The Louise

Barossa Valley, South Australia, Australia Book from Book from £327 per night

Cosset yourself at an idyllic gourmet retreat, located in a tranquil corner of South Australia’s main wine region
An hour’s drive north of state capital Adelaide, the Barossa Valley is the epicentre of South Australia’s wine production. Its vintages are certainly world-class, but there's plenty to do beyond the obligatory vineyard tour. Foodies are spoilt for choice, thanks to a plethora of top-notch restaurants, cafés and delis, while heritage hunters will enjoy exploring historic villages, Lutheran churches and the Barossan goldfields. Nature lovers will revel in the rolling, golden hills and exotic birdlife; sporty types will find walking trails and golf courses galore.

The Louise, with its stunning panoramic views, makes an ideal base from which to explore the Barossa’s diversity. Low, rambling limestone buildings nod to turn-of-the-century Federation architecture but, inside, all 15 immaculate suites have been brought up to date with state-of-the-art home entertainment systems, complimentary mini-bars, deeply comfortable kingsize beds and opulent bathrooms. Some have outdoor showers (a real luxury in the hot summer) and real-flame fires (more for ambiance than warmth, really). But the pièce de résistance is the superb restaurant, Appellation, which has picture windows, modern Danish-style furniture and spectacular wine-matched tasting menus: pure Epicurean delight.
Covid-19 update: some services and facilities may be changed as a result of Coronavirus measures.

Highs

  • The sense of remoteness from the outside world - even though you’re only a short drive from the Barossa’s wineries and towns
  • The award-winning restaurant is worth the trip alone - book it at the same time as your room as it's highly popular. There's also more casual comfort dining and drinking at three75 bar + kitchen
  • A superb wine list references not only the best of Barossa but also exemplary global vintages
  • Service combines Aussie friendliness with 5-star efficiency and lashings of local knowledge
  • All suites have private terraces and dining tables; breakfast can be served in-suite

Lows

  • The bedroom décor is rather neutral
  • The hushed, reverent atmosphere in the restaurant may not suit everyone, three75 is more informal
  • You’ll need to hire a car to explore the area (the nearest towns are an 8-minute drive away); not ideal when wine tasting is on the menu
  • Not suitable for children under 10 (a plus for some!)
  • The price - it's not cheap, though we think it's fair value for money

Best time to go

At the height of summer (December to February), temperatures in the Barossa can easily hit 40C. I’d recommend you head there in spring, when temperatures are a little cooler, the vineyards are cloaked in bright green leaves, and wildflowers cover the hills. Autumn is also great - the vineyards provide a riot of coloured foliage and the temperatures have started to dip. While it might rain in winter, it rarely does so for long, and the cooler nights are perfect for long, indulgent meals and fireside chats. Weekdays tend to be cheaper than weekends.

Our top tips

If you’re interested in wine, make the most of the staff’s insider knowledge. Not only can they arrange one-on-one appointments for you to meet winemakers, they can also give you the lowdown on which of the local wineries are really on top form at the time of your visit.

Great for...

Eco
Foodie
Great Outdoors
Romantic
  • Boutique Hotel
  • 15
  • Restaurant and bar (open daily)
  • Only Children aged 10 years and over are accepted
  • Open all year
  • Outdoor Pool
  • Spa Treatments
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Concierge Service
  • Bicycles Available
  • Board games
Room:

Rooms

The 15 suites fall into 3 categories, but even the entry-level Vineyard Suites have a deep-pile, insulated-against-reality feeling. They have less space than the top suites but you can feel the opulence in the super-soft bedlinen, the mattress with just the right amount of resistance, the espresso machine, the iPod docking station and Bose CD player, the dining table and the private terrace with loungers. Nice touches include the complimentary mini-bar (refreshed daily) and delectable snacks from Appellation.

The same sense of luxury continues in the ample bathrooms, complete with underfloor heating, his and hers basins, robes and slippers, double-head rain showers, deep spa baths for 2 and atmospheric candles.

All rooms share a similar neutral décor, with a signature piece of tasteful artwork by a contemporary (South) Australian: oil paintings by Barossa artist Jane Wells, glass vessels, or wooden bases resembling champagne corks.

Room sizes increase as you go up the price scale from the Vineyard Suites to the Stonewell Suites and the top-of-the range Seppeltsfield Suites. You'll also find extras such as separate lounges with oversized armchairs and footstools, real-flame gas fires, larger terraces, and outdoor showers. The Estate Suite has 2 ensuite bedrooms, an ideal solution for 2 couples travelling together or for an indulgent girls’ night out to visit the surrounding cellar doors - but not for families, since the hotel isn't suitable for children under 10.

Features include:

  • Air conditioning
  • Bathrobes
  • CD player
  • Central heating
  • Coffee maker
  • DVD player
  • Fan
  • Hairdryer
  • Ipod dock
  • Iron
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Phone
  • Safe box
  • Satellite TV
  • Slippers
  • Terrace
  • Toiletries
  • WiFi
  • Writing desk

Eating

Dinner at Appellation is one of the big treats of staying at The Louise. You'll understand why chef Daniel Murphy’s exquisitely presented food has picked up so many awards: each bite a punch of concentrated flavour. Open Wednesday through Sunday, there's a 5-course seasonally changing set menu. You might enjoy Coffin Bay oysters with Seppeltsfield Rd gin and salmon roe, or the rich flavours of Lenswood duck highlighted by an abalone broth and sweet beetroot.

Regional and rare wines or non-alcoholic drinks pairings are on offer for each dish. In addition to the terrific range of South Australian wines, I was surprised and impressed to see a more-than-adequate selection of classic wines from around the world.

The newer more casual drinking and dining space next door, three75, also has big picture windows overlooking the valley, and is open each evening for cocktails and beverages; menu items come in bits, bites, bigger, burger and sides categories. This is also where you'll enjoy a seasonal a la carte breakfast. A continental selection - such as pastries, conserves and spreads (many locally produced), and locally cured ham and cheese or smoked salmon - can also be delivered to your suite at a time of your choosing.

On Saturday mornings, visit the Barossa farmer’s market for the region’s agricultural richness and its culinary heritage. Look out for the charcuterie derived from the Barossa’s Germanic heritage, as well as freshly caught yabbies, the local crayfish.

Occasionally, The Louise run a winemaker's dinner- an intimate shared-table dinner that includes four courses, each paired with stand-out wines.

Features include:

  • Bar
  • Breakfast
  • Coffee maker
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Organic produce
  • Restaurant
  • Room service
  • Vegetarian menu
Eating:
Activity:

Activities

  • Taste the wine! Given that you’re surrounded by some of Australia’s best-known wineries it would be rude not to. Steer clear of the biggest names and head for the medium and small wineries, such as Yalumba, Rockford Wines, Elderton, Turkey Flat, Langmeil or Charles Melton
  • If you're here on a Saturday check out the Wine and Cheese Matching Tutorial, hosted by one of Appellation's sommeliers in the Wine Bar at 4pm
  • Try the Most Brilliant Blend arranged in conjunction with Penfolds Winery, 10 minutes away. Receive a 2-hour lesson on blending grape varietals to produce different wine styles. You get your own blended bottle with your name and the date on it
  • Buy a picnic at Maggie Beer’s iconic Pheasant Farm or Barossa Picnic Baskets, then make your way up to the hill above the Steingarten Vineyard for lunch with a view
  • Go on a walk into the bush to discover the impressive Flinders ranges and its wildlife
  • Play a round of golf at one of the 4 18-hole courses nearby
  • Visit some of Barossa’s heritage sites. With a history of free settlement that dates back to the 1840s, the region offers some of Australia’s oldest architecture, from stone-built cottages to whitewashed churches. A walk through the goldfield trails of Cockatoo Valley gives you an insight into the area’s mining history, try your hand at panning for gold
  • Birders will want to seek out the yellow thornbill, rufous whistler and spectacular diamond firetail, or head to Tanunda Ponds for freckled and blue-billed ducks; Kaiserstuhl Country Park is home to the scarlet robin and white-naped honeyeater
  • Pack a bottle of water in your rucksack and head off for a long day’s ramble (or borrow one of the hotel's bicycles) around one of the local nature reserves. There’s a good chance you’ll catch sight of kangaroos and wombats
  • Alternatively, the hotel can arrange a gourmet 'breakfast with kangaroos' in the nearby conservation park, where - with a bit of luck, and help from the guide - you might spot a mob of Joeys taking their elevenses while you look on from behind a glass of low-alcohol Moscato
  • Enjoy a champagne breakfast standing in a hot air balloon's wicker basket 300 feet up in the air, courtesy of Balloon Adventures
  • Back at the hotel, indulge with an in-suite massage, or visit the sauna and hot tub

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Birdwatching
  • Cycling
  • Golf
  • Hiking
  • Historical sites
  • Hot air ballooning
  • Plantlife / flora
  • Private guided tours
  • Well being
  • Wildlife
  • Wine tasting

Kids

The Louise doesn't accept children under 10, and certainly the hushed atmosphere is aimed at adults seeking peace and quiet. But you can come with older teenagers who (preferably) enjoy the finer things in life and won't run riot in communal areas.

Best for:

Teens (over 12)

Family friendly accommodation:

Families with teenagers are advised to book a separate suite or take the 2-bedroom Seppeltsfield Suite.

Kid Friendly:

Location

The Louise is located in Marananga, which lies in the northwest corner of the Barossa Valley, itself an hour’s drive north of Adelaide. The sometimes hilly countryside is dotted with wineries, many of which are among the oldest and best-known in Australia. Tanunda or Nuriootpa are the nearest towns, about 8 minutes away by car.

By Air:
Fly to Adelaide International Airport (77km away) - click on the links below for more information about airlines which fly to Adelaide from both domestic and international destinations. The hotel has a helipad for the use of its customers.

From the Airport/Adelaide
The Louise can arrange a transfer (see rates), either from the airport or from any of the city hotels in Adelaide.

By Train:
The Louise can meet you at the arrival of the Ghan train from the outback, or the cross-country Indian-Pacific train from Perth or Sydney.

By Car:
You can’t make the most out of a visit to the Barossa without either hiring a self-drive car or hiring a car and driver. Drive back to Adelaide taking the scenic route via Lyndoch. See our car rental recommendations.

Detailed directions will be sent when you book through i-escape.com.

More on getting to Australia and getting around

Airports:

  • Adelaide International 77.0 km ADL

Other:

  • Beach 80.0 km
  • Shops 8.0 km
  • Restaurant 8.0 km

Rates for The Louise

Arriving on: