AT’s Alissa Jenkins finds a stay with a twist in Adelaide’s north.
I am surrounded by fire engines. But there hasn’t been a house fire, an accident or the handiwork of a local pyromaniac. Rather, I am spending the night in a restored fire station.
The Fire Station Inn is located in the affluent suburb of North Adelaide, within walking distance to a smorgasbord of great cafes, restaurants and bars. And staying true to its former glory, it offers boutique accommodation that is furnished in all kinds of fire-engine memorabilia – but more on that later.
This historic landmark – a Victorian bluestone two-storey building – was initially constructed in 1866 as a shop, before being transformed into Adelaide’s first fire station in 1904 for the Metropolitan Fire Brigade Service.
In 1998 the current owners (Rodney and Regina Twiss) bought and refurbished the structure, adding to their portfolio of restored heritage buildings that are now available as self-contained accommodation. (To find out more, contact North Adelaide Heritage Group www.adelaideheritage.com)
So the shop-come-fire station-come-accommodation now boasts three luxurious but markedly different suites, and I am booked in to the Residency Penthouse, located on the top floor.
Soon after entering I can see this is somewhere special. Lit by down-lights and lamps, it’s spacious but cosy, historic but with modern luxuries.
Walking around the open-plan apartment, there is a contemporary gallery kitchen with West Australian jarrah timber, which continues into the dining area and lounge room, complete with two leather fold-out sofas and a flat-screen TV.
The master bedroom is styled in antique furniture positioned around a king-sized bed that is topped in a selection of pillows, and French doors that open up to the front balcony.
There is another bedroom at the opposite end of the suite with a queen-sized bed, also with antique furnishings.
The bathroom is located up a few steps, which isn’t ideal for those who are less mobile, but inside is fresh, clean and offers a touch of extravagance with marble tiles and a large spa bath.
Overall the suite feels welcoming, plush and well-appointed.
The building’s fire-station heritage emerges in the décor, but nothing is overbearing. There are some subtle pieces like a row of miniature fire engine models, vintage posters and a hat stand with fire-fighter helmets.
However the Fire Engine Suite downstairs is much more playful. Pride of place goes to a 1942 International Fire Engine which visitors (aka the kids) can sleep in, as well as the original fireman’s pole.
There’s also a king-sized bed and double sofa bed, self-contained kitchen and spa bathroom. It’s a great place for young families, or big kids at heart.
But for something a bit more intimate, there is also the Loggia Spa Suite at the rear of the inn, featuring a queen-sized bed, a marble-tiled and glass-walled spa bathroom and a private Tuscan courtyard.
Each suite has quite a different feel but the entire building can be hired out at once, sleeping up to 12 guests in total. This option gives way to a unique family reunion venue. Picture it; grandparents in the Penthouse, young family in the Fire Engine Suite, a couple in the Loggia Suite…
However visitors experience the Fire Station Inn, it’s undeniably a unique and lavish stay, incorporating a slice of Adelaide’s history.
Alissa was a guest of North Adelaide Group
Fire Station Inn
80 Tynte Street, North Adelaide
Ph. (08) 8267 2020
Cost: From $265 per night for 2 adults