// THE BASICS
Alkina Lodge is comprised of three beautiful architecturally designed lodges set amongst native forest, 15km from Lavers Hill. This luxury accommodation near the 12 Apostles on the Great Ocean Road was designed by renowned architects, Glenn Murcutt and Wendy Lewin. Their priority was to let light cascade in from every angle, touching the earth ‘lightly’ and with a minimal carbon footprint. If feels wonderfully remote with only the kangaroos for company, despite only being a 5 minute drive from this very popular tourist highway.
The three sculpted lodges each enjoy uninterrupted views across prime bush land and with glimpses out to sea. I thought they looked like beautiful sea creatures with horny spines, undulating across the grass and surfacing for air. The exteriors are all brickwork and wooden slats, whilst inside the details are lighter and brighter: white high walls, bed linen and towels; sumptuous Persian-style rugs on grey tiles; soft lighting; of course plenty of windows. No detail has been spared and you’ll find an expansive Gaggenau equipped kitchen, Nespresso coffee machines, Bang and Olufsen and Bose entertainment systems, Weber BBQ and lovely Royal Doulton bathtub.
If you stay as a large group (each luxury accommodation near the 12 Apostles features four king size rooms) prepare to fight over the master bedroom and en suite. This commands stellar views whilst being furthest away from the entrance and communal areas. You can sit up in bed and watch the large group of resident kangaroos grazing from dawn to dusk. We had the pleasure of staying mid-week in shoulder season so had one lodge to ourselves. Unless you’re a couple who really like your space this venue is best suited to special occasions like a 30th, large family holidays or a group long weekend away.
// WHAT I LOVED
The open plan combined kitchen, dining and living area is the most impressive space within each lodge. It has wow-factor yet is highly liveable and surprisingly cozy. Whilst we didn’t take advantage of this service, the personal chef experience is a brilliant initiative and truly lends itself to maximising the features of the high-spec kitchen. There is a working fireplace in the centre of the room, which the management team had prepared with wood before our arrival.
Cindy and Jordan, the property’s new Managers, have grand ambitions for Alkina Lodge and it was inspiring to hear first hand how they intend to shape this luxurious venue in 2016. Alkina Lodge already relies 99% on rain water as well as actively composting and recycling. The personal chef option sources local organic ingredients where possible. This winter they will start an on-site organic garden to feed visitors as well as keep bees to make honey. Solar power could be difficult to rely on despite this being Australia, as Alkina Lodge is North facing and the area is renowned for a lot of cloud cover; wind energy could be a future option, but the duo are taking things one step at a time.
// GET TO KNOW
Alkina Lodge looks set to have a very successful 2016 thanks to the efforts of a new owner and enthusiastic managers and couple Cindy, from Quebec, Canada, and Jordan, from Bellingen, New South Wales. It’s a fabulous option for those seeking luxury accommodation near the 12 Apostles.
Cindy studied culinary arts in Ontario Canada after finishing a marketing degree, then worked as a chef before starting a catering business. Jordan’s career has taken him from his own garlic business in Bellingen, to completing a carpentry apprenticeship in Sydney, to managing wilderness properties in Canada. In recent years the pair have been managing hunting and fishing camps, high-end walking lodges and boutique motels either in Canada or Australia.
// ADDRESS BOOK
Phone Number: +61 401 056 031
Address: 35 Parkers Access Track, Wattle Hill, VIC, 3237, Australia