The Mayfair, Adelaide

When we pick our accommodation in an Australian city, we've a few perimeters, paramount of which is location. Ideally, we'd like to be right in the heart of where the action is. So we can walk around, explore on foot, and leave the car behind because hunting for available parking in the city is a pain. Then we try to pick one with room service, a gym, and a bath-tub, with as much luxury we can find (and afford of course).

The Mayfair was our choice of accommodation when we stayed in Adelaide. A boutique luxury hotel in the heart of town, its central location is the best thing about this hotel. I mean, it's directly across from Rundle Street, the primary shopping belt of Adelaide city, so its location can't be beat.

Conserved from a heritage building that used to house the Colonial Mutual Life, the decor is tasteful and elegant, and interiors are swathed in soft shades of taupe and cream. 

Parking was the biggest issue with The Mayfair, in that, there was no available parking along the street. So we opted to valet the car, at A$35 per day, which we thought should have been complimentary in light of the pain we had to go through just to drop it off. There was just 2 lots at the drop-off bay, and the valet service was, at most times, a one-man operation. So at peak hours, there would be a backlog of cars waiting to be dropped off or picked up. And a backlog meant that we had nowhere to even drop off the car for the valet to take over. Worse still, the busy thoroughfare meant that there was no space elsewhere along the street to temporarily park and wait for the valet. Waiting to pick up our car, or to drop it off usually took about 20 minutes, and sometimes went up to half an hour. The worst was when we ended up the proud recipients of vulgarities and slurs from some drunk local when, at the instruction of the valet, we left our car encroaching into the traffic junction. I mean, it wasn't as if we were actually blocking any pedestrians or traffic, or even amounting to a road hazard.

The Mayfair isn't the most luxurious of hotels we've stayed at, but it was adequate. Ditto for the service. Nice but definitely room for improvement. We'd email-ed them a week before our trip to get the concierge to make reservations at several restaurants, but they'd neglected to do it. Until we personally approached the concierge after checking in, to make the reservations, by which time was too late, and a few prime restaurants were fully booked.

Room service is available 24 hours, so that was a big big plus in a city that sleeps pretty early. Get the Asian fare, especially the curries, which were surprisingly delicious. 

The Mayfair entrance from King William Street. To park, turn left after the hotel to the make-shift 2-lot drop off bay.

This photo was taken from across King William Street, at Rundle Street,

A panorama of the Executive King Luxury Room 411, at about A$250 per night. In that little nook next to the bed is a little sitting area, which has another tv. We thought that was superfluous because we could see the main tv just fine from that nook.

The bed was comfortable enough, and the turndown staff left tiny chocolates every night. They were delicious.The windows look out directly into Rundle Street, which was great for people watching.

The bathroom with double sinks, a separate shower from the tub. The tub was really meant to fit one single person only; we had the hardest time squeezing the two of us into it at the same time. Also, tilt the shower head away from the door and face it towards the wall instead, as water leaks out and will flood the bathroom otherwise.

The Chicken & Lemongrass Wanton Soup (A$16) was fantastic! The chicken broth was exquisite, rich in depth of flavour and given a lift by fragrant lemongrass, and fresh Thai basil leaves. The dumplings, stuffed with chunky waterchestnut and minced chicken, was juicy and scrumptious.

The Mayfair Caesar Salad (A$24) a hodgepodge of baby cos, 63C egg, bacon chips, parmesan crisp, confit chicken and croutons, was refreshing and clear.

The Massaman Beef Curry (A$32) thick and nutty and robust with the full-bodied heft of the melty meat, was sided by steamed white rice. 

The Thai Green Curry Chicken (A$32), succulent and aromatic was paired with baby kale for a refreshing crunch. I loved that the velvety curry was potent and not at all watered down. A must-try.

The Lean Ground Beef Burger (A$26) layered with tomato relish, pickles, cheese, and mesclun, was decent but forgettable. The shoestring fries was excellent though.

The Mayfair
45 King William Street
Adelaide South Australia SA 5000
Tel: +61 8 8210 8888
Website: www.mayfairhotel.com.au

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