Need to know
10.30am, but flexible subject to availability. Check-in, 2pm.
Double rooms from $1374.20 (AU$2,000), excluding tax at 10 per cent.
Rates include all meals, open bar with premium wine and spirits, in-suite bar, selected Kangaroo Island experiences and island airport transfers.
Backed by an impressive limestone wall and with imported Roman floor tiles, the multi-faceted lobby area has something for everyone. The bar and restaurant occupy a large part of it, but there’s also a walk-in wine cellar in-the-round, a shop selling local produce, arts and crafts, a sunken lounge area with a too-cool French fireplace suspended from the ceiling, racks of quirky books and hip magazines, and an outdoor extension with a plunge pool.
At the hotel
Destination spa, wine cellar, library lounge with board games and DVDs, mountain bikes. In rooms: free WiFi, sound system with MP3 input, minibar, Li’Tya toiletries and outdoor terrace with day-bed. Selected suites have flatscreen TVs, DVD players and EcoSmart fires.
Our favourite rooms
There are five grades of rooms here and unsurprisingly, top dog, the super-private Osprey Suite, is the pick of the bunch. Jaw-dropping views, separate sunken lounge, freestanding oval handmade stone bath and terrace spa, plus state-of-the-art audiovisual gadgets (including a laptop). On a more affordable tip, we also love the 11 Flinders Suites (which have dreamy day-beds for terrace chilling), and five Ocean Retreats (with fabulous freestanding tubs and fireplaces).
No full-size pool, but there’s an infinity-edge plunge pool outside on the terrace by the restaurant, plus hot tubs in the Remarkable Suites and Osprey Pavilion. A short walk away, Hanson Bay has consistent surf for a rough-and-tumble swim.
Leave your ego at home. Sure, you’re paying for the privilege of being here (and it is a privilege), but management takes a first-name-basis approach, and the vibe is casual and unfussed. Don’t expect to hear any obsequious ‘sirs’ or ‘ma’ms’.
There’s a minimum two-night stay. Multi-night packages are available, incorporating day-spa treatments, room upgrades and private island charter tours.
Only kids over 10 years old are allowed; extra beds can be provided for AU$600 a person (with a minimum of two guests in each room).
Southern Ocean Lodge is an eco-attuned operator. It’s rainwater reliant, with breezeway ventilation, and an advanced greywater/compost recycling system. A solar power system is also planned and the lodge runs local environmental projects.