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Luxury hotel tipped to boost McLaren Vale tourism

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A new $30-million-plus, five-star hotel planned by McLaren Vale winery Wirra Wirra and Adelaide-based developer Greaton will have a health and wellness theme and is being touted as a major boost for tourism in the region.

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Wirra Wirra announced this morning that it has partnered with Greaton to build the hotel, with designs likely to be finalised early in the new year and construction to begin later in 2019.

It will have up to around 42 rooms, a restaurant, pool and day spa, and will be located adjacent to the winery on an elevated on 1.56ha block of land which offers views of the surrounding area.

“The hotel will be very much integrated with Wirra Wirra, so the design will be sympathetic with the surrounds, which have lots of gum trees, old ironstone and recycled timber,” Wirra Wirra managing director Andrew Kay told InDaily.

He said a late 19th-century building which has local heritage listing and sits on the site will be incorporated into the day spa complex.

“It’s a wonderful chance to reinvigorate that … it’s an old return-verandah-style villa that needs a lot of love.”

Wirra Wirra describes the planned development as the first integrated winery resort of its type in South Australia, with Kay saying in a statement that McLaren Vale “has been crying out for five-star accommodation of this scale for years”.

“We spoke to a number of interested parties, but the team at Greaton understood our vision and the importance of capturing the spirit of history and authenticity that surrounds Wirra Wirra.”

Greaton is also developing the recently announced new 15-level luxury hotel at the GPO site in Adelaide’s Victoria Square.

Kay said no artist impressions were yet available for the Wirra Wirra hotel, as Greaton is still finalising the design detail for the project, which will have international designers but a local project manager.

He told InDaily that members of the surrounding community have so far been “very supportive” of the proposed development.

Wirra Wirra managing director Andrew Kay.

While land use approval has already been secured from Onkaparinga Council, plans for the actual development are expected to be submitted early next year. “Given that the structure and scope of the project won’t differ from the land use application, we would expect it should go through quite smoothly,” Kay said.

At this morning’s announcement, Minister for Tourism, Trade and Investment David Ridgway echoed Kay’s comments about the tourism benefits of the development, predicting that interest in the hotel would be strong.

“High-yield visitors expect premium accommodation options – McLaren Vale’s first five-star hotel will help meet this demand,” the Minister said.

At the end of last year, another developer lodged an application with Onkaparinga Council for a much larger, $60 million hotel and conference facility – including some 150 rooms and a two-level carpark – at nearby 89 McMurtrie Road. The council told InDaily this morning that this application was currently on hold: “The developer placed the application on hold for them to review their next steps.”

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