- Very cheap prices for central Adelaide
- Bed is comfy with good linen
- No shortage of good cafes nearby
- Poor quality bathroom products
- Expensive internet
- Few options for working at the hotel
- No snooty front-desk staff
If you're travelling to Adelaide for a quick business trip and want to minimise hotel costs, the Majestic Minima could be right, at around $100 per night, a stone's throw from the heart of the Adelaide CBD.
Location & Impressions
The Majestic Minima is on Melbourne St, North Adelaide -- a few minutes in a taxi to the heart of Adelaide CBD, and over the road from some decent cafes. It's one of a new breed of "self-check-in" hotels where you book online and then use an ATM-style machine to retrieve your booking and get your room keycard. While the idea of a hotel with no staff and DIY-everything might sound like hard work, the check-in process is actually pretty easy -- no harder than using an airline check-in kiosk at the airport. In a way, it's quite nice not to have to deal with sometimes prissy front-desk staff and be able to just get to your room as quickly as possible.
The frontage of the hotel is quite beautiful for a low-cost hotel, and there's a touchscreen display on the front of the building which acts as something like a concierge -- it's a cityguide anyone passing by (or hotel guests) can use.
If you need assistance, there's an intercom in the foyer connected to the nearby Majestic Lion Apartments, and a staffer from there will walk over to help you. In my case, I'd booked a $99 economy room, and when I saw it, decided I'd rather upgrade to a room with a balcony, as the economy rooms are dark shoeboxes on the ground floor that you'd really want to only sleep in. You can't change your room via the touchscreen check-in system, but a staffer from Majestic Lion arrived in a few minutes with new keycards and was perfectly helpful.
The Majestic Minima advertises itself on the concept of "mini rooms, mini price" but makes a point of saying it doesn't skimp on the things that are important to absolutely everyone in a hotel, such as good quality bed-linen, comfortable beds and a nice bathroom.
I found these points to be absolutely true -- the bedlinen was nice and smooth; the bed comfortable (though one side did have some sag-damage to the mattress) and the bathroom was nice, albeit tiny.
The $99 'economy' rooms are best avoided unless you're really only planning to sleep there and be out of the hotel otherwise. The economy room we were allocated was literally just inside the door of the hotel foyer, and had a window that was judiciously covered up with a blind, as it looked out at a dusty carpark under the building. As I had to do a bit of work in the room, I decided I'd upgrade to a room with a balcony and a nicer window.
The upgraded room was much better -- it had a small enclosed balcony looking out at the wall of the building next door, but at least it provided some natural light and air flow.
The room had a TV mounted high on the wall at an angle so you could watch it in bed (I didn't turn it on, but the hotel guide said it had free Foxtel), and there was an air conditioner. Unfortunately the air con was not a split system, so it was a bit noisier than you'd expect, though it didn't keep me awake overnight.
The bed was comfy, though on one side it had damage to the box spring and sagged rather severely.
The bathroom was small but since the hotel was only built in 2008, it had nice quality fittings and tiles. The bathroom products were not good quality -- the shampoo in particular smelled like industrial floor cleaner, so I bought some of my own.
Parking costs $8 per day, and there is an ethernet socket in the wall for internet -- for a seemingly reasonable price of 55c a minute up to a maximum of $10 per day. However, the $10 per day only comes with 20MB of data, with further usage charged at 10c/MB. If you used another 200MB, you'd be up for $200 -- something to be very wary of. I was using a Telstra 3G mobile modem anyway, so I didn't have to use the hotel internet.
The rooms are serviced only once a week in terms of changing bed-linen, but you can get new towels every day from room attendants in the hallways in the morning if you want.
There's a cupboard with a small safe (not big enough for a laptop -- more wallet and keys sized) and an empty bar-fridge for you to put your own groceries into.
The biggest gripe I had was that if you wanted to open the cupboard, you had to clear the desk, as the cupboard door swung right across the desk -- far from ideal.
The biggest deficiency with the Majestic Minima is that there is literally not a sofa in the place to sit in and do some work in (as far as I could see). The closest thing to a work space is the polished jarrah table on one of the balconies, where power points are conveniently provided on the wall for laptops. There's no internet access port out there, so you'll want to bring your own mobile broadband if you want to work here.
There's no restaurant or room service at the Majestic Minima, but you don't really need one -- there are great restaurants and cafes over the road, round the corner and next-door to the hotel. You don't need to worry about buying the hotel's breakfast deal, which allows you to go to one of the cafes nearby to get a prepaid breakfast. Just front-up to any of the cafes in the morning and choose one which has a menu that looks good. I ate several times at "The Store" (http://www.thestore.com.au/) and while the service was a bit disorganised, the food was pretty good.
The hotel does provide a vending machine with breakfast cereal and milk though, and there are (instant) coffee and tea facilities in the room if just want a simple breakfast. Again, with all the good cafes nearby, I'd definitely go to one of them instead, but at least the vending machine provides a late-night-munchie-emergency option.
Relaxing at the Majestic Minima basically involves your bed; the chair on the balcony (if you booked a room with a balcony) or the jarrah table on the balcony on level two. Otherwise, you'll want to go out and relax elsewhere.
Review: Majestic Minima hotel - no staff, self-check-in, but is it too minimal?
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