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Part of the $330 million upgrade of Adelaide's original casino precinct, Skycity is a glittering beacon of gold marking a huge change to Adelaide's hotel scene. Entering the hotel for the first time, I wondered if I'd stepped through a portal and into the lobby of a flashy Las Vegas or LA hotel, as white-uniformed staff smiled at me behind a gleaming marble counter. There's also a hot new rooftop bar, a pool deck and spa and the hotel's classy but casual restaurant, Sol.
In prime territory next to the Festival Centre and near North Terrace, with the railway station underneath, rooms offer views over the River Torrens and surrounding parklands to one side and on the other, Adelaide's stroll-friendly city, which is within easy reach.
I've been upgraded to a corner "Radiance River View" suite, the size of a large apartment, with floor to ceiling windows overlooking the River Torrens and a dreamy walk-through wardrobe in its centre. In the bedroom there's a king-size bed with a gargantuan flat screen TV at its base. Impressive mechanical blinds operate from a bedside remote; acting as a blockout or opening sheer for use during the day. There's a loungeroom, a powder room, and a large marble bathroom, with perks like a Cloud 9 hair straightener, bath tub and Grown Alchemist toiletries. The minibar is stuffed with free snacks, including nuts, chips, dried fruit and bars from local chocolatier Steven ter Horst. With a tasteful, neutral, colour palette to boot, the suite screams comfort, style and luxury previously unheard of in this city.
Seamless and genuinely friendly service from reception, concierge and restaurant staff make this hotel experience exceptional.
Breakfast at Sol restaurant includes a meal and a selection of items from the buffet (served to you by staff). This is no ordinary breakfast buffet - it includes small plate options with smoked chicken and kingfish sashimi, tiny bowls of house-made yoghurt dotted with pomegranate and blueberries. It also includes one item off the menu - I have a bowl of whipped goats curd, cherry tomatoes and fresh basil served with a slab of hot buttered sourdough. Lunch is similarly high-end with two or three courses; my options included King George whiting with biodynamic carrots, sweet orange peppers and cultured cream and a fun "concrete jungle" for dessert - a charcoal-coloured dish that tastes like meringue and lemon curd (I blame Heston Blumenthal for that concept). South Australian wines are matched to plates by charming staff, who accommodate my late entry without fuss.
Really, you couldn't ask for a more central position, The Festival Centre and Convention Centre is at Eos' doorstep, as is River Torrens' Linear Park, which you can stroll through to the Adelaide Zoo. The Art Gallery of SA is nearby on North Terrace as is the Peel and Leigh streets bar and restaurant precinct. A new seafood restaurant housed in a former bank (hence the name Fishbank) is around the corner on King William street; and cocktails can be enjoyed from the rooftop bar of 2WK next door.
Adelaide finally has a true five-star luxury hotel that not only brings it into line with other capital cities, but also competes internationally.
Rooms start at $359 per night.
Phone +61 (8) 7077 3588;
Nothing beats an upgrade; and in this case to their luxurious, roomy suites.
Not all that glitters is gold - and in this case, the exposed pool deck is in desperate need of more shelter from the sun and its gold surrounds. Impressive as it all looks, on a hot day, you sizzle.