Spot wallabies, kangaroos and koalas from your suite at Sequoia Lodge: each of the 14 rooms has a balcony, sunken lounge and freestanding bath tub with views out to the Adelaide Hills. Suites are decked out in neutral accents of warm wood, stone and blonde timber – as if politely allowing the 180-degree valley views to take centre stage. There’s plenty included in your stay too: listen to ancient dreamtime stories told by indigenous people, learn from local artisan producers, perfect your vinyasa flow in a sunrise yoga session or take a dip in an artesian naturally spring-fed hot pool. Check in for a holiday, check out with a connection to the land, the people and the animals that make Adelaide’s hills so arresting.
Double rooms from £765.48 (AU$1,350), including tax at 10 per cent.
Rates include an à la carte breakfast, served in the glass-walled Sequoia lodge restaurant.
Adelaide is home to the largest surviving koala population – you’ll likely pass plenty of fluffy friends snoozing peacefully in tree forks.
At the hotel
Spa with three treatment rooms, tennis courts, spring-fed hot pools, campfire, wildlife enclosure, walking trails. In rooms: WiFi, hidden TV, built-in fireplace, room control panel, tea- and coffee-making kit, stand alone bath tub, wellness shower with four different settings, organic Jurlique toiletries
Our favourite rooms
All 14 open-plan suites are identical – the only difference being the original oil painting that takes pride of place in your sunken lounge (although all were painted by local artist Stephen Trebilcock). Two wall panels control the fire, floor heating, mood lighting, music and climate in your room, and each suite has an elevated freestanding bath tub with views over the valley.
Two private, naturally spring-fed hot pools (ranging between 38 and 40 degrees) can be booked for couples. There’s a main infinity pool perched on the valley rim, too.
The Gatekeeper’s day spa was once a National Trust building and has been meticulously restored to house three treatment rooms, including two couples rooms and a private, post-treatment landscaped garden. Indulge in an organic facial or rejuvenating massage – all treatments use organic, locally sourced products from the nearby Jurlique farm.
Keep plenty of room in your suitcase to bring back bottles from boutique McLaren Vale wineries: labels include Samson Tall, Bekkers Wine and Yangarra Estate. Bring lightweight layers, too. Temperatures in Mount Lofty are typically between five and seven degrees cooler than the Adelaide Plains. In fact, summer here is cooler than anywhere else in South Australia – so prepare for slightly fresher mornings and evenings.
There are two suites specifically designed for wheelchair users. In these rooms all control panels are placed at wheelchair height, doorways and walkways are widened for better clearance, and bathrooms have handrails and an accessible shower.
Sequoia Lodge is an adults-only hotel.
You’ll notice local products throughout the hotel – including sandstone walls, ceramics, artworks and bath products – carefully chosen to reduce the lodge’s carbon footprint and support local makers. The lodge also works to reduce its food waste and use of energy, water and plastics where possible.
Take lunch on the lodge’s sun-dappled terrace, dinner by the big bay window of Hardy’s Verandah, and a night cap cocooned in a dark leather armchair by the fireplace of the Arthur Waterhouse lounge.
Something subtly stretchy for the seven-course tasting menu, and light layers for your wine-fuelled stumble back to the lodge.
The Sequoia Lodge lounge is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, but more formal meals are taken in Hardy’s Verandah restaurant, just steps from the lodge. Hardy's seasonally changing fine-dining menu is entirely ‘valley to verandah’ – favouring local farmers and fishermen. Chef Jin Choi celebrates the region’s bounty with delicate plating and bold flavours. Dishes include onion fondant with goats cheese and macadamia nut milk, crayfish ravioli with curry broth and chilli jam, spiced lamb saddle with carrot purée and artichokes, and wagyu brisket with Black Angus tenderloin, scallops and pearl onion. Pair your four- or seven-course meal with a carefully curated selection of cult wines from South Australia, drafted together by Mount Lofty’s Wine Director, Liinaa Berry.
The Arthur Waterhouse lounge is just steps from the main lodge and is cosy and cocktail-focused: the mixologists create a new menu of drinks every season, inspired by the crops of the moment. An elderflower collins or rye and fino old fashioned might take your fancy; or the Awl Spritz, which changes throughout the year to highlight in-season flavours. Mocktails, kombucha and fresh juices can also be enjoyed in the lounge. There's another bar in the lodge, too, with a roaring fireplace and panoramic Piccadilly Valley views.
There's breakfast 7–10.30am and then all-day dining until 9pm in the lounge. Dinner is served from 7pm in Hardy’s Verandah, seven days a week. The Arthur Waterhouse lounge is open from 12 noon, and last drinks orders are at 11pm.
A separate menu is available for all-day in-suite dining.
Sequoia Lodge sits on the side of Mount Lofty in the rugged Adelaide Hills, South Australia.
Adelaide airport is a 30-minute drive from the hotel. Contact the lodge to book a transfer, starting at $140 one-way.
There’s a private car park at the lodge, and you can pick up a hire car at Adelaide airport.
Worth getting out of bed for
Valley vistas aside, there’s plenty to do around Sequoia Lodge, especially as some experiences are included in your stay. Get your body moving with a sunrise vinyasa flow, led by a local practitioner, or a guided walk along the Heysen trail up to the long-ridge look-out. Speaking of walking: hiking and cycling are particularly popular in the area – head to the Mount Lofty botanic garden or nearby national parks for some of the best in the region. Keep a keen eye out for koalas, kangaroos and wallabies all the while: native Australian animals roam freely here. You can hand-feed cockatoos, kangaroos and emus at the on-site aviary, too. Give your legs a well-deserved rest in the natural, spring-fed hot pools overlooking the valley rim, and wine down with a Maker & Somm session, where you’ll be joined by a south Australian-based winemaker and the lodge’s sommelier for an hour of wine tasting. The hills afford excellent stargazing when dusk sets in – and the lodge has a telescope to give you the best view of the stars that light up the valley, from the comfort of the fire-warmed lounge.
Every hotel featured is visited personally by members of our team, given the Smith seal of approval, and then anonymously reviewed. As soon as our reviewers have returned from this hilltop hotel in South Australia and unpacked their bottles of wine from Samson Tall and Jurlique toiletries, a full account of their down-with-nature break will be with you. In the meantime, to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick peek inside Sequoia Lodge in Adelaide…
Wildlife-filled walking trails beckon from the leafy groves of the Adelaide Hills – a landscape dotted with botanic gardens, truffle farms and apple orchards. You’ll get a bird’s-eye view of the bush from Sequoia Lodge – a South Australian hideaway that promises to connect you to the earth. And you’ll be hard pressed to not slow down and take a moment: be it on the sun terrace, in one of the spring-fed hot pools, or by the built-in fireplace in your suite’s sunken lounge. You can even stargaze from the comfort of your pillow – your suite’s king-size bed is perfectly positioned under moon windows that frame the stars lighting up the valley from dusk through to dawn. This might all sound particularly wholesome (and it is) but there are also four world-class wine regions within driving distance, including two of South Australia’s highest altitude vineyards, so you’ll have plenty of cool-climate wines to taste between koala spotting and massages in the hotel’s spa.