Ben and Louise Lanyon took over the management reigns at Longitude 131° in January this year as a husband-and-wife lodge manager duo. Already familiar with the Baillie Lodges collection, Ben and Lou managed Southern Ocean Lodge when it first opened its doors in 2008. For four years they embraced life on South Australia’s Kangaroo Island and all that comes with running a remote luxury lodge, and now they have relocated to the Red Centre with their three sons, Bosco, Cassius and Hendrix, for a stint at outback luxury lodge life.
Prior to working at Southern Ocean Lodge, Ben and Lou worked at a number of Australia’s iconic resorts and lodges. Whilst on honeymoon in Italy, a friend alerted them to the opportunity unfolding on Kangaroo Island. After negotiations from the other side of the world, they signed up to the exciting offer and found themselves as part of the opening team at Southern Ocean Lodge.
From the very beginning it was all hands on deck. The sun was literally rising as they finished setting up the final suite from last-minute preparations the night before opening. Ben and Lou thrived with the challenges of a new business and enjoyed seeing the lodge settle into its environment over the first few years. They also “never tired of the guest’s genuine amazement at seeing the Great Room and the Southern Ocean view for the first time”. Ben and Lou found great satisfaction in forging relationships with the Kangaroo Island community and many local businesses who soon became key suppliers.
During their time at Southern Ocean Lodge, they had their first child, Bosco, and his namesake Bosco’s Bar is a popular hangout in the staff village. They also bought property on Kangaroo Island, after falling in love with the “stunning and dramatic landscape”, enlisting Southern Ocean Lodge architect Max Pritchard to design their dream holiday beach shack for the future.