Being our first visit to Kangaroo Island we weren’t sure exactly what to expect (see our other review on the island itself). But the Life Time Private Retreats certainly did come well recommended by our fellow trip advisors.
The Sky House sits at the highest point around for quite some distance, overlooking Snellings Beach and offering a wonderful view along the northern coast of Kangaroo Island.
The rammed earth house is built around its views and they are stunning; sitting atop of Constitution Hill the Sky House is exposed to winds and squalls as they come off the ocean at tremendous speed and this for my mind is part of its beauty.
Inside the house we were greeted by an incredibly strong scent of burnt incense or similar which left us little option but to open all the windows and doors to air the place out. Once aired out it didn’t take long for the house to warm up again, thanks to the heating system fitted to the wall and the wonderful underfloor heating in the bedroom and bathroom.
The small patio area at the front of the house serves as a nice landing but ends abruptly and then you find yourself amongst the cape weed of the paddock that the house sits in. I imagine it’s not easy to grow much in the way of plants in such windy conditions but a little landscaping or even stepping stones into the paddock might have made this area a little more aesthetic.
Although the interior of the Sky House was overall very nice with it’s warm rammed earth walls & comfortable furniture, there seemed to be little touches that were just overlooked in our stay. We ran out of gas on the first night - fortunately this was after we managed to cook our dinner although the result of no gas (and therefore no hot water) meant we couldn’t make use of that lovely bath tub on the first night. Being late, we didn’t bother Perry and his team until the next morning and they promptly fixed this situation (Perry did say we could have called at any time, day or night, though.)
Although we had a small combustion fireplace and plenty of wood, there was no kindling to get the fire started. As Perry put it, the fire place was really “just for romantic appearances” as opposed to heat, but it is lovely to sit by a fireplace, especially with such delightful views. During our daily exploration of the island we were able to grab enough sticks from the roadside ourselves to get a fire going each of the nights we stayed and it certainly doesn’t warm like the heating systems but is still lovely to look at all the same.
One of the light globes in the kitchen was blown, but we found a spare in one of the drawers and replaced it (an easy task, but as it was blown before we even got there we would assume it would be checked/fixed before our arrival.). A word to anyone choosing to prepare your own meals in the Sky House; if possible, do so while there is still some daylight as it does get a little dark in the kitchen area even with the lights on. One of the fluro globes in the bathroom mirror was also blown, but the others around it provided sufficient light so we disregarded this fact.
Lastly, we were provided with two towels for the three days we were in the Sky House; lovely big and heavy cotton bath towels but just two all the same. Although we understand that water conservation is a priority for the Life Time Private Retreats, with no linen service during our three day stay surely we could have had just two more (especially if female guests wish to wash their hair – although this would have been a task anyway as the shower water pressure was very weak) without needing to summon Perry all the way up the hill again to deliver a few more.
At the end of the day we still slept well in the lovely comfy bed, stayed nice and warm by the fire and with thanks to the heating system, and enjoyed soaking in that wonderful bath tub. This was a great experience, although we wouldn’t class it as a 5-star, and I think the expectation (as publicised) of 5 stars was perhaps the reason those three or four points above needed to be made.
All up, the Sky House is wonderful, very comfortable accommodation with a spectacular outlook that I would recommend for couples or singles wanting a private getaway. I’d loved to have seen the other 2 houses on offer but perhaps that will have to be another trip.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- LifeTime's luxury beach accommodation on Kangaroo island is perfect for a last minute get away. Rugged cliffs, empty beaches, a place where dolphins often frolic in the bay as ospreys soar above the waves. An Island paradise where you can choose to stay at one of three Luxury beach villas set on their own stunning coastal Kangaroo Island estates, a place of complete privacy, well away from other guests.It's our secret... don't tell a soul. ... more less
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