Just 15 minutes outside Adelaide’s CBD is a secluded luxury manor, Mount Lofty House, which is as appealing to corporate groups as it is to locals looking for a luxe staycation.
With just 48 hours to get a taste of the region, we checked in to the luxury property to explore what the Adelaide Hills has to offer corporate groups.
Touch down at Adelaide Airport on one of the regular direct flights from all Australian capital cities. The Adelaide Hills are located less than 30 minutes from the airport, so jump in your hire car or private coach and you’ll arrive in time for breakfast.
Make your way to Hahndorf, Australia’s oldest surviving German settlement, and meet Sharon Pippos of Hahndorf Walking Tours who will take you on a guided tour of the historic buildings, artisan shops and restaurants that line the streets.
Pippos, a Hahndorf resident and history enthusiast, will take you off the main street and share the stories of the Prussian settlers who built and established themselves in Hahndorf in the 1800s. Her tours can be tailored to include different activities for groups, such as strudel-making and food tastings. Complete your tour with a schnitzel and a stein at one of the nearby German restaurants.
Check in to your luxury accommodation at Mount Lofty House, MGallery by Sofitel, located high up in the Adelaide Hills with views overlooking the Piccadilly Valley. The attentive staff will lead you to one of the 32 elegant guest rooms on offer in the 167-year-old property.
Mount Lofty House recently completed a $6 million refurbishment, revealing new-look guest rooms with velvet upholstery and luxe bathrooms, as well as a new reception area, restaurant, bar and conference facilities. While the rooms and public spaces have been upgraded, the property’s historic features have been preserved, to ensure the spirit of the colonial manor remains.
In the evening, dine at Mount Lofty House’s three-hatted signature restaurant, Hardy’s Verandah Restaurant. Enjoy a degustation menu designed by executive chef Jin Choi, whose simplistic yet technical dishes make for a memorable dining experience. Choose matching wines to complement your meal or head downstairs to Arthur’s Wine Cellar to hand-pick your own bottle of wine from the extensive selection. The restaurant also offers two private dining spaces for intimate gatherings.
Rise and shine with a morning yoga class on the lawn, which Mount Lofty House can organise for groups, paired with freshly squeezed juices and smoothies to kick-start the day. In keeping with the wellness theme, take some time out to enjoy a treatment at Stables Day Spa, housed in one of the three original buildings on the property. Built in 1851 as a stable, the building is now a destination spa with a range of treatment options available.
Now it’s time to explore what the Adelaide Hills is renowned for: the wineries. Stop in at Ashton Hills Vineyard to experience its highly regarded pinot noir and sparkling wines. The cellar door offers intimate tastings for small groups, which can be paired with local produce from the Adelaide Hills region.
Bird in Hand is another must-visit when in the Hills, and you’ll be blown away by their cellar door and farm-to-table restaurant, The Gallery. For events, the Red Wine Room offers a private dining space for up to 80 standing guests, while the Barrel Hall can accommodate up to 800 guests.
Head to The Lane for lunch, where you’ll enjoy the best of South Australia’s produce, paired with The Lane’s single vineyard wines. The venue can host a range of experiences for corporate groups, including private dining, wine-making classes and vineyard tours.
End your tour at Shaw + Smith for a sampling of their award-winning wines at their modern cellar door. Shaw + Smith offers an intimate behind-the-scenes tour and tasting every Friday for groups of 12, while exclusive tastings can also be arranged for groups of up to 40 guests.
Your wine tasting experience wouldn’t be complete without trying some of Mount Lofty House’s very own sparkling wine. The hotel’s dedicated sommelier will take your group on a tour through the on-site vineyard to taste the grapes and try the signature sparkling wine, made with grapes grown right on the property.
Before dinner, take part in the 5pm Mount Lofty House Tour, which is on offer to guests who want to explore the property and learn more about its history. Here, you’ll uncover hidden gems like the Coach House, one of the original buildings on the property.
The Coach House is perfect for corporate events for 60 seated guests, with built-in AV equipment and a large outdoor deck, while the larger Piccadilly Panorama pavilion is ideal for larger conferences and banquet dinners of 200 guests.
Complete your stay with cocktails and casual dining in the Arthur Waterhouse Lounge, in front of the original fireplace or looking out over the gardens and Piccadilly Valley below.
FYI – New luxury lodges
Mount Lofty House will open 14 new luxury suites in September this year, bringing an unrivalled level of luxury and bespoke experiences to the Adelaide Hills. The $13 million Sequoia at Mount Lofty House development will offer a high level of service and security for those seeking a luxury retreat. Each spacious villa will have its own
private balcony, offering views of the Piccadilly Valley from every angle.
This article originally appeared in the February issue of Spice Magazine. Subscribe here.