Stephanie Holmes checks into a swanky suite in the heart of wine country.
The Barossa Valley is about an hour's drive from Adelaide. Our group of four arrived late in the afternoon following a day of wine tasting at nearby Jacob's Creek Visitor Centre.
Check-in experience: Exceptional. Two staff members were outside to greet us as we got out of the car and walked us to our rooms to give a personal, in-room check in. The woman looking after me told me my suite was her favourite of the whole property, and gave me a great rundown of its features.
Location: Situated in the middle of fields of vines in the valley looking out to the Barossa Hills. A peaceful and picturesque location.
What's so good about this place? The Louise is luxurious, with all the extra touches that take a property from great to excellent. The best feature was the rainhead shower in my own private courtyard.
And the bad? That I could only stay for one night.
Room: Suite 30, a Seppeltsfeld Suite, named after a famed local winery. It's a 130sq m luxury apartment, with private entranceway, lounge, courtyard, sunset-facing patio, separate bedroom, bathroom and dressing room, plus the aforementioned outdoor shower. The attention to detail was impeccable — free port in a decanter on the bedroom bookcase, a Nespresso machine, complimentary cookies and fresh fruit, local artworks, a gas fireplace, sculptural furniture and luxurious soft furnishings. It felt homely and comfortable and I would have loved to settle in for a week or two.
Price: A Seppeltsfeld Suite starts from $1265 per night, including breakfast.
What's in the neighbourhood? Wine, wine everywhere. You're close to some of Australia's best wineries here, as well as some charming Barossa townships such as Tanunda and Nuriootpa. Just down the road is Maggie Beer's Farm Shop.
Food and drink: The on-site Appellation restaurant is five-star and highly acclaimed. In-room dining was available, which I tried out for breakfast. The homemade granola was delicious, and presentation was lovely, with everything arriving in a dabba, or Indian tiffin carrier. The bed: This was the only disappointment of my stay — the king bed was two king singles joined together, leaving an uncomfortable ridge in the middle. Might I suggest a thicker mattress topper?
Room with a view? Vines, and in the early morning or late evening, you might spot a wild kangaroo or two.
Bathroom: As well as the outdoor courtyard with rain shower, the bathroom had a spa bath, an indoor rainhead shower, and separate toilet.
Free Wi-Fi? Yes.
Noise: The only sounds were birds, the breeze through the gum trees and the thunder and rain from a huge electrical storm overnight.
Exercise facilities: There was a gym on site but I didn't use it. The infinity pool was a delight, however, looking out to the vines and Barossa hills beyond. There's a "refreshment room" by the pool, with a well-stocked bar, snacks and icecreams, operating on an honesty system. A salted caramel icecream eaten while in the infinity pool was the perfect way to cool off on a 41-degree day.
Perfect for: A luxurious break in Australia's wine country.
The bottom line: Must love grapes.
The Louise is at 375 Seppeltsfield Road, Marananga, South Australia. Phone: +61 8 8562 4144.