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Sofitel Adelaide

The Sofitel Adelaide is Adelaide’s newest five-star hotel but if you’re expecting a cookie cutter bland corporate abode like some of the other places in town, you will be (very) surprised. Stepping into the foyer of the Sofitel I am immediately hit with a fragrance that speaks of warmth and style, plus a lovely “Bonjour!” from the attentive concierge. My first impressions of the Sofitel are more akin to stepping into a boutique hotel as the intimate and stylish lobby encourages interaction with the staff and makes the hotel feel extremely exclusive. It’s not what I was expecting from a hotel with more than 250 rooms – and I love it.

Sofitel Adelaide Lobby & Reception
Sofitel Adelaide lobby and reception

Check-in at the Sofitel Adelaide doesn’t go quite to plan with a delay on our room due to high occupancy and staffing issues due to COVID. Rather than cooling our heels in the stylish foyer, we head down the road to one of many amazing restaurants in Peel Street, only a few minute’s walk away. The Sofitel Adelaide is located just down the road from two of Adelaide’s most coveted laneway dining precincts and within a two minute walk of the Rundle Mall. Staying here is worth it for the location alone.

Sofitel's prestige suite with city and hill views
Sofitel’s prestige suite with city and hill views

On our return to the hotel, our room still isn’t ready and we are given a drink voucher for the street-level Champagne bar and cafe, Déjà Vu, and offered high tea at the club lounge on level 10 while we wait. The staff are lovely and we get the keys along with a heartfelt apology at around 3.30pm. Arriving at our room on the 21st floor, we are impressed with the room’s size and stylish fit-out with refined Art-Deco-meets-Parisian-style decor. We are staying in a Deluxe King with a corner location giving us a generous 34 sqm and views over the CBD and distant waters of the St Vincent Gulf.

Sofitel Adelaide deluxe corner room
Sofitel Adelaide deluxe corner room

Our room has all the 5-star trimmings with a stunningly comfy king bed, large flat screen tv with streaming services, mini-bar and all-important charging ports located near the bedside tables. Bathing pleasure is assured with a large bathroom with a rain shower and Balmain toiletries. One aspect of the room which doesn’t quite work is the open cupboard space which makes things seem a little untidy, no matter how neatly we pack away our things, but this could be just my personal view.

Luxury bathroom in our luxury corner room

After partaking in the refreshing bathing facilities we head down to Club Millésime, the Sofitel’s exclusive club lounge. This area is marketed as an elevated hotel experience and comes as an inclusive room category range or as a paid upgrade on availability. The first impressions of this area are excellent with the lounge area taking up most of the hotel’s 10th floor. With a mix of dedicated lounge sitting areas and multiple dining tables, this is a place that is both well designed and in keeping with the hotel’s elegant yet modern Art Deco style.

Club Milessime the Sofitel Adelaide's executive lounge
Club Millesime the Sofitel Adelaide’s executive lounge

Apart from the style of Club Millésime, the presentation of afternoon high tea and the cocktail hour go above and beyond many other hotel club lounge experiences. This is an area of the hotel that truly shines with both service and attention to detail. My biggest tip would be to spend the extra and have the lounge access. The only downside about this space was the lack of access in the morning for breakfast.

Garcon Bleu at Sofitel Adelaide

When it comes to dining options, the Sofitel has Garçon Bleu which offers the usual buffet selections with an egg station and barista coffee included.. Dinner features a contemporary take on traditional French cuisine with dishes such as beef tartare served with macadamia and toasted sourdough and quail egg and Adelaide Hills ‘Buzz Honey’ glazed cuck breast with a duck leg bon-bon and apricot and carrot puree. Also located in the large restaurant area on level 9  is the  Garçon Bleu Wine Bar, with an extensive wine list befitting South Australia’s history as the nation’s oldest wine region. Along with the impressive list, you get views that take in the Adelaide CBD and out to the Adelaide Hills. There are also options for cheese and small dishes from the restaurant to enjoy with company and the view.

Garcon Bleu with classic Art Deco style

Other facilities at the Sofitel include an impressive gym area on level 6 and a sauna and indoor pool located on level 5 that forgoes the need for sunscreen and can be enjoyed all year round. One standout feature of the pool area is the chandeliers that add a sense of wow and highlight the boutique and stylish nature of the hotel.  Not what I was expecting to see at the pool but they look terrific and really add to the ambience.

Pool area with chandeliers
Pool area with chandeliers

The overall impression of the Sofitel Adelaide is that it delivers on style, comfort and bang for buck with a truly excellent location and a club lounge that is second to none. Service is also a highlight in a clearly struggling hospitality sector, particulary in the club lounge. My biggest tip for the Sofitel Adelaide is to stretch the budget to book a room with club lounge access as it’s worth every cent.

Disclosure: The writers travelled as guests of the Sofitel Adelaide. 

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Trevor Templeman is a photographer and writer who travels the world capturing the essence of locations through their landscape, architecture and people. His words and photographs are published in magazines, newspapers and online around the world.