Review – Mayfair Hotel Adelaide
The impressive five-star boutique hotel is nestled in Adelaide’s elegant refurbished 1930’s Colonial Mutual Life Building.
It is centrally located at the intersection of King William and Hindley Streets, Adelaide and close to the Rundle Mall, Adelaide Oval and the new Riverbank Precinct.
The Back Story
The hotel design was started 15 years ago and it has given new life to one of Adelaide’s iconic landmarks while preserving the heritage of the historic Romanesque-style building.
The hotel features 170 well-appointed luxury rooms that reflect great attention to detail.
There’s a restaurant and bar, cafe, sophisticated rooftop bar, meeting and event rooms, gymnasium and business centre. There’s also a Lobby Book Library where you can pick up a book or magazine on loan.
Rooms and Interiors
Rooms are spacious and comfortable with elegant interiors and easy on the eye decor.
My luxury king room had all the extras you would expect from a five-star hotel including a soft bathrobe and the Appelles Luxury Skin Care range.
A cosy throw to snuggle under while watching a movie was a nice touch.
The wardrobes in each room have been individually hand made by an Adelaide company to fit the available space because of the shape of the historic building.
As for the beds – 30 Australian designed and made mattresses were tested before the Mayfair Luxury Mattress was specifically designed and patented, and yes you can buy one.
Dining is an adventure at the Mayfair with the options of Mayflower Restaurant and Bar, Café 55 and the chic Hennessy rooftop bar.
The Mayflower Restaurant is the domain of award-winning chef Bethany Finn, who is passionate about fresh produce and sustainability.
Bethany and her team have revived the classic hotel cuisine including a carvery and a “too go to say no to” dessert trolley. Bethany, who is one of Australia’s top chefs, has an extensive garden at home that is overflowing with vegetables and herbs she uses in her cooking. She also has a couple of bee hives and is an amateur apiarist.
The restaurant is open for a la carte lunch and dinner daily and serves a delicious High Tea on Saturday and Sunday afternoons.
There’s a choice of finger sandwiches, scones, tartlets, profiteroles, other tasty morsels, coffee, tea and sparkling wine.
Snacks, coffee and beverages are also available in the adjacent bar area with both open tables and private alcoves.
The work of artist Cate Parr features in the hotel and is very striking. Her work caught the hotel owner’s eye on a trip to New York. Parr has also been commissioned by Godiva Belgium, Rita Ora for Adidas, St Regis Hotel, Dubai, Central Park Hotel, NYC and for the Rolling Stones Tour 2015.
Accessed via a sweeping ribbon staircase from the elegant Mayfair lobby, the Mayflower Restaurant and Bar, is located below ground level, with natural light from the floor to ceiling original arched windows of the lobby. It was originally the Charles Sturt Tavern, a rather infamous venue hosting many patrons during the mid 1900s.
A firm favourite served in the dining room is the Iced Seafood Platter for two with South Australian King Prawns, Pacific Oysters, Alaskan king crab and Ceviche of Storm Clams.
The South Australian Lobster, split and chargrilled with lemon butter is also a hit as well as that dessert trolley.
The Mayflower’s wine cellar rear wall is made of Benedict stone and remains in original condition.
Hennessy rooftop bar is a stand out. From the moment the lift doors open and you step into the room it has the feel of an exclusive club.
The floor in the main bar area has intricate hand-printed tiles and there’s a 10m long Italian marble bar positioned under three stylish Fiorentino lights adorned with 250 individually hung glass crystals. Black steel columns provide a cathedral style ceiling adding height to the indoor areas.
There are knockout views of the Adelaide Hills and the inner city from the windows.
To the left of the bar, there’s a more intimate indoor lounge with a magnificent 2m tall Fiorentino chandelier with a modern twist and 500 crystals.
The outdoor deck of spotted gum offers views overlooking the city and east end to the foothills. The parapet and gargoyles along with the sloping red roof tiles add a Parisienne or old world European flavour to the architecture and is a nice contrast to the modern fittings.
Hennessy is named after the building’s original architect Jack Hennessy.
Wedgwood crockery, Riedel and Waterford marque crystal glassware add a classy touch.
Try the fabulous Honey Trap cocktail at Hennessy and the Honey Pana Cotta in the Mayflower restaurant made from the hotel’s own honey.
Check out the doorknobs to the public bathrooms – they are unique pieces featuring a variety of animals made from reclaimed brass by Melbourne artist, Suzie Stanford.
Take a deep breath – the hotel’s signature aroma was specially created drawing inspiration from Chanel.
What I Loved
The honey project is impressive. Executive Chef, Bethany Finn is passionate about the imitative. Bethany oversaw the installation of the hives on the hotel roof and admits the bees may well have the most luxurious hives in town.
The Mayfair hives were kept at Bethany’s home while the hotel made way for their introduction.
“The bees have had time to settle into their new location and found their flight path which is essentially the route they will always fly to and from the hive to the plants they will pollinate,” she says.
“They are busy producing honeycomb and honey and are definitely busy bees.”
Bethany who has been training as an apiarist loves using the honey in her dishes.
“Sadly bee numbers have been dwindling on a global level and if there are no bees to pollinate the plants, we’re all in trouble,” she says.
“That a 5-star hotel in the CBD is supporting a bee initiative that is fully managed and operated in house along with expert guidance is fantastic.”
45 King William St, Adelaide South Australia
Phone: 08 8210 8888