Although Sequoia Lodge is a standalone luxury lodge experience in itself, it would be remiss not to mention that it sits on Mount Lofty Estate, home to Mount Lofty House boutique hotel, Hardy’s Verandah Restaurant, Arthur Waterhouse Lounge & Bar, Gatekeeper’s Day Spa, and stunning vineyard and garden surrounds, all of which are accessible to Sequoia Lodge guests, if you can bring yourself to leave your luxurious suite.
Driving up the driveway onto Mount Lofty Estate feels like stepping back in time, as the grand house comes into view, like something out of The Great Gatsby. A slight curve in the driveway brings you to Sequoia Lodge, an experience as calming and peaceful as Lofty House is decadent and grand.
Checking In to Sequoia Lodge
It’s a wonderful start to any hotel experience when you’re greeted with a smile and two glasses of local sparkling by your host. As you’re led into the lounge area, that Piccadilly Valley view comes into focus, and the rolling Adelaide Hills are just as breathtaking as you would imagine. With the warmth of the fire and a few sips of sparkling, you’ll instantly fall into a state of relaxation.
During check-in you’re taken through your pre-arranged activities for your stay, and there’s time to make any last minute requests before you’re invited to go and settle into your suite.
There are 14 identical suites at Sequoia Lodge, with the only difference being the artwork by local artist Stephen Trebilcock, which change as works are sold to guests who simply can not leave without their own piece of the Adelaide Hills.
The suites are designed with all the modern conveniences, with two wall panels controlling everything from your gas fire, electric blinds, floor heating, mood lighting, hidden tv, music and climate.
The wellness shower deserves it’s own mention, offering four different showerheads; rain shower, jets to massage your back, waterfall, and hand held. A word of warning, coming home to your own regular shower is a bitterly disappointing experience.
Each suite is from $1,200 per night including daily breakfast and Sequoia experiences. All-inclusive packages start from $2,400 per night, should you wish to check out upon check-in and leave all the decision-making at the door!
On your day of arrival you’ll be invited to join in a late afternoon Lodge Welcome, where along with your fellow guests you will enjoy a glass (or two) of sparkling, some cheese and bites to eat, while a lodge host speaks to your group about the story of the land from it’s Indigenous history, through the 1800s when Adelaide businessman Arthur Hardy purchased the property as his summer estate and built Mount Lofty House, to the devastating fires that subsequently destroyed the estate, through to modern day and the way the current owners have carefully designed and created an experience both at Sequoia and Mount Lofty house, which both celebrates and respects the estate’s rich history and natural surrounds.
Your host will also talk through the many ways Sequoia is supporting and celebrating local produce, from the all-local wine list, to the sandstone used in the feature walls, the ceramics and vases decorating the property, the breathtaking artwork, the Jurlique bathroom amenities, and even the popcorn in your suite that is made by a local 14 year old boy called Sam.
The welcome is a lovely way to connect with other guests at the lodge, and with only 28 guests maximum at any one time, there is a sense of community throughout your stay, where stories and recommendations are shared as you pass each other in the lounge or around the grounds throughout the stay.
Maker & Somm
We were lucky enough to arrive on a Friday when the Maker & Somm experience was offered, hosted by Mount Lofty Estate’s Director of Wine, Liinaa Berry.
After spending just a few minutes with Liinaa it’s easy to see why the estate’s signature restaurant is known for having such a diverse and spectacular wine list. Her knowledge is quite breathtaking, not just of wines internationally, but also agriculture and winemaking, as well as the effects the climate crisis is having on the industry and the how and where wine will be made to adapt to the changing environment.
Every week a different local winemaker joins Liinaa to showcase their produce, and during our stay it was Leigh from Langmeil Wines in the Barossa Valley, who introduced the group to wines made from some of the oldest vines in Australia, dating back as far as 1843. Along with the wine, the Sequoia kitchen provides paired canapes and tapas.
Hardy’s Verandah Restaurant
Throughout your stay at Sequoia, you will hear of Arthur Hardy’s infamous three day parties, rumoured to rival the fictitious Jay Gatsby himself. Walking through the halls of Mount Lofty House as you make your way to the restaurant, you can envision the decadence and debauchery that once filled the house, which is to this day decorated in an old-world style, paying homage to times past.
The restaurant has been awarded three chef hats, and lives up to its reputation as one of the best fine dining experiences Australia has to offer. Our hosts for the evening passionately talk us through each of our seven courses, with matched wines presented by sommelier Lovin.
With views from the Verandah overlooking the Piccadilly Valley, the outlook is as impressive as the food and service. Restaurant manager David offers guests a private tour of the wine cellar, and talks us through the wine selection, as well as the history of the room – including a glimpse at Hardy’s secret passage, used by party guests who didn’t want to be seen coming and going.
Sequoia offers a number of signature experiences as part of your stay including the Maker & Somm wine tasting, guided nature walks, star gazing, private artesian hot pool session, guided cycling, Le Nez Du Vin (The Nose of the Wine), and sunrise yoga.
A number of exclusive off-site experiences can also be arranged by your hosts, including private tours of local vineyards, the iconic R.W. Williams factory, luxury drive experience hosted by Prancing Horse, and treatments at Mount Lofty Estate’s Gatekeeper’s Day Spa.
Book your stay
Book your stay via Sequoia.
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