CHECK IT OUT MAYFAIR HOTEL, ADELAIDE
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: mayfairhotel.com.au.
ALSO TRY: Hotel Lindrum Melbourne — MGallery Collection; Hotel Kurrajong Canberra; 1888 Hotel, Sydney.