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Escapod delivers luxury regional experience

Lifestyle

A new luxury accommodation pod in regional South Australia allows visitors to be immersed in the environment while enjoying all the creature comforts of a high-end hotel.

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New company Escapod installed its first pre-fabricated pod at The Vineyard Retreat in McLaren Vale this month, adding new opportunities to the luxury accommodation market in regional areas.

The pod was built off site at a “controlled facility” in Adelaide, before being transported to McLaren Vale.

The 71.5m² building features a minimalist layout complete with architectural and premium finishes and fixtures, including large double glass windows allowing views of the landscape and outside environment.

The Escapod is installed at The Vineyard Retreat in McLaren Vale. Photo by Sam Dickinson.

The open plan layout includes a dining and lounge room with an open fire, fully functioning kitchen, king size bed, separate bathroom and storage room, and a small outdoor deck.

The Vineyard Retreat’s Escapod will be available for bookings in September.

Escapod is the brainchild of Ryan Brown, who has background in the property and construction industry.

He says he has plans to roll out 20 Escapods across regional SA by June next year.

“We have some fantastic opportunities happening on Kangaroo Island, in the Coonawarra, McLaren Vale and Fleurieu Peninsula,” he says.

On site in McLaren Vale. Photo by Sam Dickinson.

The Escapod buildings can be bought outright by landholders or leased over an agreed period of time.

The semi-permanent nature of the building allows customers to relocate the pod should they need to in the future.

“Our objective is to partner with a certain pedigree of clients who have existing tourism businesses or winery/vineyard,” Ryan says.

“Vineyards are really good for Escapods, particularly for wedding accommodation which is in high demand.”

Photo by Sam Dickinson.

Ryan says SA’s tourism appeal continues to grow, with the state notching up a record $6.7 billion in visitor expenditure, but a gap existed in the market for high-end accommodation in regional areas.

“I was searching extensively to find modern accommodation that wasn’t a typical bed and breakfast or hotel in the main street. It’s not an easy proposition in our regional areas,” he says.

“Building in regional and remote areas presents a number of challenges. From our experience in the construction industry, we saw an opportunity to utilise pre-fabrication to create a new accommodation concept, with the added benefit of addressing key environmental and planning issues.”

Escapod founding director and architect Dino Vrynios says international research and development was undertaken to provide the most practical floor plan, and deliver outstanding energy performance.

Escapod CEO Ryan Brown, second left, and Tourism Minister David Ridgway and other dignitaries launch Escapod in McLaren Vale.

The pods can either be connected to existing services or go entirely off-grid with the use of solar power, water harvesting and wastewater treatment infrastructure.

“The building has been designed to include high performance insulation to all surfaces, Australian, hardwood timber cladding and double glazing as standard to provide excellent passive energy performance,” Dino says.

“But it also includes the comforts one might expect in a luxury hotel or resort; underfloor heating, integrated appliances, reverse cycle heating and cooling, automated blinds, custom joinery and uninterrupted views.”

Ryan says “all materials were sourced from local businesses and SMEs which is something that we’re very proud of”.

This story was first published by Brand South Australia for the Regional Showcase.

This is a Creative Commons story from The Lead South Australia, a news service providing stories about innovation in South Australia. Please feel free to use the story in any form of media. The story sources are linked in with the copy and all contacts are willing to talk further about the story.

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