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Saturday 8 August 2015

An excellent base from which to explore three wine regions

Staying in motels in country regions of Australia can be fraught with pitfalls.

There are motels with wafer-thin walls so you can enjoy sharing the activities of your neighbours; motels with no wifi, or where the bath towels are the size of a dish cloth.

There can be issues with cleanliness, flickering or dying bedside lights and TV remote controls that are dead as a dodo; which you only discover after the reception desk has closed and you want to watch the football.

Fortunately, none of these are an issue at the Strath Motel, where I laid my head for the past two nights while exploring the vastly under-rated wine region of Langhorne Creek.

Home to wineries including Bleasdale, Bremerton, Lake Breeze, Cleggett, Temple Bruer, Brothers in Arms, Heartland, Kimbolton and Angas Plains, among others, Langhorne Creek is a little short of accommodation; with just a handful of self-catering cottages. 

It has excellent venues for lunch, including The Winehouse and Angas Plains, and a wonderful old country pub, the venerable Bridge Hotel, which serves huge, rustic and tasty meals.

If you want to stay in a town, however, then Strathalbyn, a 10-minute drive away, is your best bet. And the Strath Motel offers comfortable digs at affordable prices, as well as being just 15 minutes' drive from Mount Barker and the Adelaide Hills and a short drive from the many attractions of McLaren Vale. 

It is also the gateway to the Murray region and close to Lake Alexandrina and Victor Harbour.

Strathalbyn is a lovely, if not lively, old town with historic buildings and recommended eateries in Leo's and the Victoria Hotel.

The Angas River winds its way through the centre of town and there are some very pretty gardens.

The Strath Motel has 23 rooms with a choice of standard, twin or family accommodation. There are TVs, internet access, iron, ironing board, toaster, microwaves, fridges and reverse-cycle air conditioning that kept me toasty warm on brisk nights.

There are tea and coffee-making facilities (the biscuits were replaced after I scoffed them on the first night) as well as free on-site car parking.

It's not five-star, but it is very comfortable. And it ticks all the boxes for warm country service. 

The Strath Motel, 4 North Parade, Strathalbyn, South Australia. (08) 8536 3311.   


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