When the proposal to build a hotel at Adelaide Oval was first announced, I was sceptical. My thoughts were that no one would want to stay there. It’s on the wrong side of the river, and there just aren’t enough events on at the oval to warrant it. I have to say my opinion has changed since then, and finally I have spent a night finding out what it’s all about. Here’s my Oval Hotel review.
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About the Oval Hotel
The Oval Hotel is what it says – it’s a hotel incorporated into the Adelaide Oval. It was a tricky design though, as when the idea was first suggested, the Adelaide City Council said “sure – but you have to stay within the footprint of the current oval, you cannot impinge on the parklands any further.” So the Oval Hotel is build in, around and under the eastern stand at Adelaide Oval. It doesn’t quite blend in as it have purposely been made to standout from the rest of the external structure, but if you were looking from the air, you would not realise it was there.
The Oval Hotel was opened in September 2020. It has 138 rooms, two of which are suites, located at each end of the hotel and featuring seperate lounge and dining areas. none of the rooms have views into the Adelaide Oval, instead they all look out over the parklands. Some have views towards the city skyline and others look towards the impressive St Peter’s Cathedral.
The Oval Hotel has two restaurants, the more casual Bespoke Wine Bar & Kitchen and the fine dining Five Regions Restaurant, which has just recently been named the Top Hotel Restaurant in South Australia by the Australian Hotels Association. Both restaurants have views towards the inside of Adelaide Oval so you can admire the stadium, even when it’s empty.
While not strictly part of the Oval Hotel, there are two other dining venues that are associated with Adelaide Oval. For casual meals, snacks and coffee, the Koffee Ink Cafe is located near the south gates of the oval and the Malt Shovel Taphouse is just across the bridge near the Festival Theatre.
The Oval Hotel has a beautiful reception area for checking in and out, and just relaxing with a glass of wine. It has floor to ceiling glass windows giving fantastic views over the parklands to the Adelaide Hills in the distance.
The Oval Hotel does not have amenities such as a pool or gym, but that is a blessing in disguise. Rather than the mediocre facilities offered by some hotels, they chose instead to go without and provide access to the nearby Next Gen Health & Lifestyle Club. This means visitors have access to a fully equipped gym, tennis & squash courts. There are also both indoor and outdoor pools and spas to relax in. As a bonus, this is where all the who’s who of Adelaide society workout, and occasionally big international names visit too, so you may be able to do some celebrity spotting during your workout.
My Oval Hotel Review
I had been inside the Oval Hotel before, so I was not awed by the stunning views from the reception area this time, but it really is an impressive space; unlike any other hotel I’ve been in. Check in was smooth, and in only a couple of minute we were off to room 331, a Parkland King room. This room is on the same level as the reception area, and towards the north end of the hotel so we had lovely views over the cathedral.
My first impressions of the room were good, but there was not that “wow” factor that happens when walking into some rooms. The room was a nice size without being overly large or spacious. The decor is modern and everything is in good condition, as would be expected from a new hotel of this calibre.
The bathroom was a nice size, with plenty of room in the shower and to move around. There was no bathtub in this room, but I rarely use one so that was not an issue for me. I believe the suites do contain a bath though. I loved the circular mirror with light, and the towel racks meant there was plenty of space to hang up wet towels to dry. The toiletries were individual tubes by Evo, and the small spiels on the side of each made me smile. I thought this was a lovely touch for those with a quirky sense of humour.
Everything that would be expected in this type of hotel room is here. There is of course a flat screen tv, and there is also an iPad for ordering from the room service menu as well as finding any other information you need. I used it to look up the menus for the restaurants so that I could make a decision on where to eat that night.
You will find a safe, a hairdryer, and an ironing board. The minibar was well stocked, including larger bottles of a whiskey and gin along with the wine, snacks, mixers and other drinks. There were tea and coffee making supplies too – and if I have one complaint about the room, it’s that I would prefer a mug rather than a small tea cup for my hot drinks.
The bed was nice and comfortable, but I did have an issue with the pillows. They were so big, soft and lovely, and wonderful to lean against while reading, but too high for me to comfortably sleep on. I didn’t look for another pillow though, or see if the hotel supplied different types because I was only there the one night. This is likely not an issue everyone will have as my husband was okay with the pillows.
My favourite thing in the whole room was that there was a sensor light underneath the bathroom sink that came on at night time, so no need to turn on the main lights for a toilet visit. Myself and other light sleepers truely thank whoever came up with this idea.
We didn’t eat dinner in either of the restaurants. Half because they do not have any plant-based options on their menus, and half because there was another place nearby I really wanted to try out. It must be noted that their menus do state that dietary requirements can be catered for, so they would have worked something out if I had chosen to eat there. The menus for meat eaters look absolutely delicious!
For breakfast we ate in the Bespoke Wine Bar & Kitchen, Again there were no plant-based options on the menu, but there were two items that could be altered to be plant-based. I chose the smashed avo, which was really delicious. Normally it also comes with a poached egg. My husband also chose the standard bacon and eggs, which came with sourdough toast, tomatoes, mushrooms and a hash brown.
A room at the Oval Hotel also comes with a welcome drink. We couldn’t have ours when we arrived because we were going to do the Adelaide Oval Roof Climb which has a no alcohol rule, so instead we had a glass of wine each on our return from dinner.
Overall I enjoyed my stay at the Oval Hotel without being wowed. This is a lovely hotel with everything needed, but it’s not spectacular. I think when compared to some of the new top options in Adelaide (Eos at Skycity, Sofitel), it is a rung below them and priced accordingly. But you will certainly have a nice stay here.
Book your own stay at the Oval Hotel here
Hotels in Adelaide
Adelaide Holiday Homes with Beach Views
Where to stay in Port Adelaide
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Josie Kelsh is South Australian, born and bred. She has lived in the state for almost her whole life, just one short stint away as a teenager with her family. Travelling all over the world has shown her exactly how amazing South Australia is to live and travel in and she uses her passion to show it to you the way a local sees it.