Escape artists: The company planting pods among the vines

A lack of quality regional accommodation has inspired a new style of getaway designed to bring guests close to nature without skimping on creature comforts.

South Australian company Escapod has opened its first pre-fabricated luxury pod as part of The Vineyard Retreat at Blewitt Springs in the McLaren Vale.

Unlike many pre-fab buildings, the Escapod includes five-star comforts like under-floor heating, automated blinds, custom joinery and uninterrupted views.

At just over 70 sqm, the pod is about twice the size of the average luxury hotel room and includes a dining and lounge area with open fire, full kitchen, king size bed, separate bathroom and storage room.

Designed to create an “immersive nature experience”, it is capable of going off-grid with a solar power battery, rainwater tanks and a wastewater treatment system.

Escapod CEO Ryan Brown told The Lead: “We’re really focusing on regional tourism locations and that could be anything from the Flinders Ranges to the Outback, farm stay or coastal – basically anywhere there is a demand for high-end regional accommodation.”

Development approval has been granted for a second Escapod at the McLaren Vale site, with more in the pipeline.

“Our intent is to partner with people who already have a winery or another premium offering and part of their master plan is to have accommodation,” Brown told The Lead.

“In the first year we’d like to get about 20 buildings up and going and we think we can achieve that with a handful of projects – ideally we’d like to have four to six buildings in a project depending on the property.”

He says the semi-permanent nature of the buildings makes them appealing for leasing arrangements or for clients who may want to move them in the future.

 “We are trying to build a good working relationship with the SA Tourism Commission and in doing so hopefully they will support us.

“In saying that we will consider national projects. Anywhere there is a demand for this type of accommodation – and already we have got some interest.”


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