The People

The magic and memories generated by a stay at the lodges is often largely connected to the people behind the place, and at the coal face. The hosts. The people who share their passion, knowledge, humour and experience with you. We are pleased to introduce you to a few of them…..


Lori Litwack & Alan Groom, El Questro Homestead

Lori Litwack and her partner Alan Groom arrived at El Questro in 2002 as the Homestead Managers for the original owners who developed the property. Now as General Manager and Executive Chef of El Questro Wilderness Park, Lori and Alan continue to welcome guests into this unique 9 room “home”, pampering visitors with exceptional service and cuisine in a relaxed, friendly atmosphere.

The two Canadians both say that after having always lived in the city, El Questro’s true outback location is the draw card. Everyday is extraordinary, there is always an interesting animal, bird or reptile that entertains and endears one to the wilderness setting. The peaceful, stunning scenery,challenging walks and four-wheel drive tracks have provided eleven years of memorable experiences, but the greatest pleasure of managing El Questro Homestead is the returning guests who visit year on year and have become like family to Lori and Alan and all who work at The Homestead.


James and Hayley Baillie , Southern Ocean Lodge

It was truly a ‘If you build it, they will come’ moment when James and Hayley Baillie crested the cliff top above Hanson Bay and encountered untouched horizons in every direction.  The splendid isolation, dramatic coastal wilderness and the ocean breeze loaded with pure oxygen and energy, straight from the Antarctic are an exhilarating combination.  The island is an arc and native wildlife abounds; you can wander with kangaroos, canapé in hand, rediscover life’s most extraordinary flavours thanks to a bounty of local produce and walk amongst Daliesque natural wonders.  “In designing the lodge, we were careful to honour the environment and have chosen materials such as KI limestone and commissioned furnishings by local designers to provide a real sense of place. We believe our guests will have an enduring memory of Southern Ocean Lodge, something that will stay with them forever.  They can relax in their suite, or in the panoramic luxury of the Great Room and think, ‘It’s just me and the big blue sea!’, oh and a loved one, and a pod of dolphins, a whale sliding by, the odd sea lion, fur seal…”.


James and Hayley Baillie, Capella Lodge

Hayley’s fond memories of childhood holidays spent on the idyllic turquoise shores of Lord Howe Island were the founding inspiration for Capella Lodge.  When she and husband James came to selecting a destination for their first lodge, the World Heritage-listed sanctuary of Lord Howe topped the list.  The petite Capella is an extension of their coastal lifestyle, imbued with the ambience of the quintessential Australian beach house and the kind of place you never want to leave.  From the majestic twin peaks of Mounts Gower and Lidgbird to the kaleidoscopic marine life in the world’s southern-most coral reef encircling the shores, the island is a paradise lost in time.  For James and Hayley, Capella is their ‘forever home’ and they love sharing the magic of both lodge and island with their guests.


Jim and Helen Carreker, The Louise Barossa Valley

Jim and Helen spent more than ten years researching and ultimately selecting the Barossa Valley and the stunningly beautiful Marananga hilltop site for their Australian food and wine venture. Their belief that luxurious accommodation complements a truly memorable food and wine experience is based on numerous personal trips in the 1980’s and 1990’s to France, Spain, Portugal and to their then local Napa and Sonoma Valley areas of California.

In the model of many highly regarded hospitality venues in those regions, the primary destination is the restaurant and its carefully developed cellar, and luxurious accommodation is supportive and complementary to the spotlight focus on superlative food and wine. This concept is relatively rare in Australia and the Barossa in particular. Following significant upgrades and major works to the original property completed in September 2006, The Louise and Appellation Restaurant is the result of their vision, and the site for this unique blend of seasonal regional food, world-class wine, and private hideaway accommodation.


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