Travellers who prefer hotels with character have plenty of choices around Adelaide. Choosing a hotel that is part of a corporate hotel chain might offer a consistent standard of comfort and services. But for a sleep with personality try one of these boutique and unique or sometimes even downright quirky Adelaide hotels. Here are some boutique hotels Adelaide to choose from.
Hotel Richmond was one of the first of Adelaide’s new breed of new hotels to challenge the paradigm of conventional corporate chains. Located near boutiques, bookshops and cafes of Adelaide’s main pedestrian shopping street, Rundle Mall, the revamped 1920s Art Deco building has firmly established itself as a chic boutique icon.
The restaurant on the first floor, First restaurant & bar, is a magnet for Adelaide’s cool crowd with a sophisticated menu of modern Australian and Italian cuisine along with a classy decor of sphere-shaped chandeliers, contemporary artworks and a 12-metre-long Calcutta marble bar.
Guest rooms are set over four floors and decorated with caramel-coloured leather arm-chairs, American-oak tables and Balinese day beds. And some rooms have sloping attic-style ceilings. All have king-size beds, air-conditioning, marble bathrooms with Aveda amenities and 51-centimetre flat-screen television sets. Top of the line are the two Deluxe Suites with double vanities, double baths and private balconies overlooking Rundle Mall.
2-Thorngrove Manor Hotel
Hidden in a lane in the hills of Stirling in the Adelaide Hills, Thorngrove Manor’s architecturally distinctive design takes its inspiration from the fairytale castles of Europe. Winding corkscrew staircases and narrow passageways connect dungeons, royal chambers and turrets.
Rooms are each unique and whimsically decked out with an array of antiques like spinning wheels, French tapestries and hand-carved English oak furniture. Highlights are the Observatory Suite’s sunken circular spa, the Queens Chamber’s majestic four-poster bed with its magnificent carved heraldic lions and the floor-to-ceiling Scottish stained-glass Scottish windows in the grand Kings Chamber.
Dine like royalty by candlelight using 19th-century European antique sterling silver dinner implements and Irish linen napery. It’s the kind of place you dreamt about playing hide-and-seek in when you were a child. And the sort of hideaway most people dream about spending a romantic weekend.
3-The Fire Station Inn
Imagine nodding off in a room with a big red fire engine parked next to your bed. The star of the Fire Station Inn’s Fire Engine Suite is none other than an International Lend Lease fire engine (circa 1942), still in working order.
In 1904, the building became a working fire station for the Metropolitan Fire Brigade Service; today the Fire Engine Suite occupies the space where the fire engines were once parked.
The decor is an eclectic jumble of fire station paraphernalia; there’s the original fireman’s pole, old fireman’s uniforms, bi-folding fire station doors and tacky cushions with fire truck themes. Restored red-hooded bedroom lights hang on the walls.
Modern comforts include a large double spa and heated bathroom floor tiles. There’s also under-floor heating in the kitchen which has a jarrah bar top, mini bar, halogen oven top, microwave and dishwasher.
A red antique prison door with a square peep hole adds to the fun atmosphere.
4-Clarion Hotel Soho
With artworks of emerging South Australian artists hanging throughout the hotel, a heated rooftop jet pool with views of the city skyline and a new designer-decorated restaurant, it’s not hard to see why Adelaide’s newest five-star boutique hotel takes its Soho tag from London’s arty district.
The menu at Decant restaurant is modern Australian prepared with local and organic produce sourced from within 100 kilometres of Clarion Hotel Soho. The restaurant’s decor is clean and contemporary with Tom Dixon feature lighting, Kartell dining chairs and an imported Italian Aribiscato marble bar.
The hotel’s 30 rooms tick all the modcon boxes with 106-centimetre LCD televisions, DVD players, iPod docking stations, broadband internet access and pay tv. And offer luxurious extras like free in-house movies, electronic external louvre shutters, king-sized beds with Missoni linen and Italian marble bathrooms stocked with Natio spa products.
The in-room spa menu has treatments using Australian-made organic products such as lemon myrtle and blue mallee eucalyptus.
Adelaide’s first 24-hour self check-in hotel opened in May 2008 with 46 compact studio rooms. Prices are kept low to attract a young, hip and budget conscious crowd. At 14 square metres, rooms in this three-storey boutique hotel are much smaller than most traditional hotel rooms. But the designers have managed to squeeze into each compact room a king-sized bed, 81-centimetre LCD television set, a small writing desk and bar fridge.
Amenities include broadband internet access, pay tv, tea and coffee making facilities, reverse cycle air-conditioning and electronic safe. Rooms are serviced weekly. If you can cope with sleeping in a shoe box, the Majestic Minima packs a lot of punch in its price range.
6-Mount Lofty House
Completed in 1858 as a summer holiday house for South Australian politician, pastoralist and businessman Arthur Hardy, Mount Lofty House is a stately country home that has been the venue for numerous society balls.
Its elegantly decorated rooms and halls reveal its patrician pedigree. And the historic ambiance is complemented by sweeping views of the Piccadilly Valley, beautifully groomed gardens and fresh air of the Adelaide Hills.
Located 16 kilometres from Adelaide’s city centre, the indulgent mood of yesteryear is maintained through an array of facilities such as aromatherapy massages, tennis games on a floodlit tennis court, a billiards table and games of petanque.
The 26 rooms range from rooms overlooking the manicured gardens to the Piccadilly Suite with its dress circle balcony views of the Piccadilly Valley. Heritage Guestrooms have high ceilings, open fireplaces and queen-sized beds.
Christina Pfeiffer has visited South Australia countless times over the past few years, often as a guest of South Australia Tourism Commission.