Mayfair Hotel, Adelaide

Author: David Sly

A new property in Adelaide combines character with contemporary flair.

Adelaide's arrival as a gastro-cultural hotspot has been hamstrung by a lack of desirable hotels - something the new 170-room Mayfair Hotel aims to change.

A $55 million investment by Adelaide-based Adabco Group has seen patient rejuvenation of a heritage-listed 1930s building that was once home to an insurance company. Commanding a major intersection in the centre of Adelaide's CBD, the boutique hotel embraces classic style with a contemporary twist.

Interior design by Bates Smart picks up bold, oblong Art Deco lines, defined by glossy black, stark white and cool slate colours, framing cut-crystal lamps and bold mirrors.

While not presenting grand extravagance, Mayfair Hotel offers a dash of flair in its new four-floor annex - referred to as "the jewel box" due to its diamond-patterned metal cladding - linked to the original heritage-listed building.

A low-ceilinged lobby is underwhelming and lacks a sense of arrival, but closer observation reveals pretty couch fabrics, cushions and two concealed lounge areas shielded from the view of those arriving at the hotel.

The biggest dazzle at the property, however, will be launched in the next few months. Named after the building's original architects, the Hennessy Lounge will occupy the hotel's top floor. This refuge, with a private lounge and bar, and breathtaking views of the city, will be reserved for the exclusive use of the hotel's executive-floor guests. In the floors below, rooms in different configurations - designed to fit like pieces of a puzzle within the heritage frame of the building - feature custom-designed beds.

Mayflower Restaurant in the basement has chef Bethany Finn cleverly reviving classic hotel cuisine with a playful contemporary accent, although it's a hidden gem buried from public view down a staircase. Café 55 at street level introduces passing pedestrians to the hotel's food offerings, with coffee, pâtisseries and take-away lunches.

Rooms from $200 per night. 45 King William St, Adelaide, SA, (08) 8210 8888

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