The Playford, on North Terrace, has been my go-to favourite hotel in Adelaide for two decades, even before it was a Playford. The Art Deco ambience, luxurious comfort and plush decor have always appealed to me. I wrote about my Playford
crush a few years ago.
The Playford Hotel
Since then, the hotel was closed to public guests for an extended time while it was used as an isolation hotel during Covid. After that engagement it underwent refurbishment and I checked in last week to see how things had changed.
The welcoming Neptune-like statue and water feature still stands proudly at the portico.
Playford welcoming water feature
Inside, there are a few remaining gilt curlicues on staircases and balustrades.
But the chandeliers and cherubs have disappeared in favour of a more minimalist decor.
Gilt has gone and tubes of white light snake across the ceiling in the lounge/bar area. The shapes are reminiscent of Art Deco style but the effect is very different from before.
Lights, no chandeliers and cherubs
The bar itself is devoid of any unnecessary ornamentation, with the right amount of bottles and differently shaped glasses dominating the space.
New bar at The Playford
Upstairs my room was a grey haven of calm and tranquillity. An Art Deco theme was maintained in the form of a sleek sofa, inviting me to sit and relax.
Art Deco sofa at The Playford
Next to this was a large cupboard which I have named 'The Kitchen'.
'The kitchen' at The Playford
Inside 'The Kitchen' I found a well-stocked mini-fridge (nice to see the return of the mini-bar after its Covid-induced absence), a kettle and a coffee pod machine. I remembered back to the early days of my hotel stays when a small plunger and petite packet of ground Lavazza was supplied.
'The kitchen' at The Playford
Cold beverages included soft drinks, mineral water and South Australian wine.
Local Gin and Port were also available.
I was tempted by cookies in interesting flavours and chocolate bars. I resisted them all but felt reassured that they were available in the event of a late-night hunger pang.
The bathroom was a more minimalist version of its former self, with pale grey tiles and sleek chrome fixtures. A large, walk-in shower occupied one corner of the room, while a sleek sink and mirror combination provided all the basic amenities. Toiletries in canisters on the wall have replaced dinky plastic bottles - a much better arrangement when considering environmental impact.
Toiletries at The Playford
The more sparse design allowed me to fully unwind and focus on the simple pleasures of relaxation and rest. I woke up feeling refreshed and rejuvenated as I knew I would at The Playford. I admit, I missed the ornate beauty and grandeur of the more traditional, former hotel decor although I realise that we are living in more minimalist times. Our aesthetics have evolved to value simplicity, functionality, and sustainability over opulence and excess.
I'll be back again, if, for nothing else, my favourite part of The Playford; the heated pool and the wonderful, warm, inviting spa.