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  Q&A james baillie 

 co-founder Baillie Lodges

James and Hayley Baillie founded Baillie Lodges in 2003 with the aim of setting new benchmarks for 'premium experiential travel in a unique Australian style'. And they have succeeded. Their flag ship property Capella Lodge on Lord Howe island has just undergone a spectacular $A1million refurbishment under the guidance of architect Justin Long and two new premium suites have also been created. Their second venture Southern Ocean Lodge opened on Kangaroo Island, South Australia in 2008 and swiftly picked up a swag of well-deserved awards both in Australia and internationally. James was founding Managing Director of P&O Australian Resorts and Hayley worked for more than a decade onboard expedition ships. The Luxury Travel Bible likes their passion and integrity and the beautiful lodges it produces. Their newest venture is Remarkable Lodge due to open on the Tasman Peninsula near Port Arthur in 2011. Expect dramatic seas, cliffs, wild ocean views and that signature Baillie style.

What inspired you and Hayley to create your luxury wilderness lodges?
It's in the blood. I grew up with a father who dabbled in the beginnings of nature-based tourism in Australia with the likes of Heron and Wilson islands. Hayley forged an adventurous young adult life aboard the world's best nature-based expedition cruise ships after a childhood of inspirational adventure with her father,[Australian businessman & adventurer] Dick Smith. We have built upon these passions with our first two Lodges.
 
What is the single most defining thing about Baillie Lodges?
A sense of place with the Wow factor - walk in the front door of either Capella or Southern Ocean Lodge and guests jaws' drop in awe. Combine this with contemporary architectural design, integrity of food & wine and first name service which defines our style.
 
How do you find your beautiful locations?
Hard work! Research, travel, tenacity and possibly an element of luck - being in the right place at the right time!
 
What is the next big eco-luxury travel trend?
I hope that in Australia we will see a trend towards more of it! Hopefully this is just the tip of the iceberg as we need more brilliantly conceived and well run properties that show off an amazing experience in true style.
 
James Baillie
James Baillie, with wife Hayley, co-founder of
Baillie Lodges
What is your own personal litmus test for whether a property is worthy of the 'eco-luxury' tag?
Nothing beats a 'roadtest' and it's much more than tick the box, so many ingredients go into making something truly special and to exceed expectations. Attention to detail is paramount.
 
Apart from your own, what are your favourite hotels/resorts? (and why)
Adrian Zecha, the creator of Amanresorts, is a visionary; I will always remember my first Aman experience at Amanpuri...
Baillie Lodge - Ocean Retreat
Southern Ocean Lodge interior
Baillie Lodge Suite
Southern Ocean Lodge
What is your favourite city to visit?
New York , I first visited in 1985 and spent a month on the lower east side...we have all changed since, but it never disappoints!
 
What is your best overseas restaurant experience?
I think it was stumbling upon a little beach casita in the Palawan Islands where an Italian had settled down, very much less is more!
 
What is your favourite airline for business or first class? Why?
Singapore Airlines, simply because they are the best.
 
What three things do you never travel without?
Eye Mask (from a recent Emirates flight), notebook for ideas and sadly my Blackberry!
 
What is the one luxury travel experience you will never forget?
A few years ago we were lucky enough to spend a couple of weeks on a private yacht, expedition-style. Nothing compares to having a crew there just for you whilst cruising off the beaten track.
 
What is the most important thing (travelwise) that money CAN buy?
Location, location, location.
 
What is the most important thing it can't?
Warm & genuine service.
 

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