South Australian wine producer The Vineyard Retreat at Blewitt Springs has unveiled a new pre-fabricated pod designed to offer accommodation in a luxurious yet eco-friendly layout.
Dubbed the ‘Escapod’, the new pod complements a selection of one and two-bedroom apartments already on site at the McLaren Vale winery, south of Adelaide. A second Escapod has been approved for construction but is yet to be put together on site. Each takes around eight weeks to build and around two weeks to prepare the site in advance.
At around 70 square metres in size, the Escapod is essentially a multi-room apartment in one space, featuring a living room, dining room and bedroom furnished with a king bed with ensuite. The space also includes a functioning kitchen, fireplace and storage room, with extra comfort features including heated flooring, appliances, heating and air-conditioning and automated blinds. The entire dwelling is served by rainwater tanks and a wastewater treatment system.
While it is connected it electricity, occupants can opt to remove it from the grid and run from a solar powered battery too. And the entire unit can be disassembled and transported anywhere else as the owner desires.
Still a prototype at this stage, Escapod CEO Ryan Brown said future units would be constructed near Adelaide at a “controlled facility”, beginning next month, with a view for regional tourism operators to learn how they can offer comfortable accommodation without harming the environment.
“We’re really focusing on regional tourism locations and that could be anything from the Flinders Ranges to the Outback, farm stay or coastal – basically anywhere there is a demand for high-end regional accommodation.
“In the first year we’d like to get about 20 buildings up and going and we think we can achieve that with a handful of projects – ideally we’d like to have four to six buildings in a project depending on the property,” Brown added.