Review: Peppers Waymouth Hotel, Adelaide
This is a hotel I stay at regularly – maybe every 2nd month. Most of the images in this review and the comments relate to a stay in November 2018. Where I had a different experience, you will find additional comments that relate to other stays and other guest rooms in the hotel.
Stay: 26 to 28 November 2018
Room: Guest Room 1111
Size: 34 sqm (365 sqf)
Per Night Average: ~AU$164
Address: 55 Waymouth Street, Adelaide, South Australia
Phone: +61 7 5665 4133
This hotel was built into the shell of a 1970’s building in 2002 by the Mattioli group and was branded as a Rendevouz Hotel. Despite that date, the decor feels very 80’s/90’s. The ground floor, especially the Barketta restaurant looks like it got a refurbishment when the Mantra Group took on the hotel and re-opened its 200 odd rooms in October 2015.
I arrived on a Monday evening by Taxi and was dropped in the undercover driveway. There was a doorman on duty who offered to assist with my luggage but given I only had a carry-on, not necessary.
Check-in was a little delayed, as there were others in the queue. Three staff were on duty, two were dealing with guests, while the third was doing something else on his computer. It’s a pet peeve of mine – frontline staff not servicing customers when at the reception desk, or scurrying out the back while there are customers waiting. I waited for maybe five minutes. However, once I got to the reception desk, check-in was efficient, and all the essentials about the hotel were explained. My key folder contained electronic entry key, my room number and wifi password. Off to the lifts.
There are four lifts servicing the building, and I think one is reserved for staff service. I have never had to wait for one.
I have not patronised this restaurant other than to briefly sit and work on my computer while my room is being serviced. It seems well used, particularly the bar, and its where a la carte breakfast is served. Given the range of other options available in the immediate area, (Georges, Central Market, Peel Street) I haven’t had breakfast here.
There is also Essay Kitchen up on the 1st floor. I’ve never been up there, presuming it was just conference rooms, but apparently that is where they have the buffet breakfast.
The Gym & Pool
There is a fairly rudimentary gym with slightly dated equipment on level 2, along with the pool and spa/sauna.
It’s odd, but both I and my partner found it difficult to find the gym, although we easily found the pool. They are next to each other, but weirdly, the Gym sign just doesn’t register with you, despite it being quite prominent once it’s pointed out. Just so you don’t have to ask the grumpy attendant (I don’t think its the first time he has been asked), as you exit the lift foyer, you will see the entrance to the pool at a distance directly in front of you. The gym is before that and you enter on the right – close to the lifts.
Room 1111, was as you would expect on the 11th floor, on the right-hand side as you look from the lifts to the front of the building. This gives it a view over the south-west corner of Adelaide.
My room entrance was directly adjacent to the lifts.
Room 1111 was the left-hand door.
Entrance is by tapping a key card.
The room is a good size (34 sqm), but its most notable feature is the bathroom that has frosted double sliding doors as an entrance, and also a window (fortunately with blind) to the rest of the bedroom. I’m thinking this was done in 2002 when windows from bathrooms to bedrooms was in vogue. If it was done in 2015, then there are designers who should lose their lives.
I presume that they do these windows from the bathroom as a way of introducing some natural light, and if not that, what?
The colour palette is black, white and grey, with some reddish wood tones, and a slightly unfortunate ochre and black carpet.
It feels clean and crisp, despite some of the 80’s vibe in light fittings and wood finish choices.
The black lounge chair is comfortable. Is it only me that imagines the worst about fake suede’s ability to breed and transmit germs?
I like the simplicity of the bedside tables and the look of the lamps. Unfortunately, the ‘reading’ lamps are not quite at the right height to be actually useful for reading in bed.
I appreciate the electronic clock that also has two USB powerpoints/sound inputs. Unfortunately, I find life is too short to sort out exactly how to work each bedside electronic clock in every hotel I stay in, so as long as it is showing an approximation of the actual time – I tend to leave them alone.
This was a great desk. The black granite top was mouse-friendly, and the separate lamp, with a wall-mounted switch, was excellent (no searching for a switch located halfway down the power cord). The wall-mounted power points for your devices was also convenient and avoided the usual scrabbling around the floor under the desk.
Unfortunately, the pneumatics of the desk chair were not great. Despite being adjusted ‘up’, this chair would slowly sink during the day whether being sat in or not. That ‘Lock’ indicator, did not do what the label said. Still, it was actually an adjustable office chair, so they get points for that.
The wardrobe, minibar, and luggage storage are located adjacent to each other. Very convenient. The luggage storage area (that black hole in the middle of the picture) is very useful. I tend just to plonk my wheel-on there, open it, hang anything that needs it in the wardrobe, unpack my shoes beside my bag, put my toiletries in the bathroom, and bingo, I’m set.
The wardrobe (closet) houses the safe (large enough for a 15″ computer), iron, ironing board, another case storage area (it looks like it should have shelves or drawers, but they were too cheap to install them) and the kind of coathangers I hate.
Anti-theft coathangers are an abomination, and the person who invented them, and everyone who OK’s their installation, should be forced all day every day to use them, until the end of days! They never easily slide along, and getting those little nail head type appendages into their ‘hook’ is like threading a needle in the dark.
And another thing . . . No Bathrobes, and No slippers! Now, I don’t know about you, but if I am staying in a hotel room, I like to get my work drag off as soon as possible, and lounge around in the hotel provided bathrobe. Not possible here.
Slippers – I have always liked them, particularly in hotel rooms, and especially after I thought about the human traffic in a hotel room, and how the carpet is not steam cleaned after every visit. No Slippers provided in this hotel, so I feel like I am about to catch something from the carpet at any minute, and given the somewhat cursory cleaning of the room during my stay, that feels like a distinct possibility.
The minibar area comes with the usual bad nutritional temptations, plus wine and expensive bottled water. To its credit, there is a ‘Nero’ coffee machine, which is a simulacrum of a Nespresso machine. The deal is you get two free pods – enough for two of you to each have a shot each morning, or for one of you to have a double. If you want more – then you pay – AU$2 per pod.
Below the coffee machine is the bar fridge, which in this room was a little under-resourced. On other stays, the fridge has tended to have more, and a wider selection of options. I think every fridge I have used in this hotel has something missing. This one is without a shelf or two. Other times, one or more of the bars holding bottles into the door shelves have been missing.
In the drawers to the left of the bar-fridge are crockery – 2 x mugs, 2 x espresso cups and saucers, 2 x wine glasses, 2 x tumblers, and 2 x teaspoons, in a dedicated felt-lined drawer.
Below that in the next drawer is a tea caddy, containing tea sachets, sugar, granulated coffee, etc.
The room also comes with a bucket chair, which is great if you need to read but don’t want to recline in the lounge chair. It’s set up with a coffee table next to it, which is perfect.
And finally, the window into the bathroom – one of the stupidest hotel design ideas of the century. The only excuse for this design failure is so you can lie in the bath and watch the TV off to the left of the picture below. The only problem with that is the way the bath is set up. The end where you would have your head faces away from the TV. So it fails on that count as well.
Electronics – WiFi and TV
There are pushbuttons for the lights all over this room, and it’s hard to work out what controls what. The good thing is that they are everywhere, so you can control things, it’s just a bit hit and miss. I really appreciated the wall control for the desk lamp.
The televisions have really crappy reception and resolution. I think it’s still analogue, and tends to have lines and interference, and is quite sluggish to react to the remote. I am possibly making this up, but I think some rooms still have cathode ray tube TV’s – well at least they share the same quality.
Although configuration is a little different in some rooms, essentially the desk area faces in the opposite direction to where the TV is. I often work at the desk in the evening in hotel rooms and have the TV on for company. That works OK, but if something catches my attention on TV, I have to stop working and swing around 180º to take it in. Not ideal.
I have a constant battle in this hotel with wifi. They tell you that you should be able to use multiple devices (limit 3?), but I never can – it just won’t let me register another device after I have linked the first one.
I even joined the Mantra club, as that seemed to give the promise of free wifi for multiple devices, and you also get a late checkout at 12 noon instead of 11:30 am – whoopty-do!
On one stay, I explained this problem, and the receptionist gave me two codes. That helped. On my most recent stay, I managed to get all three devices online, without any drama – so maybe they have fixed the system, or I have worked out the right option to select. Who knows.
The Internet also didn’t work as was promised. I was able to select an unsecured network without logging in using room number and name, until the morning of the last day. Again this may not be them, it might be me.
This is a very good sized and well-organised bathroom. It contains all the usual features, plus a bath (albeit facing the wrong way to watch TV).
It is even set up so that the mirror on the wall outside the bathroom, reflects in the mirror opposite, inside the bathroom, so you get that weird infinity effect, but its also great if you need to check yourself out back and front. An essential for those of the female persuasion, or so I am told.
A single sink (I prefer a double) and plenty of shelf space is a plus.
The shower cubicle is on the small side. There is what I presume was a lighted panel behind the toilet. It no longer seems to have a functioning light in it, which is a pity, as this area is a bit of a black hole.
There is only a handheld shower, that doubles as an overhead. I would prefer a rain shower from the ceiling, with the handheld as a secondary option.
There is one really odd thing about the taps in these bathrooms. On some of the taps, particularly those servicing the bath, the ‘off’ position is in the middle of the range. If I can explain – you can turn the taps clockwise, or anti-clockwise, and water will come out (although there is a preference for one direction). The ‘off’ position is midway. It can be frustrating to find this ‘sweet spot’, so, you are often left with a dripping tap. They need to sort this out.
These are Australian brand Appelles. They come on this wooden holder, and the soap ‘dome’ is both strangely camp, and oddly appealing. The brand uses Australian fruits as the names of their products, but the scent of the product has no relationship to the fruit or herb named. For instance, there is a Davidson Plum hand and body wash, but the scent is actually ‘sweet orange, geranium and blackcurrant absolute’. Marketing trumps common sense, again.
The scent of these amenities is quite pleasant, although I don’t think the quality is up there with competitor Aēsop. Appelles, can be found in a number of Australian hotel brands, and they run a series of different lines so that not every hotel brand has the same.
Room Service – Burger
The test for all room services is the quality, presentation and delivery of their in-house burger. The Peppers Waymouth burger was a little meagre and soulless. From the plastic cover and disposable salt and pepper to the brown paper serviette, this is not a quality service. The burger, on the other hand, was fine, as were the chips, although, that plastic cover helped them towards sogginess.
In my opinion, this is really a 4.5-star hotel. The lack of slippers and bathrobes, the aged furniture, lack of attention to detail, and meagreness of generosity in things like room service meals make it so.
On the other hand, the rooms are large, they have bathtubs, fast internet (despite connection issues), friendly service, and are usually under the price of other Adelaide 5 star hotels.
I would love to always stay at the Mayfair or the Intercontinental, but with their $250 a night and higher price range most of the time, that’s not possible. The Peppers Waymouth consistently comes in at the AU$150ish range, which makes it a far more economic option despite some of its shortcomings.
Don’t expect to be wowed by this hotel, but do expect a comfortable stay.
Summary Don't expect to be wowed by this hotel, but do expect a comfortable stay.