Ever sensitive to the precious landscapes in which the Baillie Lodges properties balance, Capella and Southern Ocean Lodge are each an architectural attraction in its own right and combine as a celebration of Australian design.
Owners James and Hayley Baillie work closely with outstanding architects to achieve a shared vision, complemented by their joint personal passion for contemporary design. Guests often comment on the attention to detail in the creation, as Australian foodie legend, Maggie Beer explains, ‘One of my favourite travel experiences is Southern Ocean Lodge on Kangaroo Island. Archictect Max Pritchard and his very discerning clients James and Hayley Baillie have given Australia a most beautiful resort.
A commitment to commissioning local designers and using locally-sourced, sustainable materials creates a unique feeling of ‘senseof place’. Together the lodges carry a “Baillie” feel of organic luxury with a local destination focus. Each luxury lodge is designed to allow the outside in, affording guests a seamless experience of the destination.
At Capella Lodge on World Heritage-listed Lord Howe Island, a clever, contemporary architectural design by Sydney architect Justin Long in collaboration with interior architects Pike Withers, creates an easy living, flow-through feel. Skillion roofs and floor-to-ceiling windows welcome the outside in. Generous decks invite lounging in the island’s afternoon sun with plantation shutters and copper finishes creating a sophisticated beach-house ambience. An open-plan lounge, bar and restaurant are set to a spectacular subtropical island backdrop; the lodge throws open its windows to catch the sea breeze and the scent of frangipani.
Spacious, light-filled interiors are Lord Howe beach-house chic; luxe organic finishes combine with modern mariner-style joinery, timber floors and kentia-themed Bruce Goold furnishings to create a relaxed, contemporary style and a feeling of ‘barefoot’ luxury. The Lodge is sustainable in design; timbers are recycled, floors furnished with natural floor coverings, lounging areas warmed with atmospheric EcoSmart fires.
Suites are furnished with such lounging treats as the addictive Danish ‘Primetime’ chair with a classic Artemide Tolomeo lamp stretching above, ideal for a ‘guilty as sin’ read in the afternoon breeze. In and outdoor lounging feature custom-designed soft furnishings and wood art by young Australian designers Jodie Bohlu and Julie Paterson add to the ‘laid back’ Lord Howe feel. Organic artworks by Cardamatis and Saad use natural botanicals to create rhythmic, textured designs.
Reflecting the sheer rise of the mountains beyond, basalt stone features in striking ensuite bathrooms; an oversized rain shower and custom-created Capella Spa toiletries revitalise. Expansive outdoor terraces and decks with Gervasoni ceramic cubes and sumptuous daybeds complete a picture of relaxed, barefoot luxury.
Heading south to Kangaroo Island, local South Australian Max Pritchard is the architectural mastermind behind the much-lauded design of Southern Ocean Lodge, which opened to world-wide acclaim in 2008. Set along a remote stretch of coastline overlooking the Southern Ocean and surrounded by national parks, the twenty-one suite ‘super-lodge’ is made remarkable by the total experience, and in great part by Max’s aim to minimise environmental impact and to maximise each guest’s experience of the destination.
Perceptions of the Lodge design from afar are personal and open to debate; does it ‘float’ above the coastal landscape? Does its form reflect the waves rolling towards the shore, or is it the ridges of the limestone cliffs?
Outside, boardwalks that hover above the earth link the Lodge to the remote Southern Spa, stargazing platform and the nearby ‘private’ bay for swimming or beachcombing. Iconic Australian artist Florence Broadhurst is honoured in the wallpapers and soft furnishings throughout the Lodge and Spa.Local materials encourage a real sense of place – recycled timbers, white limestone floors and the chalk-white local limestone wall sculpture which snakes through the Lodge, linking and highlighting its features in the most remarkable manner. A suspended fireplace spreads a warm glow throughout.
The feeling upon entering is one of awe, for the landscape and the Lodge alike. Max has created a uniquely dramatic Lodge entrance appreciated best in hindsight; the drive to the Lodge through the fauna-rich bushland deliberately disguises the view of the Southern Ocean for which the Lodge is named. The first vision of the ocean and coastline stretching ad infinitum is on entrance to the main Lodge via grand rusted steel doors; the guest is then invited to take in the Lodge’s Great Room, its lounge and restaurant with this awe-inspiring, ever-changing backdrop.
Artworks on display are exclusively collected from Kangaroo Island artists, and include the leaf mandalas by Janine Mackintosh, and ‘Sunshine’ the watchful kangaroo, created with found objects by local sculptor Indiana James. Glassworks and ceramics are sourced from the inspiring Jam Factory on the mainland’s Adelaide, a mecca for SA designers to create and show their work. Signature tableware from Malcolm Greenwood and Bison reflect the raw Australian landscape. James and Hayley Baillie have commissioned such design luminaries as local Khai Liew for his artisan timber furnishings, likewise dynamic Melbourne duo Pierre and Charlotte Julian.
A focus on each guest’s experience of place has ensured every suite has spectacular views of the Southern Ocean and coast, an inspiration from daybreak till the dusk softens. Suites feature local artworks, EcoSmart fires and custom soft furnishings. Ensuite bathrooms are filled with Southern Spa amenities using locally-sourced botanicals and warmed with limestone tiles and floor-to-ceiling windows to allow a view from any angle. A step outside to a protected private terrace with daybed allows a deep breath of pure fresh air, delivered direct from the Antarctic.
Links to Capella include the popular ‘Prime Time’ chair, Cloth’s Julie Patterson and her custom-designed ‘kanga’ fabric which features in soft furnishings, floor coverings and artwork, and Jodie Fried’s Bohlu rugs and cushions which reflect the landscape beyond. Cool blue Gervasoni ceramic cubes line up on the terrace, reflecting the colours of the Southern Ocean.
The experience of design at Baillie Lodges is one of sublime luxury and connection with an extraordinary destination.
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Editors Notes: Baillie Lodges is a collection of intimate luxury lodges in unique wilderness destinations. Capella Lodge on Lord Howe Island launched the portfolio and continues to capture guests in its magic. Southern Ocean Lodge is Australia’s first true luxury lodge offering a premium nature-based escape. Both Baillie Lodges properties are honoured as founding members of Luxury Lodges of Australia.