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Review: Intercontinental Adelaide, Presidential Suite

Review: Intercontinental Adelaide, Presidential Suite

You only live once, and so that is why I decided to spoil my Nan and bring her to the Intercontinental Adelaide to stay in the Presidential Suite; that famed room on Level 24 where some of the biggest celebrities to visit Adelaide have stayed.

So my Nan didn't have to walk too far, we used the Porte-cochère to drop off our car. It's $30 per night, which when used properly, is actually pretty good value. Remember, that's the cost for the night, not how often you request the car or drop the car back off. I had to pick Sandy up from Adelaide Airport later that night, and the concierge was quick to organise collection of the car so I could do so. If I had parked in a garage for the night, I would have been charged twice, and wouldn't have had the car brought to me or taken away either.

As a Platinum IHG Member, my membership status was recognised by the lady assisting with check in at the front desk. She asked whether I had stayed in the room before and made small-talk about the tours that she's done in the hotel where she's let tour participants visit the room and bask in its awesomeness. She seemed genuinely pleased that I was spoiling my Nan, and offered to organise to have someone take our bags to the room - however I insisted that we do this ourselves.

You're greeted at the entrance to the room with large double doors.

The sheer expanse of the suite is obvious when you walk in - sitting area ahead, dining room and kitchen to the right, living area, bathrooms, and bedroom to the left. Although it's obvious that the room is starting to age (I am doubtful that it has been renovated since it was first built as part of the Hyatt Regency in the late 1980s), the quality of the decor is still second to none. You almost don't want to touch anything because it all looks so expensive!

We settled into the suite, exploring its numerous rooms and features. There are 5-6 windows stretching east to west along the northern facade of the building, which allows for an abundance of natural lighting into the suite. The views over Adelaide Oval and Hajek Plaza were great:

To comment on the rooms:

Bedroom: Includes a large king bed, with a nice sitting sofa adjacent the window where you can enjoy the view. There is a flat screen TV on the far wall.

Dressing Room: Accessed from the bedroom, the dressing room is massive. You can imagine the likes of Katy Perry getting ready for a night out on the town in here. Large mirror, plenty of drawers, and stylish wooden coat-hangers.

Ensuite Bathroom: There is a spa bath which overlooks Adelaide Oval, a double sink, a private sauna that can fit 3-4 people comfortably, and a separate room with a toilet and bidet, and a large shower (no rain shower though which was a massive disappointment!). This room also included a switch which I assume once allowed music volume to be turned up and down, but this wasn't working. Would have made for some great spa ambience! I noticed that the amenities (shampoo etc.) are in bigger containers than in normal Intercontinental Hotel rooms, which was a nice touch.

Sitting/Lounge Rooms: Couches, everywhere. Another large flat screen TV, numerous seats, a stylish glass desk and ergonomic chair, and a grand piano which Sandy helped my Nan play when she arrived later that night. Beautiful art and furniture pieces.

Second 'bathroom': Attached to the lounge area is a small additional bathroom with a toilet and sink.

Dining room: Large round table which would make for an amazing group dinner. In here, the hotel set up a temporary single bed, with an additional towel and accompanying bathroom amenities. There is a cabinet here that has all the in-room dining and snacks located atop.

Kitchen: The most depressing room in the suite. I can only assume that it was meant as a butler's kitchen and was not to be seen by the occupant(s) of the suite. Accessed from the dining room, it was plasterboard galore. You'd think that if they are going to allow the occupant(s) of the suite to use this room, they'd do an upgrade of this area. No cooking utilities, not even a microwave - just a normal sized fridge, cupboard with cutlery, crockery and cups, and a Nespresso machine. The fridge was stocked with every drink you could think of, but none of them free.

Although the suite is only one bedroom, it would be similar in overall floor area to a two or three bedroom apartment anywhere else.

After settling into the room, hotel staff surprised us with a bottle of wine, bagged popcorn, two bottles of water, and a welcome card from the Hotel Manager. The wine was in a bucket of ice which kept it nice and cool for hours. However always disappointed with Australian hotels and their inability to give decent sized bottles of spring water - at Intercontinental Hotels in China, they're 600ml at least. These were a lot smaller. Surprised that there isn't more consistency across the IHG group.

My Nan and I enjoyed watching a movie in the bedroom, for free, courtesy of the hotel. This was because I complained that I could not find a way to plug up a USB to the TV - and supposedly it just simply cannot be done. I suspected that it was to try and direct people to paying the exorbitant cost for in-house movies, yet they had DVD players, which could play movies brought elsewhere. So they don't seem to have thought that through too well. The remote for the DVD Player in the bedroom did not work because the acid from the batteries had leaked, assumedly from disuse.

We wandered down around mid-afternoon to have afternoon tea in the Club Intercontinental Lounge. The staff here are all too happy to lend a hand. Good selection of pastries and cakes, yoghurt etc. and a brilliant Nespresso coffee machine that makes really good tasting coffee. They have amble reading material, including newspapers.

Had dinner in the Riverside Restaurant. If you sign up with the IHG Dining Rewards Program (at a fee), you can get 25% off meals on an ongoing basis, and a one-off $50 voucher for food at a participating hotel restaurant. We used the $50 voucher here.

The Club Intercontinental Lounge does evening canapés and drinks but we didn't do this as my Nan was a bit tired from everything else!

When Sandy arrived later that night, we both tried out the spa and sauna. They work really well, and would definitely have to be the best features of the room. Its not often you get access to a private sauna to use as you will.

Room has free wi-fi if you're an IHG Rewards Club member. Free to join, and can join at the hotel and immediately get access to this for your stay.

While my Nan slept in the morning, my partner and I went down to the Club Intercontinental Lounge and enjoyed breakfast. Great selection, good coffee (again) and felt nice and private compared to the buffet on the ground floor of the hotel.

We were offered late check-out (2pm) which was good as it meant my Nan didn't need to rush to get ready in the morning. Check-out was swift, apart from not having deducted the movie from the room bill. However they took my word for it and took the charge off. Car was brought around - and was extremely disappointed to see lots of paint and scratches around the front bumper. I tried to get the attention of the concierge to ask them about it, but they were too busy helping other guests who were driving up to the Porte-cochère. As a hire car (I was visiting from Auckland), I was really worried that I'd be charged for the damage. I did my best when I got home to try and clean off as much as I could. I suspect that the hotel must park the cars near the Adelaide Convention Centre, where a lot of construction work is taking place at the moment. Thankfully Hertz did not raise it an issue.

Overall it was a nice experience to stay in the Presidential Suite at the Intercontinental Adelaide, and great to say that we've done it once, but definitely wouldn't stay again - especially at NZD$1500 per night. More junior suites are available for under NZD$1000 and these are sure to be just as nice, and will still come with access to the executive lounge. If the room was upgraded significantly, I would consider it, but I assume it would then come accompanied with a massive rack rate increase - so perhaps not. The hotel overall is starting to get on in years. I have stayed in normal rooms here in the past and they haven't been updated in some time either. I wouldn't be surprised if they have bigger plans in the pipeline to ensure that they remain Adelaide's premier 5 star hotel. The hotel has an old, 80's Japanese feel (was constructed as part of the ASER project in Adelaide which was a joint venture between the Government Superannuation fund and a Japanese company).

Couldn't fault the service of the staff at this hotel at any stage, but wasn't 'above and beyond' as you might expect for such an expensive one-night stay.

Intercontinental Adelaide is located on North Terrace in Adelaide, on the northern side between the Adelaide Convention Centre and the Adelaide Casino.

You can contact them via email at reservations.adelaide@ihg.com or on +61 8 8238 2400. 

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