South Australia’s Clare Valley wine region might not be as well-known as that of Barossa or McLaren Vale, but that doesn’t make it any less worth the visit. And, as the secret spreads – and more and more people discover the Clare Valley’s award-winning vineyards, ample cellar doors and world-class dining experiences – it should come as no surprise that the demand for luxury accommodation has grown too.
Enter The Mill St. Retreat – the Clare Valley’s newest upscale lodging. One of two luxury locations in the Jim Barry Boutique Accommodation portfolio, the Mill St. Retreat first opened its doors at the end of 2021. Alongside the Mill Apartments, the properties provide luxury living with a Californian edge in the heart of Clare.
Palm Springs meets the Clare Valley
Each of the Mill St. Retreat’s four, one-bedroom apartments have been designed in keeping with the Mid-Century Modern Architecture of the site. But inside, there’s a distinctly California Palm Springs feel to the properties. Palm prints and pastels rule alongside sleek SMEG appliances, clean, modern lines and chic outdoor spaces.
Peter Barry, owner of Jim Barry Boutique Accommodation, says the concept for the Mill St. Retreat was built from the increasing demand for high-end accommodation in the Clare Valley, based on experiences at the family’s other accommodation site, The Mill Apartments.
“My family and I are extremely proud to introduce the Mill St. Retreat to our local community as Clare Valley’s reputation for world-class experiences continues to flourish and grow,” he said.
“We wanted to create a haven of absolute luxury for our guests, where they could unwind at the end of the day exploring the region and relax in comfort,” he added. “We felt the need to deliver a service individually designed for the modern-day traveller.”
State-of-the-art luxury for travellers of all kinds
The Mill St. Retreat’s four apartments have been created to suit a range of travellers. Whether exploring the Clare Valley on a romantic couple’s trip, visiting the area as a family group or arriving as a corporate traveller with the need for high-speed Wi-Fi and adequate working space, the Mill St. Retreat caters to all.
In addition, the apartments feature a full kitchen and dining area, perfect for eating in. There’s also a private deck with BBQ, making them ideal for family get-togethers. Clean, comfortable and modern bathroom facilities come as standard. Meanwhile, luxury toiletries add to the overall feeling of a high-end hotel you might find in Palm Springs.
Location, Location, Location
The apartments are located on Mill Street, on the eastern side of Clare Main Street. This means that all of the town’s best attractions are within close distance. And, with Clare’s finest restaurants, bars and shops on your doorstep, you’ll never be short of eating and drinking options nearby.
But, this being the Clare Valley, it’s the region’s cellar doors, vineyards and world-famous Rieslings that are the real star attractions. From Jim Barry Wines – named James Halliday Winery of the Year in 2020 – to tasting experiences at Paulett Wines and boutique clos Clare in the famous Florita Vineyard, there are more than 50 wineries to choose from.
But it’s not just fine wines that make the Clare Valley such a great place to visit. The region is also home to scenic hiking trails, beautiful galleries and a wide range of events that range from gourmet festivals to live music.
The future of Clare Valley tourism
The opening of the Mill St. Retreat marks the start of a new chapter for the Jim Barry family. Moreover, it also comes at a pivotal time for Clare Valley tourism as a whole.
“We will run the new Mill St. Retreat accommodation under a new business identity, Jim Barry Boutique Accommodation, to incorporate our existing accommodation business, The Mill Apartments, which when we opened in 2015, set a new standard of luxury accommodation in Clare,” said Barry.
Meanwhile, South Australian Tourism Commission Chief Executive Rodney Harrex welcomed the newest luxury accommodation addition to the Clare Valley. Harrex said it would drive demand to the booming region. “Regional tourism in South Australia has reached record highs, as locals continued to explore their home state,” he said.
“The Clare Valley has seen huge numbers of visitors – the region not only meet but beat its 2025 target in March, hitting $134 million in visitor expenditure.
“The opening of the Mill St. Retreat is set to help drive this even further, and as a high-end accommodation option in the region – it’s also set to capitalise on the reopening of domestic tourism and Eastern seaboarders eager to see South Australia,” Harrex added.
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