Sofitel Adelaide isn’t all that old, opening less than two years ago in November 2021, as Adelaide’s new premier luxury hotel. While the brand has a pretty solid reputation for sophisticated elegance, the splendid Adelaide location takes this design to another level.
I’ve stayed here twice now, and still have mixed feelings on whether the property is as good as they seem to think they are. While the hotel certainly has its merits, several aspects of my stay fell well short of expectations.
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Sofitel Adelaide Location
Sofitel Adelaide enjoys a prime location towards the city centre and is surrounded by vibrant shopping, restaurants and attractions. This central position makes Sofitel convenient for both business and leisure travellers. However, it’s important to note that while the property is within walking distance of popular destinations such as the Adelaide Central Market, it is slightly removed from the city’s cultural precinct.
Sofitel Adelaide Room Types
Sofitel Adelaide offers three guestrooms to choose from, with the option of one king or two single beds across each category. Your options are;
- Superior: 30 sqm base room.
- Deluxe: 34 sqm corner room.
- Luxury: 35 sqm room with a bath.
Each room is nearly identical by design, with the top-tier Luxury rooms adding a bathtub and high-floor location. You can also opt for a Luxury Room with Club Millésime access for an insane ~A$115, or an eye-watering A$240 when added after selecting a rate.
For the premium traveller, Sofitel Adelaide offers a choice of three suites. Each boasts a separate living area and luxurious bathroom with a bath and walk-in rain shower. A king-sized bed can be found in each suite, alongside a beautifully upholstered lounge, dedicated workspace and walk-in robe.
- Prestige Suite: comfortable from 56 sqm.
- Opera Suite: a huge 98 sqm of floor space, with floor-to-ceiling windows and an enormous bathroom with double vanity. The living area is equally impressive, adding a dining table for six.
- Presidential Suite: so luxurious you’ll need to make a formal enquiry via the reservations team. At 110sqm it’s only slightly larger, but offers an extended dining and living area, plus a kitchen and private butler’s pantry.
Upon arrival, I was greeted by the professional concierge with a friendly “Bonjour!”. The check-in process was painfully slow despite my evening arrival making me the only guest in line.
I was handed a generic, pre-printed welcome card from a box of one thousand identical cards, with the only edit “Bonjour Thomas” written in front of me. This careless welcome set an underwhelming tone for the rest of my stay, although apparently, this is Sofitel’s premium welcome for Accor members.
Luxury King Room
I went for a Luxury room, which was modern and elegant with quality furnishings. The room has a weird open-plan layout, where the bathroom is located at the entrance, adjacent to an adequate storage area. This is also where I found the best hotel bathrobe I have ever worn, with too many luxury brands selecting a sandpaper fabric over Sofitel’s choice of soft cotton by Australian linen brand Sheridan.
You can close off the bathroom with two sets of three-panel sliding doors that make a terrible banging noise and are great at catching fingers. I wouldn’t recommend this unless you like being trapped in a dark box.
The bathroom is oh so stylish, but completely lacks any sense of practicality. Both the shower and the toilet have narrow frosted doors that make it difficult to enter and exit comfortably. The bath, as chic as it is, feels cramped and uncomfortable. Plus, the shut grey doors sit around 8 inches from your face.
The mirror was nice and even came with the dental remains of the previous guest as a welcome amenity. I also found some other stains on hard surfaces throughout the room. What a treat!
Amenities are provided by Balmain Paris and were wonderful.
The bed was very comfortable, providing a restful night’s sleep, and the linens were crisp and clean.
At the far end of the room is a comfortable window lounge and a small table if you need to get some work done.
The minibar was fully stocked and surprisingly well-priced. A pod coffee machine is also provided alongside an impressive Dilmah tea lineup.
I do have to mention that while Sofitel claims their Luxury rooms are at least 35 square metres, the poor layout makes the space feel small. Especially with the bathroom closed off, I felt cramped.
I went for a Luxury room, but skipped Club Millésime access having visited last time, before my Accor Platinum status dropped. I wouldn’t recommend paying A$240 for what is a pretty basic selection of drinks and canapes.
One of the highlights of Sofitel Adelaide is its pool and gym facilities. The pool area is very well-maintained, super luxurious and offers comfortable lounge chairs that provide a relaxing retreat after a long day exploring the city.
The gym is well-equipped with a variety of modern machines and free weights.
Food & Beverage
Sofitel Adelaide offers several dining options, including a restaurant, a bar, and an in-room dining service. The Garçon Bleu restaurant failed to impress me, but do remember to bring your glasses, as the drinks menu is a ridiculous 24-pages long.
The quality of food does not live up to the premium Sofitel expectation. I ordered the scotch fillet, which was cooked well but was tough and lacked flavour. The accompanying fries and roasted vine tomatoes were nice, although I should mention the “salad” is literally a bowl of lettuce leaves.
The breakfast buffet offers a very impressive selection of hot and cold options. This was a far better experience than my dinner the night before, with no complaints here.
What they lacked in quality of food, Garçon Bleu made up in personality. Each of the servers appeared to love their job and genuinely care for customers.
Summing Up: My Take
Whether I return for a third stay at Sofitel Adelaide is still unknown, with the lack of anything remarkable during this visit. The dreary check-in experience, awkwardly arranged room and disappointing Garçon Bleu restaurant make it hard for me to consider a return booking.
On the plus side, the hotel structure is gorgeously achieved, the pool is fantastic and the location is within easy reach of Adelaide’s attractions. I have to say the room looks great on camera and did feel luxurious, but too many minor details were overlooked to keep me interested.
With a few improvements, Sofitel could fulfil its potential and create a memorable stay for the right reasons. Until then, travellers seeking a truly exceptional luxury experience may wish to explore other options in Adelaide.
This stay was entirely funded by Flight Hacks, who visited Sofitel Adelaide at their own expense and without notice. This review is not sponsored.