Floating on the clifftop of Hanson Bay in Kangaroo Island, there is something about Southern Ocean Lodge that makes it greater than the sum of its parts. Getting to the Lodge in itself is a feat. From Melbourne, it is a flight to Adelaide and then a Regional Express flight to the regional Kingscote Airport followed by a 50minute drive, with the final sections (approx 6km) being dirt road. However, the Lodge offers transfers with all connecting flights/ferries.
There is indeed, something "soul stirring" about the Lodge and it is difficult to truly put into words how I feel after my short stay at SOL. After a relatively tough year, I knew I needed a break, but it is only in retrospect that I now understand how much - all I know is that the time taken to stop, reflect and relax has reenergised me. The pictures do little justice to SOL, their "Great Room" the jewel of the Lodge has floor to ceiling windows providing sweeping views of cliffs that hug Hanson Bay and the Southern Ocean. The command of the Great Room would almost always distract me from reading the books I had brought with me. I spent hours simply watching the southern ocean collide with the cliffs and for the first time in a long time, living in that moment.
My days would start slightly before sunrise with a light jog on the nature boardwalk, just from the breezeway of the suites, leading to the beach (Hanson Bay). The spectacular views of the architecture during sunrise, with its shades of orange, pinks and reds bathing the lodge, would time and again, leave me in awe. On several occasions, a perfectly arched rainbow would seemingly halo the lodge during my morning jogs.
At times, I felt like the only person in the world, and to some degree, I was - the feeling of complete isolation and even calmness, in what is an incredibly wild environment.
The Lodge itself is cleverly designed. The restaurant, the suites (only 21 in total), the great room all have sweeping views of the southern ocean. The suites, are immaculate. Twice a day turn down, with the utmost discretion - we had no idea when they would turn up, but everytime we would return, our room would be "proper" yet again. The stone floors are also heated which was definitely a welcome touch in this cool weather.
The bar space, is fully open. The philosophy of the lodge is that you, the guest, make yourself feel at home. So it is an all inclusive, open bar. Help yourself to anything, or even better, order yourself a cocktail.
The restaurant, just by the Great Room, also provides panoramic views of the Southern Ocean, with the windows facing East allowing the full rays of sunrise to flood the dining room. We managed to sit at every single window table during our stay.
The spaces at this Lodge are all about understated luxury. There are no over the top furnishings, no strident palettes, no over crowding. The spaces are for relaxation and captivation. Everything about SOL, from the space, to the first name service that makes it more than accommodation, it is in fact a bucketlist destination.
Next: Food at the Southern Ocean Lodge
Oh, yeah, they also have a Spa. How could I have possibly omitted that!!!
Southern Ocean Lodge, Hanson Bay, Kangaroo Island