with an eight-person dining table, plus two marble bathrooms.

The suite is regularly booked out and King Executive guests can also enjoy access to the Executive Lounge, a bar and lounge area also situated on 16th floor of the famous hotel.

The Hilton’s Junior Suites are also plush and high-end and still have that elegant, designer feel. All guests also have access to the recently updated pool and indoor gym. 

The Hilton is the largest five-star hotel in Adelaide with 374 rooms. It’s also Adelaide’s oldest five-star hotel and, situated on Victoria Square, is where all the international riders stay during Tour Down Under. The Hilton also houses all the national and international artists here during WOMADelaide as well as the foodies visiting for Tasting Australia.

Mayfair Hotel, Adelaide

Now, here is a claim to fame: after staying at the Mayfair Hotel in Adelaide, singer Dannii Minogue said it was the best bed she had ever slept in — in any hotel in the world. Then she ordered a mattress to go.

When the hotel was first being established in 2015, up to eight prototype mattresses were tested before the Mayfair Luxury Mattress was specifically designed and patented by local South Australian manufacturer A.H. Beard. Guests can now order them, with many shipped interstate and one sent to California.

Set in a 1930s building in the heart of the CBD, the Mayfair Hotel is all about old-world charm blended with contemporary comforts. The top end rooms are the Mayfair King Suite, Executive Mayfair King Suite, Luxury King Room and Executive Luxury King Room. The open-plan suites are exquisitely furnished, with muted colours and hand-selected artworks – and a free minibar. Indulge in the luxurious bathtub, with bath bomb, bathrobe, slippers and an exclusive range of L’Occitane skin care.

If you can drag yourself away from your room comforts, the Mayfair has plenty of drinking and dining options, including The Mayflower Restaurant, with renowned local executive chef Bethany Finn, the Hennessy rooftop bar, named after the building’s original architects and featuring great city views, and the latest offering, The Den, a stylish new bistro. 

Southern Ocean Lodge, Kangaroo Island 

Picture yourself relaxing in your own private outdoor spa, nestled in the surrounding bushland, with uninterrupted views of the Southern Ocean and coastal wilderness. Welcome to the Osprey Pavilion, the premium suite at Kangaroo Island’s Southern Ocean Lodge. This is next-level luxury for those who can splash the cash. Inside, take it easy in the contemporary, curved, sunken lounge featuring floor-to-ceiling windows, or take a long soak in the oversized granite bathtub with full views to the bushland. Services include private sunset drinks and canapes served in-suite or on your own private terrace. The nightly rates for the Osprey Pavilion are $2600 per person twin share, or $4800 for solo travellers.

Guests can also take a stroll over the boardwalk to the Southern Spa — an oasis of physical and spiritual renewal where treatments include massage, body wraps and other therapies. There’s also a steam room, chill-out lounge and outdoor showers.

As for the food, essential to the Southern Ocean Lodge concept is a “sense of place”, so guests are treated to a world-class menu created exclusively using local ingredients, from American River oysters and Southrock free-range lamb, to sustainably produced marron and barramundi.  

A new airport lounge at Kingscote Airport is accessible exclusively to Southern Ocean Lodge guests and was designed by renowned architect Max Pritchard, who also designed the Lodge itself.

The award-winning tourist destination, which opened 11 years ago, boasts 21 luxury suites and was recently voted Best Hotel in Australia in the prestigious Travel + Leisure magazine 100 Hotels List 2019. 

It is owned by James and Hayley Baillie; and Hayley is the daughter of well-known entrepreneur Dick Smith. 


This story first appeared in the September 2019 issue of SALIFE magazine. 

Subscribe Today! Subscribe to South Australia's biggest-selling magazine, showcasing the best of Adelaide and South Australia. From only $9 per issue
including free delivery to your door.