The Weekend Australian - Travel - - Travel & Indulgence -

FOL­LOW­ING a $55 mil­lion re­de­vel­op­ment, Ade­laide’s land­mark Colo­nial Mu­tual Life build­ing has re­opened as a five-star ho­tel com­plete with a rooftop cham­pagne ter­race and sig­na­ture restau­rant that’s set to re­vive old-fash­ioned ho­tel fare un­der ac­claimed chef Bethany Finn.

Lo­cated down­town on the cor­ner of King Wil­liam and Hind­ley streets, op­po­site Run­dle Mall, the lo­cally owned and op­er­ated May­fair Ho­tel fea­tures 170 gue­strooms and suites, and a gleam­ing new glass cube ex­ten­sion that sits hap­pily along­side the main build­ing’s 1930s stone and gar­goyle-fes­tooned fa­cade. Con­tem­po­rary in­te­ri­ors fea­ture Ade­laide mar­ble and lo­cally built luxury beds and cab­i­netry, in­clud­ing a mini­bar cus­tom de­signed to cocoon a half-bot­tle of Hen­schke’s red. Even the pale blue (that is, “May­fair blue”) in-room com­pen­dium has been printed and bound lo­cally.

Each gue­stroom is unique, con­fig­ured to fit within the her­itage-listed con­fines of the build­ing, but all are light-filled, ap­pointed in a pal­ette of soft blue, taupe and grey and in­clud­ing a leather head­board, huge flat-screen tele­vi­sion and el­e­gant crys­tal lamps. The mood is cosy and homely — up­cy­cled bed­side ta­bles pur­chased from an­other ho­tel are topped with Ade­laide mar­ble, a mo­hair throw adorns the foot of the bed and, in the gleam­ing white bath­room, a bat­tal­ion of Ap­pelles unguents in­cludes a soap perched un­der a tiny glass cloche.

Guests stay­ing in the ex­ec­u­tive cat­e­gory rooms and suites on the top three floors have ac­cess to the glam­orous Hen­nessy Lounge tucked into the rooftop. This suave space in­cludes a tiny cham­pagne ter­race perched just above the gar­goyles’ heads.

DON’T MISS: Grab­bing a home­made pork and sage sausage roll from the ho­tel’s Cafe 55 be­fore strolling down to the Ade­laide Oval for the footy.

DINING IN: The build­ing’s orig­i­nal rib­bon stair­case winds down to the ho­tel’s con­tem­po­rary base­ment bar and sig­na­ture Mayflower Restau­rant. Bethany Finn’s menu mixes nos­tal­gia (lob­ster bisque, Osci­etra caviar, chicken par­fait, duck pie) with the best lo­cal pro­duce. Roast of the day is served from a gleam­ing vin­tage trol­ley; the ir­re­sistible dessert trol­ley is ar­rayed with choux pas­try swans, dainty blue­berry tarts and choco­late cakes daubed with gold leaf.

DINING OUT: Try Nic Watt’s new Madame Hanoi in the Ade­laide Casino (have the banh cua lot, or soft shell crab in a brioche bun) or stroll to Dun­can Wel­ge­moed’s Africola for a gas­tro­nomic sa­fari.

ASK THE CONCIERGE: You are in the heart of Ade­laide’s bur­geon­ing small bar scene; pop into Clever Lit­tle Tai­lor, Maybe Mae or the new, nau­ti­cally themed Hains & Co.

CHECK­ING IN: Rooms from $200. More: may­fairho­

ALSO TRY: Ho­tel Lin­drum Mel­bourne — MGallery Col­lec­tion; Ho­tel Kur­ra­jong Can­berra; 1888 Ho­tel, Syd­ney.


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