ANY­ONE

The Advertiser - SA Weekend - - ESCAPE -

trav­el­ling along North East Rd af­ter dark would be hard-pressed to miss the newly built Walk­ers Arms Ho­tel. A glow­ing bea­con of green lights, tow­er­ing flat-screen TVs and a car park teem­ing with ve­hi­cles, the venue com­petes with the almighty eye­sore of Collinswoo­d’s ABC build­ing and the golden arches of the lo­cal McDon­ald’s for promi­nence on this main city artery.

It’s hardly the place for a re­lax­ing get­away, but what it does of­fer is an out-of-city pad for vis­i­tors – if be­ing in the heart of Ade­laide isn’t your thing – or an op­tion for a fun night out with a comfy bed to fall into.

When the pre­vi­ous ho­tel on the site was de­stroyed by fire, the block was va­cant for some time, prime real es­tate un­used and unloved. But now there’s a whole lot of love as the Walk­ers Arms at­tempts to be ev­ery­thing for ev­ery­one.

There’s the ac­com­mo­da­tion, which ranges from deluxe to spa rooms to ex­ec­u­tive suites in which you can fold away your bed and hold a video con­fer­ence call by day. Then there’s the down­stairs bar, res­tau­rant, gam­ing room and, of course, the buf­fet. This sub­ur­ban mar­vel books out most week­ends with two din­ner sit­tings and a hun­gry clien­tele keen on fill­ing their plates up with as many fresh prawns as they can man­age.

But what the food lacks in culi­nary fi­nesse, the ac­com­mo­da­tion at­tempts to make up for. The green theme is con­tin­ued up­stairs – the hall­way walls cre­ate an Alice in Won­der­land feel. On en­ter­ing the room you might even think you’ve fallen down the rab­bit hole. The cen­tre­piece of the gleam­ing white bath­room is a sparkling fish­bowl com­plete with a gold­fish. Who feeds this crea­ture, we won­dered?

Ours was the deluxe spa room, which cost more than a stan­dard deluxe room, but the “spa” was sim­ply a deep bath with jets, hardly func­tional for two peo­ple to lux­u­ri­ate in at length.

On the plus side, the bed was plush, the room spa­cious and the flat-screen TV had a plethora of chan­nels for my part­ner to flick through while I tried out the spa and checked on the gold­fish.

The Walk­ers Arms rises well above most pub-based ac­com­mo­da­tion and is stylish, clean and very af­ford­able. And while it might not be as con­ve­nient as stay­ing in the heart of the city it of­fers a dif­fer­ent view of our state – right down to the fa­mous buf­fet.

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