Eli Orzessek checks into Mt Lofty House.

Getting there:

I enjoyed a scenic drive through the Adelaide Hills, with a couple of wine tastings along the way. It's about 45 minutes from the city.

Check-in experience: After driving from the Mt Lofty Summit, my driver took me on a loop around the hotel grounds, before I walked in its historic doors. The lobby is classy and I was checked in with no troubles.


Room: I stayed in the Conservatory Suite, which, as the name suggests, includes a relaxing conservatory. The room is furnished in a 1920s style and the radio was playing jazz when I walked in, which really set the scene. Strangely, you have to walk through two doors placed very close to each other to enter — a historical quirk, I imagine. Out the back, there's a balcony with amazing views.

What's so good about this place? Built in 1953 by prominent statesman Arthur Hardy — sort of a South Australian Jay Gatsby — the house hosted a lot of infamous parties for Adelaide's elite of the day. It then passed through a number of families, before becoming a commune in the 1970s. Sadly, the house was destroyed during bushfires in 1983, but the original stone remained and the rest was rebuilt to its former glory. It's also in an extremely beautiful location with views and atmosphere to die for.

And the bad? Only that it can be a bit noisy if there's a wedding party — as there was when I was there.

What's in the neighbourhood? Mt Lofty Summit, which is a spectacular lookout point. There are plenty of walking trails as well. In the general area of the Adelaide Hills, you'll find plenty of cute little towns offering good coffee, food and of course, lots of wineries.

Food and drink: There's a great cocktail bar — I enjoyed their oceanic twist on a mint julep. The restaurant is fantastic as well — I didn't quite have room for the seven-course degustation, but enjoyed a four-course version with matched wines. The Sequoia was a highlight — a sparkling wine produced by the Mt Lofty vineyards, which are the highest in the state.

The bed: A king-sized bed with a wooden headboard.

A room with a view? My room looked out over the picturesque Piccadilly Valley. I had a lovely time in the evening relaxing on my balcony and watching the sky turn various shades of pink.

Bathroom: A small bathroom, but the shower had excellent water pressure — a rarity in hotels.


Free Wi-Fi? Yes, but my room didn't seem to get very good reception — perhaps because it was in a far corner. But there are better things to do than surf the internet, let's be real.

Contact: mtloftyhouse.com.au.

Noise: See above re the wedding. However, after rich food and copious glasses of wine, I was asleep by 10.30pm anyway.

Perfect for: I did a cooking class earlier in the day and everyone there seemed to recommend it for honeymoons.