Australia

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Southern Ocean Lodge

Address: Hanson Bay

Neighborhood:

City: Kangaroo Island

Phone: 011-61-2-9918-4355

Website: www.southernoceanlodge.com.au

Expert Review

Southern Ocean Lodge, the first full-on luxury hotel on Australia's Kangaroo Island (K-Island, or simply KI to the locals), offers both more and less than the competition. The more: The lodge’s 21 individually designed rooms (all with ocean, beach, or wilderness views) are a bit costlier than other KI resorts, but a slew of extras are included. Among them are three bountiful meals every day from a local-produce menu (dinner is four courses with wine pairings and includes dishes like salpicon of rock lobster); a complimentary minibar, refilled daily; access to the hotel's walk-in wine cellar; complimentary outings such as stargazing and a local astro-lore lesson with a native islander, trips to nearby limestone caverns, an early-morning trip to Seal Bay to check out its furry namesake, and a visit to Kelly Hill Conservation Park, where you can marvel at wildlife and fossils of ancient marsupials, such as the Diprotodon, a rhinoceros-size wombat.

There's less pollution, clutter, and attitude: The lodge generates 100 percent of its own energy, utilizes rainwater for all H2O needs, and owners James and Hayley Baillie sold 99 percent of their own property back to the state under the condition that nothing else be developed on the land. The Baillies decorated using materials and furnishings wrought by local artisans, along with a cool color palette reflecting the natural beauty visible in all directions through floor-to-ceiling windows. On the island, sheep outnumber humans by more than a hundred to one. Best season for value: spring/early summer. 2008 Smart Luxury Award winner

Great Value Alternative:
The Kangaroo Island Wilderness Retreat has 22 ecoluxe suites. www.kiwr.com

Tags: luxury | expensive | smart splurge | smart luxury winner

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