Sod turned as rebuild of Southern Ocean Lodge begins

Baillie Lodges marks the start of rebuilding flagship Kangaroo Island retreat

The rebuild of Baillie Lodges’ Southern Ocean Lodge on Kangaroo Island, South Australia commenced on Friday [18 February 2022], with an official sod-turning ceremony. The original flagship property of the Baillie Lodges’ stable was destroyed by bushfires in January 2020.

Baillie Lodges’ Founders, James and Hayley Baillie, were joined by South Australia Premier Steve Marshall at the event on Kangaroo Island’s remote southwest coast for the ground breaking of Southern Ocean Lodge 2.0 (nicknamed “SOL 2.0”), using a shovel retrieved from the ashes. Also attending the ceremony was Southern Ocean Lodge Managers John Hird and Alison Heath and architect Max Pritchard.

The original Southern Ocean Lodge, perched on Kangaroo Island's rugged southwest coastline

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The significant rebuild, estimated to be in the realms of $50 million, comes with the support of Baillie Lodges capital partner, US-based KSL Capital Partners.

‘SOL 2.0’ will feature 25 rooms and is slated to open in the second half of 2023.

Baillie Lodges confirmed South Australian architects Max Pritchard Gunner have created innovative plans for SOL 2.0 that combine the timeless features of the original with grand new features designed to raise the bar of the Baillie Lodges’ guest experience.

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Remarkable Suite render, Southern Ocean Lodge 2.0

As exclusively revealed by LATTE earlier this month, ‘SOL 2.0’ will include a new ultra-premium suite, the 640 square-metre Ocean Pavilion which follows the ‘owner’s residence’ style pavilions across the portfolio and sits remotely offering expansive views of the Southern Ocean and private accommodation with up to four bedrooms and bathrooms, or a combination of two separate suites.

SOL 2.0 will largely maintain the original lodge footprint with luxurious guest suites easing along the coastline. Each of the suites has been reoriented to offer even better views of the ocean and coastal wilderness. The new orientation allows generous in and outdoor lounging as well as baths and Eco-Smart fireplaces for all suite categories, while a new location for the Southern Spa allows space for three treatment rooms, state-of-the-art fitness equipment, a sauna and temperature-controlled hot and cold plunge pools.

Environmental sustainability is core to the lodge’s new design, with significant hybrid solar and battery infrastructure allowing the luxury lodge to continue to run off-grid in its remote location while reducing diesel fuel consumption by more than 50 percent.

The new operation will support South Australian suppliers of food, drinks, furnishings, and artworks.

Flinders Suite render, Southern Ocean Lodge

“It is a remarkable achievement from the entire team at Baillie Lodges to commit to bringing back an absolute icon of South Australian tourism. Rebuilding Southern Ocean Lodge – a truly world-class destination on Kangaroo Island – is not only an enormous show of confidence in how our state will strongly bounce back, but also in the future of tourism and business on the island,” said Premier Steven Marshall.

Founder James Baillie said he was both relieved and excited to see the SOL 2.0 build commence.

“There’s been a lot of work going on behind the scenes over these past two years and we are so pleased to have the band back together again, working with Max Pritchard on designs, Matthew Giltrap and Mat Daniel on the build and with the works of so many of the state’s fine designers and artists like Khai Liew and Janine MacIntosh already commissioned for the property,” Mr Baillie said.

Osprey Suite render, Southern Ocean Lodge

“We’re extremely grateful to everyone who has helped and encouraged us to date, including the close KI community, Southern Ocean Lodge friends and former staff who’ve helped in our working bees and the South Australian government whose continued support for the project has been invaluable,” he added.

“We’re looking forward to putting this period behind us, and to wow guests once again with the wild beauty of KI. We hope SOL 2.0 will be a symbol of resilience and optimism for the future of Australian tourism,” Baillie concluded.

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