History of Mount Lofty House

At last - the Grande Dame of South Australian hospitality will be re-positioned as the country's finest destination.

Arthur Hardy, a politician, lawyer, pastoralist and businessman built Mount Lofty House between 1852 and 1858. The property served the Hardy family as a cool summer residence, later becoming their permanent home.

The coach house and stables are still part of the property, with most of the original land now being occupied by the Mount Lofty Botanic Gardens. “The Lodge” on Mawson Drive is where the caretaker lived and the head coachman resided in the cottage that is now across the road.

Mount Lofty House was built of sawn freestone and local sandstone with sheets of glass as the damp proof course. You are still able to see the glass edge at the base of the old house. The house saw many distinguished owners, including Arthur Waterhouse and John Richardson. Various additions were made to the house during this time.

The Waterhouses were known for holding great dinner parties, where the coachman was instructed to send the carriages off at five-minute intervals to prevent collisions going down the gravel roads.

Ash Wednesday bushfires in 1983 destroyed all but the stone walls on the property. A young couple had just bought the property as a residence and they were arranging delivery of their possessions from interstate when the fire went through. The devastated owners sold Mount Lofty House and the purchaser began the restoration of the ruined property into a boutique hotel.

The 'new' Mount Lofty House was officially opened on February 12th 1986, at that time operating with eight guest rooms, Hardy’s Restaurant, the Arthur Waterhouse Lounge and John Richardson Room with the Tiers Bar and Lounge areas.

October 25th 1988 saw the official opening of the Piccadilly Wing extension, comprising a further 21 rooms, refurbishment of the original Coach House, conference rooms and Piccadilly Restaurant. On July 1st 1993, another South Australian family purchased Mount Lofty House and since then further restoration work has been undertaken throughout the property. Mount Lofty House has it’s own presence and is renowned nationally as a very special experience.

In May 2009 the property was purchased by Mount Lofty Operations Pty Ltd and the company is committed to keeping the integrity and history of Mount Lofty House as well as adding a modern touch to an already tranquil Adelaide Hills boutique hotel.


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74 Mt Lofty Summit Rd, Crafers SA 5152

T:08 8339 6777

F: 08 8339 5656