The Boutique Collection: A Sumptuous, Sustainable Escape at The Southern Ocean Lodge
BY JESSICA FESTA
Perched on a hilltop overlooking Hanson Bay and Hanson Bay Beach you’ll find Kangaroo Island’s most luxurious property, Southern Ocean Lodge. The hotel has it all: a secluded nature location, breathtaking ocean views, an impressive wine cellar, opulent amenities, a restaurant and spa featuring locally-sourced ingredients and a passionate focus on sustainability.
When you first enter the reception area, you’ll be taken back by the dramatic glass walls showcasing stunning views of sand and sea. The main lounge area, aptly named the Great Room, offers panoramic views of Kangaroo Island’s coastline from the comfort of plush seating situated around a welcoming fireplace.
The property’s 21 eco-luxe suites, showcase floor-to-ceiling windows, sumptuous king beds, outdoor terraces, heated floors, Southern Spa amenities such as Vanilla Honey Bath Crystals and Wild Lavender Milk Bath and, in select rooms, a deep stand alone tub set against translucent walls ““ perfect for scoping out dolphins and whales from the comfort of your room.
The Southern Ocean Lodge has an excellent all-inclusive food and beverage service, which includes libations. Executive Chef Tim Bourke takes a locavore approach to dining, offering guests multi-course meals created with local ingredients and inventive wine pairings.
While the menu changes daily based on what’s fresh and in season, some dining options include a wild rosemary-crusted loin of open range venison with mulled wine, roasted shallot and mushroom; pan roasted fillet of Parndana barramundi with shellfish sauce, baby fennel, grapefruit, samphire; and a South Australian cheese platter featuring Paris Creek bio dynamic farm “˜camembert’, Divine Dairy “˜French style blue’, Woodside Cheese Wrights “˜lemon myrtle chevre’, and Hindmarsh Valley Dairy “cabra al vino.”
Known for its brilliant minimalist design, the property was built using local, organic and recycled materials such as Kangaroo Island limestone, refurbished spotted gum walls and recycled timber throughout. Additionally, local art decorates the walls, solar paneling is used for heating and water is harvested from the property’s roof.
Although Southern Ocean Lodge creates the sense you are in your own secluded world — which you are — it’s also accessible to an array of Kangaroo Island attractions.
The property allows guests to book tours onsite, working closely with local operators like Exceptional Kangaroo Island. Visitors can explore wildlife at Seal Bay and Hanson Bay Wildlife Sanctuary, get wet on a marine tour, learn about maritime heritage at the Cape du Couedic lighthouse, walk along the bizarre Remarkable Rocks and see 7,000 New Zealand fur seals at Admirals Arch.
Additionally, onsite activities include a scenic hike along their Coastal Clifftop Trek; attending lectures led by a resident naturalist on local natural history; whale and dolphin watching; renting complimentary bikes; and pampering yourself at the eco-spa.
Along with purchasing food and beverages from local producers, farms and artisans, Southern Ocean Lodge works with the community in a number of ways by supporting the local Parndarna Campus. Students at the Parndana campus of KI Community Education have helped establish an innovative aquaculture project, producing fresh and smoked barramundi. These students also sell fresh herbs grown from their garden, which Southern Ocean Lodge purchases. Additionally, the hotel sponsors a variety of charities and sports teams such as the Kangaroo Island Country Education Foundation and Kangaroo Island Cancer Support Group.
Jessica Festa is a full-time travel writer who is always up for an adventure. She enjoys getting lost in new cities and finding places you don’t see in guidebooks. You can follow her adventures on her travel website, Epicure & Culture.
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