South Australia luxury hotels and resort: Six of the best


Art deco chic meets Gotham City sleek in this 170-bedroom city hotel. Situated in the mid-1930s Colonial Mutual Life Assurance Society's headquarters, the Mayfair opened in 2015 after a $55-million renovation that left the landmark building buzzing – quite literally after its innovative executive chef Bethany Finn installed beehives on the roof. Outside, gargoyles adorn the hotel's soaring, heritage-listed facade. Within lies the kind of mutedly elegant luxury beloved of businessfolk plus a more boutique-y, sophisticated retro glamour that extends all the way up to the Hennessy rooftop bar. Doubles from $209.


See also: Full review: The Mayfair hotel


This three-villa retreat set a new bar for Riverland luxe upon opening in 2014. In Paringa, a three-hour drive from Adelaide (although guests can, and do, helicopter in), it offers spectacular Murray River views and vibes of sumptuous seclusion and romantic hedonism. Stylish architecture "frames" the vista – hence the name – and immaculate apartments boast remote-controlled massage beds, heated pools, spas, saunas and kitchens bursting with gourmet delights. A personal chef is available at extra cost plus excursions, including sunset gondola tours.

Doubles $620-$1190 depending on length of stay.


See: Full review: The Frames


A serene haven from civilisation, SOL is a sanctuary, spa and eco-wilderness rolled into one. It is on Kangaroo Island's dramatic south-west coast in the pristine bushland of Hanson Bay and is designed to amplify this landscape's wild beauty. The main lodge and 21 luxurious suites feature breathtaking ocean vistas, and the attitude is one of serene lavishness. The cost covers gourmet meals, open bar-wine cellar and outings such as sunset canapes with kangaroos. It's also on the path of the new 61-kilometre Kangaroo Island Wilderness Trail.

From $1200 twin-share, minimum two-night stay.


See: Review: The only Australian hotel to make the world's top 100 list


With a wealth of wineries in easy reach, this hotel is one hour by car from Adelaide and within 10 minutes' drive of the Barossa's three main townships (Angaston, Marananga and Tanunda). Its 15 expansive suites boast vineyard views, secluded terraces, private courtyards, outdoor showers and an unashamedly gourmet approach. Minibars are stocked with regional food and wine, and fare from Appellation, the hotel restaurant run by executive chef Ryan Edwards, is outstanding. Bookings include fruit, welcome biscuits, fortified wine and hot Barossa breakfasts delivered to your suite. Doubles from $625.



Cradled within the McLaren Vale's Beresford Estate – a winery boasting a 28-hectare vineyard and elegant Tasting Pavilion – the Homestead offers two exclusive accommodation options. The studio-style Reserve Suite is a "lover's retreat" with a modern take on a four-poster bed. Grenache Villa, a remodelled 19th-century cottage sleeps six. Both feature private courtyards with open fireplaces and art work from the owners' collection. Price includes gourmet breakfast hampers; extra indulgences (think personal chefs and helicopter transfers) can be organised.

Reserve Suite from $1500 for two; Grenache Villa from $1200 for six. Minimum two-night stay.



Following stints as a deluxe hotel and B&B, this historic retreat reinvented itself earlier this year as an "exclusive use" luxury stay. Guests book the entire 1856, Georgian-style, sandstone homestead that sits in 90 pastoral hectares and sleeps up to 14. Suites are named after former owners, including Kerry Packer, who turned it into the location for the TV show, McLeod's Daughters. An extra $200 a night, a guest, buys canapes, three-course dinners, hot breakfasts and an open bar. Otherwise expect a continental breakfast only.

From $3700 a night for up to six guests.


Helen O'Neill travelled as a guest of the South Australian Tourism Commission.

See also: 19 spectacular photos of South Australia from the air

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