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Welcome to Hotel California – you can check out any time you want, but you can never leave.
Well – you can leave, but you would never want to.
Since visiting Hotel California Road I have had that Eagles’ song stuck in my head. But, apart from the name, there is no connection to be made between the slightly dark and broody lyrics in Hotel California and the beautiful luxury micro hotel ran by Dudley and Irina from Inkwell Wines. Well that, and the fact that I would just like to live here and… never leave.
Everything in the hotel, as well as the tasting room, looks and feels luxurious and beautiful – a perfect balance between the interior and the vineyards surrounding the location. The attention to detail is remarkable and inspiration came from the many trips Dudley and Irina made across the globe. The main question they asked themselves when developing their luxurious suites was ‘what would I like to see in a hotel?’ Turns out what they would like to see is a freestanding tub with a perfect view of the vineyards in each room, a fridge with an offering of delicious local snacks and sheets with high thread count.
All of this put together has made Hotel California Road an amazing little getaway for city dwellers looking to explore McLaren Vale, international visitors on their trips through the Fleurieu Peninsula and also lovers looking to celebrate their relationship; “last week we had all three suites booked by couples celebrating their lives together – the first pair stayed for their wedding night, while the other rooms were booked for a first and fifty year anniversary!” Looking for some romance in wine country? Sorted.
Apart from bringing the luxurious feelings as well as the good relationship vibes, the hotel also brings together all different aspects of the winery for Dudley and Irina. The question on how to keep a family farm sustainable in both the environmental and economical way seemed to be answered by opening the accommodation. Dudley explains they like to keep the brand, the winemaking and also running the cellar door close to themselves – for them, personal attention is the key to getting people excited about Inkwell. Having people stay on the property just really closed the loop on all levels. The hotel meant another building block in their business as well as an opportunity to give guests a complete immersion into the winery experience and McLaren Vale.
Because Inkwell is all about the ‘fingerprint of place’, that complete immersion is the most important part of it all. By keeping things simple, working with people instead of machines, leaving additives and intervention out of their winery, you get to experience the true Australian terroir that Dudley and Irina are putting into their bottles. Overlooking the vineyard from your suite’s private viewing deck and seeing a couple of kangaroos hopping through the vines is giving you exactly that – fresh air, wide open skies and a true feeling of the fingerprint of that place. Oh, Hotel California Road, such a lovely place.
Inkwell Wines is the winner of the Accommodation category 2019 Best of Wine Tourism Award for Adelaide | South Australia.
Words Lieke van der Hulst
Image Heidi Lewis