Wednesday, 8 January 2020

One of Australia's finest resorts to rise from the ashes

Southern Ocean Lodge, one of Australia's finest luxury resorts, was razed to the ground by bush fires last week but the owners have vowed to rebuild and start start again. 


"As you may have seen in the extensive media coverage shared around the globe over the past few days, we are devastated to report that our flagship property Southern Ocean Lodge on Kangaroo Island has been destroyed in the bush fires that spread with speed and ferocity across the western end of the island on Friday, January 3," said owners James and Hayley Bailey of Baillie Lodges. 

"Fortunately all guests and our staff are safe, which is the main thing. We owe a huge debt of thanks to our amazing team at Southern Ocean Lodge, led by lodge managers John Hird and Alison Heath and their team who together did such an incredible job managing the escalating situation so quickly and effectively. 

"We are also tremendously grateful to the South Australia Country Fire Service whose crews and volunteers worked so hard to protect lives and landscape.

"Buildings, furniture and fixtures can all be replaced; our incredible lodge team cannot and we are truly grateful for this silver lining. Our current focus is on relocating our team and helping them find jobs – ideally within the Baillie Lodges family and the wider Luxury Lodges of Australia collection.

"We've also had a number of other tourism businesses approach us to offer our staff jobs, a real marker of the generosity of the Australian hospitality industry.

"We're very conscious that at this moment of loss, it's not all about us at Southern Ocean Lodge, but about the Kangaroo Island community as a whole, which has suffered losses as a result of the bush fires which reached around 40% of the island.

"We are immediately committed to rebuilding the lodge, and to taking a leading role in whatever ways we can to help rebuild the tourism industry on Kangaroo Island. 

"We have already taken architect Max Pritchard to revisit the site, and happily the original plans for the lodge are still intact. While it's currently too early to estimate a date for re-opening we'd like to reassure everyone that the re-creation of Southern Ocean Lodge is our next focus."


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