Australia’s famed wine region oozes atmosphere, from the gnarled vines – some of the oldest in the world – to the cutesy veranda homesteads, straight out of the 1800s. Come with a thirst, because this place is all about great drinking, not just the world-famous shiraz and cabernet sauvignon, but beers and gin too. And, after all those cellar visits, you’re going to be needing a nice, comfortable bed for the night. So we’ve rounded up the best hotels in the Barossa Valley.
Location, location, location: besides the comfortable rooms and steakhouse restaurant, the real selling point of Barossa Weintal Hotel is the super-convenient location in the town of Tanuda. It’s a blessing for indie explorers who want to visit wineries, bars and restaurants without having to drive – you can easily walk yourself to popular cellar doors such as Peter Lehmann and Langmeil Winery, or sensational local restaurant fermentAsian.
This is one of the Barossa’s most luxurious stays, and one for the foodies, too. Suites look out to rows of vineyards, radiating in every direction and have truly sink-into furniture, Bose speakers and books to thumb over a glass of wine. Fine-dining restaurant Appellation has an ambitious tasting menu showing off local produce like verjuice (unripe grape juice), and is a worthy splurge. Be sure to pop across the road for a tasting at organic Tscharke vineyards.
You know you’re in the Barossa Valley when your hotel comes with its own dedicated bottle shop. A stay at this community-owned inn gives you a peak into real Barossa life, with a bar frequented by locals and a pool for cooling off on sizzling South Australian days. Choose between bright standard hotel rooms or the self-contained one- and two-bedroom apartments, a natural choice for families or groups of wine-loving friends.
The rambling Barossa Farmers Market – a wonderland of sticky honey, fluffy loaves and zingy relishes – is one of the region’s must-dos, and you couldn’t be any closer when staying at the Angaston Vineyards Motel, just across the road. It’s also moments from the highly rated Vintners Bar & Grill, serving up gourmet delights ranging from kingfish crudo to passionfruit soufflé. In your post-dinner haze, you’ll need only to fall into bed back at the cosy, comfy motel.
This clutch of villas – including one spectacular glasshouse, sleeping six – is straight out of a glossy architectural magazine. Utterly sophisticated and adults-only, each stand-alone pad is about emphasizing the view out to vineyard-carved hills and scatterings of trees. Slick modern fireplaces, massage beds and jacuzzi baths up the indulgence factor, as does a goodie bag of local breakfast delights including double-smoked bacon for an under-the-duvet feast.
Who said luxurious couldn’t mean homely? Button-back leather sofas, cuddly throw blankets and the very setting – a Georgian-style stone mansion with cedar staircase and veranda – give this spot real warmth. But the intimate cellar dinners take it up another level, led by local winemakers, so, too, do the sunny pool and alfresco baths. Ask the staff to sort out a morning hot air ballooning adventure, and you’ll soar over Barossa vineyards as the sun comes up.
The warmth of hosts Casey and Justin Carter can be felt in every corner of this B&B, set in a historic homestead with original fireplaces (now whitewashed) and a converted onsite barn (now the breakfast room). Tour the grounds to eyeball expanses of seriously impressive shiraz grapevines – some nearly a century old. Then enjoy the view over a pretty lake, part of the five acres (2ha) of grounds, or make straight for the wine tastings – popular Turkey Flat Vineyards is right next door.
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Roaring fires, crystal vases and atmospherically worn-in wood furniture all come as part of the timeless package at this Georgian pile, with just eight rooms spread across two cottages. Superb breakfasts are part of the deal too, starring South Australian orange juice, Lyndoch smoked bacon and beef from the owners’ on-farm Barossa Angus herd. A colony of 800 roses perfume the grounds, perfect for games of pétanque, or simply sitting back at sunset and sipping glasses of rich Barossa shiraz.
The Novotel has some of the most enviable views in the Barossa. Designed like one long strip, all rooms – not just a select few – have balconies gazing out across undulating countryside, variegated in greens and golds. The view from the Cellar Kitchen restaurant is no less impressive, and comes with South Australia delights ranging from heritage tomato carpaccio to roasted peaches with Barossa honey yoghurt and thyme ice cream. It’s not all eating and drinking, mind – be sure to make time for the pool, lined with loungers and umbrellas.
It doesn’t get more atmospheric than this: a stone-walled 19th-century homestead, nestled among the vines of Brockenchack vineyards. It only sleeps four people, which means you’ll pretty much feel like you own the place – and as part of the package, you’ll even get a private wine tasting with owner Trevor Harch. There’s a spa, and kitchen on hand if you want to self-cater, but with so many great eats nearby, why should you? Head on out when you’re hungry.
From the sweet-smelling Hermes toiletries to the heated floors and oversized rain showers – and views to vineyards beyond – the luxe rooms at le Mas are difficult to leave. But with so much else at this boutique, Franco-Australian property, try not to stay in all day. Stroll among some of the oldest Grenache vines in the world (harvested for nearby Rockford), dine on refined French-style cuisine, including duck pate and escargots, on the sun-drenched Orangerie patio, or drain refreshing rosé in the on-site cellar door. It’s heaven on a plate, (and in a glass, or three).