Australia's first stadium hotel should have got a rousing cheer when it opened on September 25, but nothing's quite as it should be in 2020. Regardless, the new Oval Hotel is destined to be a crowd-pleaser owing to its unrivalled intimacy with not one but two patches of hallowed Adelaide turf.
Oval Hotel is wrapped around the Eastern façade of the Adelaide Oval, which is located within the Adelaide Parklands. These historic, inner-city parklands are off-limits to developers so guests are afforded a rare vantage: the 138 rooms and the long, gently-curving reception look outwards, through leafy glades towards St Peter's Cathedral and the Torrens. Paradoxically, given that there's a 53,500-person stadium right next door, the effect is one of calm and solace.
The suites are furnished in soft grey fabrics with deep, charcoal carpets and good sound-proofing. Controls are all touch-pad, room service is ordered via iPad and the curtains open automatically when you enter the room.
In contrast, it's all about heritage when you're in Bespoke Wine Bar & Kitchen or Five Regions restaurant. Both spaces look onto Adelaide's beloved sporting ground, and kicking back with a bottle of SA's finest while watching busy grounds keepers or the ghosts of Bradman's Invincibles is a privilege indeed.
Game days can queer the pitch a little, because these ground-side spaces are cordoned off for ticket-holders. Guests can, however, purchase packages to enjoy a game while they stay – what you might call an "all-round" Oval experience.
Oval Hotel, King William Road, North Adelaide. From $220 a night.