In November 2021, Sofitel opened the newest five-star hotel in Adelaide, this one being the first truely international brand to do so. I’ve been eager to stay ever since, and recently had the opportunity. Here is my Sofitel Adelaide review.
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Featured image photo credit: Sofitel Adelaide, Adelaide
About Sofitel Adelaide
Sofitel is a French brand known for its luxurious hotels. It is part of the Accor group and can be found in 40 countries around the world. The new, purpose built hotel in Adelaide is the seventh Sofitel in Australia, opening in November 2021.
Located on Currie Street in the West End of the city, Sofitel Adelaide is a seven minute walk to the shopping epicentre of Rundle Mall, six minutes to SkyCity, ten minutes to the Adelaide Central Market and twelve minutes to Adelaide Oval. It also sits on many on the main bus routes through the city centre, and is less than ten minutes walk from both the train station, the nearest tram stop and the interstate bus terminal.
The Sofitel offers 251 rooms, ranging from the luxurious Superior rooms, to total indulgence in the Opera Suites. It includes facilities such as meeting rooms, pool, gym, sauna, a restaurant/bar and a cafe.
Every Sofitel hotel that has been built around the world is linked back to a region in France, and with the common wine connection, it is no surprise to discover that Adelaide has been paired up with Bordeaux.
My Sofitel Adelaide Review
Arriving at the Sofitel Adelaide
The Sofitel is in an area that is not normally where I would expect to find a five star hotel, but it absolutely makes sense when convenience is considered. Being located between Currie and Hindley Streets means it’s only metres from a wide range of restaurants and bars, from casual eateries, fine dining venues and thriving nightlife.
You might be forgiven for looking at the surrounds and being surprised to find an area with an edgy feel to it. You will find a mix of impressive street art and less impressive graffiti splashed on the walls of the surrounding laneways. Right across from the back entrance to the Sofitel is Cold Chisel Lane, one of a group of lanes recently named after Adelaide was recognised as a UNESCO City of Music. The street art in and nearby the laneway commemorates this iconic South Australian band and is worth a look.
Around the corner you will likely see many closed doors which lead to businesses that only open in the evenings. Just metres away down the laneway is the fabulous Sunny’s Pizza, which I had heard made great plant-based pizzas, and I am happy to report this is in fact true! This popular pizza place was tucked away in this dead end lane and crowded even on a Monday night when I ate here before my Sofitel stay.
Months later, the hotel is open and I had booked our stay for a Wednesday night. We arrived by car, which means turning off Currie Street and down Burnett Street. Here you will find a covered driveway going into the building where visitors can park, either just for a few minutes to unload the luggage, or to organise to have your car valet parked.
We spoke to staff to find out the parking arrangements. Parking is around the corner on Solomon Street in a multi-level car park. (If you want to search for it, look for Secure Parking – Plaza Car Park) The Sofitel will give you a parking ticket that will allow multiple entries and exits for $30/day, which is on par with other similar parking arrangements at hotels across Adelaide. The car park is around 100m from the hotel, so not too far away.
As we entered the reception area of the hotel (we came in through the rear entrance from the car parking area), we were immediately greeted by the concierge who took our luggage. This whole reception area is open and light, and it’s impossible not to notice the red chandelier that meanders across the ceiling space, inspired by flowing red wine and leading visitors into the downstairs lounge bar area.
Check in was quick and seamless, and only minutes later we were in the lift on our way up to our room on the thirteenth floor. Emerging from the lift, the hallways continue the French theme in the carpet and decor items.
The Sofitel Adelaide Superior King Room
We were staying in the base room, a Superior King. Don’t let that fool you into thinking this is not a great room though. As soon as we entered, this room felt different to any other we have been in here in Adelaide. It felt large with bright, open spaces, helped by the floor to ceiling glass windows. The design makes great use of the space without compromising on function.
We also immediately noticed this was not one of those rooms that required the keycard to be put in the slot for the electricity to work.
The king-sized bed was very comfortable, with spare pillows and blankets available if required. Next to the bed was a phone for calling reception, an iPad to use for most other things. Here you can find all the hotel information, restaurant menus and you can place room service orders. There is also a wireless phone charger for easily charging your phone.
There is no desk in the room, but I sat comfortably working at the small table. I was pleased to see that not only were the PowerPoints nearby for plugging in my laptop, there were also two USB ports, great for charging my camera batteries simultaneously.
While this room does not have the beautiful free-standing bath that can be found in some of the other rooms, the bathroom was still the thing that impressed me the most. The walls of the bathroom were sliding panels, which gave the whole room that spacious feeling when open. The toilet and shower each had their own alcove with a door, which meant there was still some privacy even when the panels were open.
The shower was a great size, with both a handheld shower head and a large rain shower head above. It was easy to operate and had adequate shelf shape for my extra toiletries. I loved the detail of the mosaic tile feature wall, designed as a stained glass window as a reminder that you are staying in the city of churches.
The toiletries are all Balmain Paris and are in pump packs as is more common with hotels now becoming more environmentally friendly. I tested them all out, including the shampoo and conditioner, and I found them to be good enough to happily use again.
The mini bar area included a pod coffee machine, and a good selection of cups and glasses for a range of beverages. The fridge was stocked with the usual beer, wine, and soft drinks, and the nearby drawers held more snack and drink options.
There were two complimentary bottles of water, thanking us for our loyalty to the Accor program, which was interesting since we had booked this room through the Great State Voucher scheme. Therefore our Accor membership could not be included. It seems entirely possible that everyone gets the water, not just those who hold Accor membership.
The room also included those other staples of good hotels – nice fluffy bathrobes to enjoy. There was also a safe, hairdryer, ironing board and iron.
The Sofitel Adelaide Dining Options
We had alternative dinner arrangements, so would not be dining at the beautiful Garçon Bleu, but that didn’t stop us from stopping in before the dinner service started to have a look around and browse the menu. Garçon Bleu is a fine dining French restaurant, using local South Australian produce to create innovative seasonal menus.
The menu contained fine dining staples with a twist, and I was excited to see local produce highlighted, such as an entree with Smoky Bay oysters. I also noted there was one vegan entree and one main, which again impressed me as I often find vegan options lacking in better restaurants. There is a seperate lunch menu and a children’s menu available too.
Before dining at Garçon Bleu, I recommend checking opening hours and making a booking. Covid has meant reduced hours, with the restaurant not open for either lunch or dinner on Monday and Tuesday. This may change in the future.
Breakfast is offered as a buffet for a set price of $45. While this seems on the pricier side of local breakfast buffets, there was a really good range of food, breads, pastries, fruit, cereals, cheeses, yoghurt and more. The coffee was barista made and plentiful. This breakfast is also available if you are not staying at the Sofitel – just call and book in advance.
Unfortunately breakfast as a plant-based diner was disappointing. They don’t really have an option for vegan food, and when I discussed my needs, I was simply charged half price to have breakfast. There were not a lot of options available for me. I chose toast and jam – butter was the only spread available, no margarine – and a fruit plate. There may have been other vegan food available, but it was not offered to me, and it was too hard to question every dish. For example, were the mushrooms and tomatoes cooked in butter? Which cereals have milk products in them? With more and more people becoming plant-based, I hope this is something that improves in the future.
Included in the huge dining area is the Garçon Bleu Wine Bar, perfect for a drink even if you are not dining at the hotel. They offer a wide range of cocktails, and of course, plenty of wine, specialising in local South Australian wines, as well as popular French varieties.
I had an early morning Zoom call during my stay, so I made my way down to the lobby and sat around the corner. I was pleased to find the cafe open early and ordered a cup of tea to keep me going until breakfast. Déjà Vu makes all sorts of coffee and tea with some cakes and snacks available too. It also becomes another small champagne bar in the evenings, perfect if you are waiting in the lobby or catching up with a friend for an after work drink.
If you are staying in a club room or suite you will have access to the exclusive Club Millésime on level ten which offers all the added benefits that entails. As I did not stay in a club room, I did not have access this time – but that will certainly be a goal next time.
The Sofitel Adelaide Facilities
After all the food, you may want to work off some of it in the spacious gym. Here you will find a range of cardio machines, and a small selection of weights, balls, and other equipment. The gym area is a large L-shaped room with lots of room to move. Adjacent to the gym is also a sauna for you to use.
The indoor pool may be on the smaller side, but it is in a stunning space filled with light. It’s impossible to miss the beautiful chandeliers above the pool, reminding you that this is no ordinary hotel pool. Comfortable loungers line the pool, and floor to ceiling windows with views over the neighbourhood.
Sofitel Adelaide also has a range of meeting and event spaces available to suit all sorts of purposes, from interviews and board meetings to larger functions up to 150 people.
Free Wifi is available throughout the hotel, but I did not use it to confirm speed and reliability (although I would expect no issues)
I really enjoyed my stay at the Sofitel Adelaide. From the moment I walked in the hotel had a lovely fresh feel to it. There was that intangible “something different” here that made me feel a little excited about my stay. Every interaction I had with the staff was professional and easy. It was nice to have an 11am checkout time as standard too, as that seems to becoming rarer in Australian hotels.
This new Sofitel hotel is certainly impressive, and I wouldn’t hesitate to stay here again in the future.
Book your own stay at the Sofitel Adelaide here
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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.