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Hotel Highlights

  • Barossa Valley reds: indulgent wine tasting
  • Vine design: super-stylish architecture
  • Appellation: the in-house restaurant for serious foodies

Overview

The Louise hotel is the brightest star in the Barossa Valley accommodation firmament, an exquisite, contemporary boutique dwelling featuring 15 architecturally inspired suites on a vine-lined hillside. Concern for guest satisfaction and food-and-wine passion have informed every decision at this South Australian retreat: privacy is paramount, facilities are state of the art, and the restaurant is truly outstanding.

Smith Extra

Here's what you get for booking The Louise with us:

A bottle of sparkling wine on arrival

Special offers

Exclusive rates, packages and special offers at The Louise

Advance purchase

Facilities

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Need To Know

Rooms

15 suites.

Check–out

11am, but flexible subject to availability (charges may apply). Check-in, 2pm.

Rates

Double rooms from $407.15 (AU$500), excluding tax at 10 per cent.

More details

Rates include continental breakfast.

Also

Wine tasting is a Barossa must: ask at reception about local cellar doors, or exclusive tastings by appointment. For in-room indulgence, tuck into the house-baked cookies and decanter of port awaiting you on arrival; then order a massage in your suite to chill out after.

Hotel closed

The Louise and its restaurant Appellation closes on Sundays, Mondays and Tuesdays, from 14 June to 12 September 2015.

At the hotel

Guest computer, sauna, hot spa, bicycles, gardens. In rooms: free WiFi, flatscreen TVs, DVD player, BOSE Wave CD player, iPod dock, espresso machine, minibar, Vive and Molton Brown toiletries, rubber ducks in spa baths, private courtyard with terrace and gate intercom.

Our favourite rooms

We like No 29, a Stonewell Suite, the best of the 10 suites revolving around the entrance piazza – access is via a private courtyard. The living and sleeping areas are an exercise in seductive mod tones (from raspberry to aubergine), leading onto a superb bathroom complete with underfloor heating, walk-in shower, spa tub, recessed candle nooks and an outdoor shower for star-lit shampooing. The terrace is perfect for an evening glass of red overlooking the vines. Suite 33, a Seppeltsfield Suite, is a two-bedroom affair in a separate wing with even more enticing vineyard views.

Poolside

The outdoor swimming pool is soon to be relocated to better ensnare the surrounding views – watch this space.

Packing tips

Bring a high tolerance level for intellectual wine-speak as you taste the best Barossa reds (expect to hear ‘toasty’, ‘berry’, ‘liquorice’ and ‘tobacco’ used at least thrice daily).

Also

Additional experiences include accommodation and dining packages incorporating meals at Appellation (the in-house restaurant) and wine-tasting.

Children

Children over 10 are welcome.

Read more

Eco‐friendly

In such a dry state on such a dry continent, it makes sense that run-off and hotel greywater are recycled for garden irrigation. Food is locally sourced too, supporting community producers.

Food & Drink

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Hotel Restaurant

The Louise’s award-winning in-house restaurant, Appellation, serves dinner nightly (there’s just 48 seats, so bookings are essential). Executive chef Ryan Edwards' menus are underpinned by the ‘locavore’ philosophy, with 80 per cent of the menu’s seasonal produce sourced within a 50-kilometre radius. Choose between à la carte dishes and a five-course, daily changing Chef's Tasting Menu, with courses brilliantly paired with Barossa wines.

Hotel Bar

Adjacent to the restaurant, an elegant modern lounge bar serves pre-dinner drinks, including a heady selection of local wines, spirits, cocktails and beers. Retire to the terrace to watch dusky sunset colours shift over the vine rows.

Last orders

The restaurant is open daily from 5pm for drinks and from 7pm for dinner. Last dinner orders are around 8.30pm.

Room service

Continental breakfast is served in your suite each morning. An in-suite lunch menu, from 11am to 3pm, includes salads, local meats and cheese platters. A more substantial in-suite dinner menu tempts with terrines, gourmet burgers, platters and desserts.

Smith Insider

Dress code

Snappy, sassy, self-confident.

Top table

There are window seats as well as tables by the fire in the restaurant’s two zones with views across the vines.

Local Guide

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Eat, drink, see, do: local favourites and more…

Worth getting out of bed for

The Louise can book you in for ‘Breakfast with the Kangaroos’ at dawn, where a local guide whizzes you away in a 4WD to a nearby conservation park. After a 15-minute hike, your guide will unfurl the picnic rug and plate up a gourmet breakfast, rousing the curiosity of ’roos who enjoy their own tucker nearby (it’s not kosher to feed them). Wine tasting in the Barossa is an essential experience, with over 100 world-renowned winemakers within spitting distance. Ask at reception about local cellar doors and exclusive tastings by appointment, or contact tasting-tour operators Barossa Experience Tours (www.barossavalleytours.com), Barossa Epicurean Tours (www.barossatours.com.au) or Barossa Valley Tours (www.barossavalleytour.com). If you're going it alone, consider visiting the biggest and best Barossa vineyard Penfolds (www.penfolds.com) in Nuriootpa, home of the iconic Penfolds Grange. Major labels Jacob's Creek (www.jacobscreek.com) and Peter Lehmann (www.peterlehmannwines.com) are both near Tanunda.

Local restaurants

Local winery Hentley Farm (+61 (0)8 8562 8427; www.hentleyfarm.com.au) offers ones of the Barossa's best dining experiences, with tables set out in an intimate, elegantly restored stables under the vines. For a modern twist on south-east Asian cuisine, matched to a well thought out and intriguing wine list, book in at FermentAsian (+61 (0)8 8563 0765; www.fermentasian.com.au) in Tanunda. Vintners Bar & Grill (+61 (0)8 8564 2488; www.vintners.com.au), in historic nearby town Angaston, is a smart yet relaxed open-plan restaurant surrounded by vineyards, with a welcoming bar and courtyard for outdoor dining. Dishes draw on local South Australian fare, including peppered kangaroo, pan-fried Kangaroo Island haloumi and SA prawns and oysters, plus there's an award-winning wine list. Another local favourite is the 1918 Bistro & Grill (+61 (0)8 8563 0405; www.1918.com.au), on Murray Street in Tanunda, set in a historic home with a jasmine-scented terrace. Food is fresh, seasonal Mod Oz fare with Asian and Middle Eastern influences, such as steamed black mussels with Asahi beer.

Local bars

On Tanunda’s main drag, Murray Street, the 1846 Tanunda Hotel (+61 (0)8 8563 2030; www.tanundapub.com) is an anything-goes kinda joint: pool tables, big bar meals and a welcoming beer garden. The Barossa Valley Brewing company (+61 (0)8 8563 0696; www.bvbeer.com.au) produces artisan-style beers and a tasty selection of tapas in a restored Barossa home overlooking Heinemann Park in Tanunda.

Local cafés

You might have seen South Australian celeb Maggie Beer on TV's The Cook and The Chef or Masterchef, or tasted one of her range of condiments, preserves and pâtés. Swing by the brilliant Maggie Beer’s Farm Shop (+61 (0)8 8562 4477; www.maggiebeer.com.au) on Pheasant Farm Road, Nuriootpa, for a superb gourmet picnic lunch. In Tanunda, bright contemporary café Keils Fine Food & Coffee (+61 (0)8 8563 1468) delivers a decent caffeine fix, as well as home-made soups and pies. Good bets on Angaston's Murray Street include the pizza-purveying Roaring 40's Café (+61 (0)8 8564 2901; www.40scafe.com.au) and Blond Coffee (+61 (0)8 8564 3444; www.blondcoffee.com.au), the latter known for its high-energy baristas (pick up juices, sandwiches and salads).

+ Enlarge
Hillside vineyard retreat

The Louise

PO Box 219, Barossa Valley, SA 5352, Australia

The Louise is located in Marananga, in the north-western Barossa Valley wine region, north east of Adelaide.

Planes

Adelaide Airport (www.aal.com.au), which receives domestic and international flights, is 75 kilometres away.

Trains

Trains connect to Adelaide's Keswick Terminal station from major cities Melbourne, Sydney, Perth and Darwin, operated by Great Southern Rail (www.gsr.com.au). Adelaide is home to famous train the Ghan (www.gsr.com.au), which runs from the city to Darwin via Alice Springs in both directions, if you fancy linking a cross-country trip with a stay in the Barossa Valley wine region.

Automobiles

From Adelaide, South Australia's capital, it's about a one-hour drive to the Louise. Download a driving map with instructions from the hotel's own website (www.thelouise.com.au). Free parking is available at the hotel.

Other

Please advise the hotel if you wish to arrive by helicopter. Transfers are available on request (it's a 20-minute flight from Adelaide Airport).

Reviews

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Anonymous review

by Paul McNally , Epicurean editor

This review of The Louise in Barossa Valley is taken from our guidebook Mr & Mrs Smith Hotel Collection Australia/New Zealand. We don’t arrive in Adelaide until the sun is already slinking away. By the time we negotiate the main road north (helpfully named ‘the Main Road North’) it’s coal-black out, the air is mint-crisp and the city’s far behind us. We’…
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The Louise

Anonymous review by Paul McNally, Epicurean editor

This review of The Louise in Barossa Valley is taken from our guidebook Mr & Mrs Smith Hotel Collection Australia/New Zealand.

We don’t arrive in Adelaide until the sun is already slinking away. By the time we negotiate the main road north (helpfully named ‘the Main Road North’) it’s coal-black out, the air is mint-crisp and the city’s far behind us. We’re heading to the Louise in the Barossa Valley, an hour plus some, according to our impressionist map. We pass a Penfolds sign and can almost smell the Grange. A few more turns through the rolling hills and we see the inviting glow of our home in the valley for the next two nights.

It’s late but we’re welcomed warmly at reception and taken through our booking – a private wine tour has been arranged the next day as has dinner at the hotel’s restaurant, Appellation. I’m tasked with filling in the following morning’s breakfast order – a job that in my ragged state seems impossibly difficult. I tell our check-in man I’m having a brain freeze as we just somehow gained 30 minutes flying across a few borders. (South Australia is half an hour behind the east coast of Australia.)

We’re staying in the Seppeltsfield Suite, one of 15 too-lovely lodgings at the Louise, which we enter through a spacious private courtyard to find a fresh and modern living room. Impressed and excited, we conduct the obligatory opening of drawers and doors – and then something unexpected happens. I unpack my clothes. I can’t claim to know other people’s habits, but I am much more a suitcase and ‘floor-drobe’ kind of guy (to the consternation of Mr Smith). But, as I fold the last of my underwear neatly into the drawer, it strikes me: I am already relaxed in this space. I’m not sure what I can pin this on – the rich, restful colours of the room, the country air, the plush, cosy furniture, the sleep deprivation?

Mr Smith runs the cavernous bath and we both soak, fitting comfortably, candles lit, jets pulsing. I’m sure I have a micro-sleep. Towelled off, Mr Smith pours us both a generous glass of the dangerously delicious complimentary port and we snuggle on the sofa, ignoring the lure of the LCD television. We resist a refill and retire to our enormous bed with its peak of cushy pillows.

The next morning we’re awoken by our arriving breakfast (I picked well). I try out the espresso machine and it makes a mean latte. We’re sorely tempted to stay here, meander through the weekend papers, and laze on the terrace deckchairs that overlook the tapestry of vineyards in more shades of green than a paint chart. However, we’re here for the true Barossa experience.

Almost all we know about the Barossa is wine, wine, wine – this is the spiritual home of Australia’s bold, brassy reds. And having just finished a month of self-imposed abstemiousness (for charity, for liver), we are more than ready to dive in. First up though, we take in the sights and smells (including dizzying wafts of bacon) of the nearby farmers’ market, a showcase of Barossa’s non-boozy bounty: artisan cheese, rustic bread, just-plucked veggies. The feel here is genuine and local – it’s not (yet) swamped with moneyed tourists.

Bellies full, we swing into action, ticking off some favourites: Henschke, Grant Burge, Charles Melton and Torbreck. Mr Smith is designated driver, and I’m quietly sozzled. We meet up with Sally Kalleske of Kalleske Wines in the early afternoon and get a private tour – arranged through the Louise – where we learn a great deal about wine-making, and we also meet their pet pig Wilbur. The little oinker, named after the rambunctious runt of Charlotte’s Web, has his hungry snout set on my footwear, so we don’t linger long in his pen. Kalleske is an organic, biodynamic winery. The holistic theory I like, but some of the practicalities of such a venture – like preparing soil with a cow’s horn stuffed with manure – is lost on me. No matter, the wines are truly fabulous and our host delightful.

Towards the end of a glorious afternoon, we head back to our suite and prepare for dinner at the Louise’s award-winning restaurant Appellation, arguably the foodie crown of the Barossa. We start with an apéritif and end – some three hours later, after traversing the local, seasonal, sensational tasting menu – with a bread and butter pudding so awesome I still haven’t shut up about it. Other highlights included punchy prosciutto-wrapped pigeon and lamb as tender as mother-love. Still buzzing, we follow the lit path back to our suite and climb into bed, completely satisfied.

Next morning, Mr Smith opens up the shutters to our (we dream) private vineyard and we loll about in bed, reading the paper and inventing unique wine blends. Our flight time ensures we can’t lie about forever, so we shower (did I mention it came with a choice of two drenching rain shower heads in a capacious room of its own, with a third shower in a linked outside space?) and hit the road. We’re sad to see the Barossa and the Louise fading from our view during take-off but delighted about our shipment of vino arriving in seven days. As we fly across the border, we lose that half an hour again, but at this point I’m not sure that I really care.

The Guestbook

Whenever you book a stay at a Smith hotel with us, we'll invite you to review it when you get back. Read what other Smith members had to say in The Louise's Guestbook below.

 

BlackSmith

Stayed on

We loved

Excellent location, well appointed rooms. Very secluded.

Don’t expect

A pool would be great.

Rating: 8/10 stars

BlackSmith

Stayed on

We loved

We received a free upgrade to the Stonewell Suite which was amazing, loved the complimentary bottle of bubbles on arrival, the restaurant Appellation was also a very special dining experience. A complete luxury experience we loved every minute!

Rating: 10/10 stars

GoldSmith

Stayed on

We loved

Beautifully appointed, spotless, lovely views, comfy beds, lots of showers, breakfast in the room, excellent service.

Don’t expect

The interior design knickknacks. Already out of date, unnecessary and bulky. Would rather just have some fresh flowers.

Rating: 8/10 stars

BlackSmith

Stayed on

We loved

I liked the rooms including the outside shower and the breakfast nook, the views over the vineyards, and the degustation menu in Appellation restaurant.

Don’t expect

The wine choice for matched wines could be better – three were well matched, two less so.

Rating: 8/10 stars

GoldSmith

Stayed on

We loved

I thought the layout was really imaginative, making it a wonderful spacious apartment with sunny (or shady) outdoor areas on either side at different times of the day. The bathroom is decadent with great lighting and a sexy outdoor shower for hot nights

Rating: 8/10 stars