There’s nothing quite like a bit of luxury. Especially when you are a broke backpacker trying to scrape by in very expensive Australia. So when Sean texted me to pack my bags one Saturday morning in Glenelg, I was over the moon.
It was close to my birthday and I was dying to find out where we were going.
Turns out, we weren’t going far.
The Stamford Grand Hotel is a luxury hotel, and only a short walk along the beach from our place. Its beautiful exterior has been the source of much longing on my part. I had even been known to slow my walk to a crawl when I passed, looking enviously at the guests enjoying afternoon tea and cocktails beneath dazzling chandeliers.
The Grand Hotel in Glenelg has a restaurant that looks straight out onto the beach, and a bar that offers views of the jetty and the pretty Moseley Square. As we entered the well-lit, plush lobby, adorned with men in red waistcoats, I was excited. We checked in and the receptionist confirmed that there was a bottle of bubbly waiting in the room, and a late check out. When I heard this I had to struggle to keep a straight face, and I looked around the lobby to distract myself. The sweeping staircase and beautiful windows revealing stunning views worked like a charm.
We got in the swanky lift and pressed the 10th floor. When we got out of the lift, our eyes were immediately drawn to the huge window displaying the sea and blue sky. As we walked closer, admiring the thick carpet beneath our feet, more of the spectacular view was revealed. First the jetty and then the beach, where some people had written their names in stick, as if for us. It was nice to see the familiar beach from a different angle.
When we tore ourselves away, we headed down the elegant corridor to our room, and were greeted by another breathtaking view. There was a full balcony with glass doors that showed a panoramic view of Adelaide.
The room itself was beautiful, and more like an apartment than a hotel room. We immediately went to the balcony to absorb some of the view.
Then we went to the fridge to crack open the bubbly. It was a South Australian sparkling wine and it was delicious.
When went to check out the pool we discovered it was an outdoor one, and so it was freezing. From the outside, we would never have guessed that behind the glass on the second floor was a pool. It was amazing to be outside, looking down on buzzing Moseley Square, and knowing that the beach was only metres away, with the open sky above us.
When we went down for dinner, we discovered it was a seafood buffet on that night. I adore a good buffet, and this one was top class. There were lots of salad choices, delicious soup, and piles of mussels, oysters and juicy prawns. There was crab too, but there were no tools to crack the shells open, which was a little frustrating for a crab lover. The barramundi fillets were melt in the mouth and the gratin potato complemented it perfectly.
For dessert, there was fruit salad, a selection of cheesecakes and other cakes. There were lots of bite sized deserts which were so cute.
By the time it came to my second dessert plate I was stuffed, and couldn’t finish it, shame on me.
The seafood buffet came to $55 each, which was reasonable, considering the quality of the food and the fact that it was a nice hotel. I would have preferred a little more selection though, like maybe chips or another potato side.
We were both pretty full and had planned on having cocktails in the cocktail bar, but the place was packed and looked like there was a 21st going on, so we skipped it.
After the best sleep in the most comfortable bed ever, it was time for breakfast, possibly my favourite thing about staying in hotels.
The breakfast was worth my excitement and expectation. I started with a plate of fruit and bircher museli sprinkled with nuts, with some mango yoghurt. I had pineapple juice.
Then there was the fry plate. A strange looking sausage, two hash browns, scrambled egg with chives and cheese, a fried egg, bacon and two varieties of fresh, seedy toasted bread. This was delicious. I would have liked some beans though, and the sausage was too weird.
Next came the sweets. I had a little pancake with strawberries and cream, a heavenly croissant, a mini blueberry muffin which I didn’t actually eat, and a pastry tart-like with raspberry jam. After this I was dangerously stuffed.
Our table was right at the windows and we really enjoyed looking out on such a sunny day. We had tea and coffee before plodding upstairs to recover from our feast.
Having a late check out was so good, as we were able to relax after breakfast, instead of hurrying to check out. I’d love to do that every time I stay in a hotel.
Our stay in the Grand Hotel, Glenelg was fantastic, and a perfect birthday treat. It didn’t make walking by the hotel any easier though. In fact, knowing what was inside made it even more difficult to pass on the way to work each day!