Leading investors David Horbelt and Malcolm Bean have thrown open the doors today (Aug 18) to the nation’s most luxurious new accommodation offering, Sequoia lodge, at their sprawling Mount Lofty Estate in the Adelaide Hills.

The AU$18 million addition at Mount Lofty has been several years in the making and the product is firmly one of the best luxury offerings the nation has ever seen.

Overlooking the Piccadilly Valley, known for its premium vineyards and artisan producers, Sequoia features 14 luxurious, sustainably designed suites that were built with the latest in technology and comfort, such as fireplaces and room control panels, alongside natural artesian spring-fed stone hot pools, an infinity pool, new day spa and a campfire amphitheatre.

Horbelt said the lodge offers guests an “unparallel journey of discovery based around the region’s iconic food and wine, wellness, history and vast nature experiences allowing guests to delight in the sheer beauty of being”.

He said Sequoia connects guests with the unique stories of the region’s place and they will experience a transcendental journey that revolves around the human senses, desire to connect, socialise and seek comfort in the beauty of the moment.

“Malcolm and I are delighted to be able to build upon our world-famous luxury offering at neighbouring Mount Lofty House,” Horbelt said. “At Sequoia, we have created an entirely new level of opulence, every detail has been carefully planned to take guests on a journey that will touch the senses, connect with the soul and create a pure sense of delight.

“The lodge and its offering were born out of our passion and deep connection with the beauty for this region, we wanted to share our desire to celebrate life and create a sense of place and connection with nature, combined with exemplary personalised service and fine-dining.

“Sequoia truly is unique; we’ve integrated the highest principles of luxury amenity and service with the natural beauty of one of Australia’s most applauded landscapes in the Adelaide Hills,” he said.

Sequoia is led by Mount Lofty Estate’s award-winning General Manager, Jesse Kornoff, (pictured at the top) and a team of ‘Experience Hosts’, who guide guests thought a range of unique local bespoke activities themed around the pillars of food and wine, wellness, nature and history.

Kornoff said the experiences take guests on a “journey of learning and self-discovery” that celebrate South Australian stories and many of which are not available to the general public.

“From tasting the abundant local produce and fine-dining cuisine, wellness and rejuvenation to guided nature walks through the bush home of the world’s largest surviving koala population, star gazing, private helicopter tours and intimate tastings with some of Australia’s leading vintners, guests will feature centre stage in the region’s iconic attractions,” he said.

“Many of South Australia’s strongest luxury brands, including R.M. Williams, Jurlique and the country’s most celebrated wine-makers – think Penfolds, Henschke, and Torbreck – contrasted with exciting and boutique vineyards like Yelland and Papps or Bekkers, taking guests behind the scenes on an intimate journey of discovery.”

Impressively, the 75sqm open-plan suites boast 180-degree views of the patchwork Piccadilly Valley below from every part of the suite.

The rooms feature sunken lounges complete with stone fireplaces, opulent king-size beds with moon windows, expansive balconies with outdoor daybeds, a hidden television, elevated free-standing bathtubs, switch-glass privacy windows and heated floors along with some of the most technologically advanced automation in any hotel room in Australia.

Horbelt worked with local suppliers, craftsmen and artisans to bring the suites to life, whish he said has created “a tranquil oasis with a calming colour palette punctuated by warm accents of wood and stone”.

Each suite features an original oil painting by resident artist Stephen Trebilcock, who is “renowned for capturing unique local native florals in incredible detail, colour and depth” according to Horbelt.

The carefully curated décor at Sequoia by Horbelt includes an exquisite collection of artisanal pieces and amenities including Nick Mount glass, JamFactory ceramics, Jurlique products, Hahndorf Soap and OrganiQ bath salts.

Alongside the addition of Sequoia, Horbelt and Bean also created a new Gatekeeper’s Day Spa, which is located in one of the estate’s original cottages and offers three treatment spaces, including two double rooms, and a private post-treatment landscaped garden.

Mount Lofty Estate’s Wine Director, Liinaa Berry

Dining for guests at Sequoia is at the three-hatted and HM Awards-winning Hardy’s Verandah Restaurant, which offers a la carte and degustation menus, alongside one of the most exciting beverage lists in Australia, curated masterfully by Mount Lofty Estate’s Wine Director, Liinaa Berry.

Kornoff said dining options for lodge guests also include private dining on their balconies, elevated regional dining in the Sequoia lounge and regular private events like the lodge’s seven-course Taittinger Champagne dinner later this month.

Sequoia is named after the three giant Californian Redwood trees planted by the original owner, Arthur Hardy, that remain on the property.

James Wilkinson

Editor-In-Chief, Hotel Management