Crowne Plaza Adelaide hotel review

The Crowne Plaza Adelaide hotel offers 4-star accommodation with a view in the heart of the CBD.

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Quick verdict:

Crowne Plaza Adelaide is a perfectly located, comfortable, modern hotel that's a good fit for families, business travellers and couples. Its facilities are a little on the small side, but the rooms themselves are spacious and the view is spectacular. I was pleasantly surprised during my stay.

Crowne Plaza Adelaide

  • Where: 27 Frome St, Adelaide SA 5000
  • When: April 2021
  • Room type: Twin Premium room
  • Guests: 2 adults, 3 kids
  • Cost: $220 to $280/night
  • Hotel star rating: 4 stars

My review, in short:

  • My star rating: ★★★★
  • Cost: From as low as $220 mid-week, it feels like a good value option.
  • Location: Unreal. Right above a bustling area of pubs, restaurants and clubs. And by day, close to transport and shops.
  • Decor: Fresh and modern throughout.
  • Check-in/out process: Seamless for us, although I've seen reviews of others frustrated by check-in being understaffed at peak times.
  • The room: Bigger than I had expected with a great view, large TV, spacious bathroom and comfortable bed.
  • Food: Tasty breakfasts and stunning Japanese dinners with great views over the city. Beer a little pricey.
  • Facilities: The gym, bar and pool are small, but otherwise perfect. Business facilities are in an open-plan layout, which may not be private enough for some. Parking is off-site, but close by.

The Crowne Plaza Adelaide only opened in November 2020, making it one of the IHG group's newest hotels when I stayed there in April 2021. It's built midway up an apartment block, with only the hint of a foyer on ground level before a 10th-floor lobby, and rooms from floors 11 to 20.

I was making a short two-night stay in Adelaide as part of a longer trip and wanted accommodation centrally located so I could maximise the experience. I travelled with my wife and three kids, all aged under 10.

Initially, I had worried that the Crowne Plaza Adelaide would be too corporate – a vibe I had felt from the website. However, we turned out to be one of many families staying there and I was happy to see that kids were happily accepted (tolerated?). Indeed, the spacious, modern rooms and stunning views make this an easy hotel to recommend.

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Cost

As you would expect, the room price differs a bit depending on when you go. The Twin Premium room I stayed in seems to range from $220 to $280 per night depending on whether you're staying mid-week or on the weekend.

When I compared this price with other 4-star hotels in the Adelaide CBD, the Crowne Plaza Adelaide's pricing was middle of the road. There are some older, character hotels that you can get for quite a bit cheaper. However, when compared specifically to modern hotels in the CBD, the cost is at the lower end. Of course, this analysis doesn't take into account the relative features of these hotels or comfort.

The price of food at the Crowne Plaza Adelaide was a mixed bag. Obviously it's more expensive than down on the streets, but not too much more. $29 for Big Breakfast is a good yardstick to give you an idea of what to expect, and I was happy to see $12 kid breakfast options, too. At dinner the kids prices were a little too much in my opinion at $15, or $27 if you want dessert with it – no kid is worth that! Adults can expect to pay around $40 for a main and $15-$20 for a starter.

Beer was a bit too much – $10 for a schooner (called a pint in South Australia) of Coopers or Furphy is not cool. I can understand that in the restaurant, but at the pool bar – called Luna10 – it should be cheaper or there should be a generous happy hour.

Location

I wasn't well educated on the layout of Adelaide prior to arriving, but now that I've toured this beautiful city I feel I really lucked out with the location of the Crowne Plaza. Regardless of whether you're a family, on business or enjoying a couple's getaway, you won't be disappointed.

The surrounding streets are packed with restaurants, pubs and clubs, all of which are bustling into the wee hours. (Not that you could hear it from up in the room.) During the day there's a stack of shops, too, including a short five-minute walk to the famed Rundle Mall. This location is also where the tram starts which takes you down to the beachside suburbs. The free city trams also leave from close by.

Crowne Plaza Adelaide Review 7

Decor

The Crowne Plaza Adelaide hasn't tried to do much in terms of amassing any character or charm. This is no doubt partly a result of sharing a larger building with private apartments and businesses. The entrance foyer is very subdued, and the rooms, while perfectly lovely, are relatively sparse. There's no wow factor in the decor; it's fit for function.

The one exception is the combined reception, bar, restaurant and business centre area on the 10th floor. It maximises its strengths, with floor-to-ceiling windows and a high roof filled with oriental-inspired woodwork. The space wonderfully harnesses sunlight and reflects and refracts it in such a way as to feel fresh, bright and vibrant.

As a parent travelling with kids, I appreciate the lack of knick-knacks and breakables at every turn. But certainly, Adelaide is a location rich in history and blessed with many stunning old buildings – if you're looking for that kind of old-world charm, you won't find it at the Crowne Plaza Adelaide.

Check-in/out

My personal experience checking in and out of the Crowne Plaza Adelaide was a breeze. There was ample space outside the front doors to park while I unpacked, and there was no queue. We were up in our room with all our belongings in minutes. Check-out was equally as straightforward, and the concierge on the ground floor was kind enough to store our leftover food in a fridge while we explored the city for the day.

I have seen some complaints in other user reviews of painful check-ins, with people waiting too long for the concierge or not being able to get a car spot directly out the front of the building. I can see how this could happen as I only ever witnessed one staff member on the ground floor. The reception proper is 10 floors up. If there was an influx of arrivals at one time, this system could create a bottleneck.

But this was not my experience. My experience was great and the concierge lovely.

Crowne Plaza Adelaide Review 3

Room

We stayed in the Twin Premium room on the 16th floor. The make-up was two very comfortable queen-sized beds, with a healthy-sized rollout single bed. I was worried about that being a cramped layout, but was impressed by the size of the room – especially as the rollout bed was large and comfortable, almost the size of a normal single, and there was still a table with four chairs.

I was equally impressed by the view. Perhaps I was lucky, but there was nothing obscuring the view out of our window in any direction, and we could catch both the sunrise and sunset, as well as cast an eye out towards the Adelaide hills. I suspect that on the other side of the building you may be able to see the ocean from some rooms.

The minibar was closed due to COVID-19 restrictions, but the room's most dominant feature was the large flatscreen TV. Elsewhere, there was enough shelving and storage space for a family. The bathroom was spacious – especially the shower – although eco-friendly measures like pump pack shampoo/conditioner/soap and a water-saving shower head may irk some people.

Being such a new hotel, everything felt very clean and fresh. But I think they forgot something on the room doors. Indeed, my biggest gripe with the Crowne Plaza Adelaide is the door as it has no spring in its hinge, therefore slams shut. The sound (and vibrations) of doors slamming down the hall, as well as in the surrounding floors, during peak times was really off-putting. Plus it was dangerous for the kids.

At least at night when you're asleep, those doors generally stay shut.

I would've liked to have seen a small door in front of the minibar, too, to trap the sound of the fridge compressor, as well as bedside tables on both sides of the bed. But these are minor gripes. Ultimately the room was big, clean and comfortable, and was blessed with a fantastic view.

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Food

The Koomo Japanese restaurant on the 10th floor is reportedly the highest restaurant in Adelaide and it's certainly a lovely place to dine. I was only able to personally experience the breakfast, but each morning's feed was delicious.

I have to give credit to the effort put in by the staff to create a buffet experience for guests given we travelled during COVID-19 restrictions. It wasn't a traditional buffet in that we couldn't serve ourselves, but the hotel did a really good job of having staff at food stations able to serve you what you desired from what was on show.

Unfortunately, I was unable to enjoy the dinner or the room service. I will say that I was surprised at how long finished room service trays stayed left in hallways, sometimes well into the following day – certainly an area where the Crowne Plaza Adelaide can pick up its game.

Facilities

Being that it's housed within a larger building, the Crowne Plaza Adelaide is a little tight on space for its facilities. The attractions in this regard all sit on a single floor, which features the restaurant, bar and a comfortable region of chairs and tables for meetings all in one open-plan space. It looks lovely, especially in the morning as the sunrise drives through the glass, but if you were hoping to have larger private business meetings it may not suit your needs.

(However, there are conference facilities on level 2 should you need serious meeting space.)

The gym is also quite small and with any more than four or five people in there, feels busy. However, the machines themselves are the best I've even used – which probably means they're simply the newest models – and the outlook is nice.

The big winner is the rooftop pool, which sits next to the bar on a patio area on the same floor as the restaurant. It's not a big nor deep pool, and competition for the few sun loungers would be something to see on hot days. But the view from the water is stunning and the kids loved it. I'll admit that sitting there, watching the sunset over the ocean while enjoying a beer, as the kids flipped and flopped and splashed about, was one of the highlights of my entire trip.

There is no hotel parking; however, on-street parking was ample when we were there. The meters only operate from 9am to 6pm meaning you can park overnight. Alternatively, there is a parking station directly opposite the hotel and the concierge can arrange a special rate that allows you to come and go as many times as you like. I believe it was around $30 for that privilege.

Wi-Fi worked fine throughout the building. For families, however, there are no child-care or playground areas, so be mindful of that.

Crowne Plaza Adelaide Review 4

Verdict

The Crowne Plaza Adelaide was a pleasant surprise for my family and I. Prior to arrival, I was expecting for us to be quite cramped in our room and for our noisy kids to be at odds with the corporates and couples I anticipated would be staying there. This wasn't the case.

Our kids were welcome and had a lot of fun at the pool. The room was spacious and felt very clean and modern. The large TV and fantastic view were joined by a very comfy bed and pinpoint climate control. There was no sound from the street below, either, despite being in such a central location

The facilities are a little cramped and comparatively lite, and I definitely urge the hotel to put some sort of compression hinge on the room doors. But it was hard to focus on these quibbles when the overall stay so perfectly fit our needs.


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