Vintage Travel Kat
Hotel Indigo Adelaide Markets MerryMaker Rooftop Bar

The new Hotel Indigo Adelaide Markets launches with a touch of pink

The new Hotel Indigo Adelaide Markets will open on 1 March. Just metres from the food-lovers dream that is the Adelaide Central Markets, the 145-room hotel is the first Indigo Hotel to open in Australia. The Indigo Hotels brand launched in 2004 and is part of the InterContinental Hotel Group (IHG). There are now 126 Indigo properties around the world.

The hotel is built on the site of a former textile factory. Design features throughout the hotel draw on elements from the local area and surrounds. The abundance of copper fixtures in the hotel serves as an ode to South Australia’s copper mining heritage from the Flinders Ranges and Coober Pedy. The ceiling above the rooftop pool is made completely of copper. Colourful tessellated patterning is reflective of a pattern used frequently in traditional homes of Adelaide.

Hotel Indigo Adelaide Markets_Pool Exterior Night
Hotel Indigo Adelaide Markets_Lobby
The lobby at Hotel Indigo Adelaide Markets

A number of brick archways throughout the hotel are in honour of the archways seen in the heritage-listed Adelaide Central Market, just 200 metres from the hotel. The lobby is a replica of the Federal Hall building in the marketplace.

Hotel Indigo Adelaide Markets_King Superior Room
King Superior Room

In the guest rooms, colourful bedhead murals by local artist Tristan Kerr are inspired by Adelaide’s arts festival, known as ‘Mad March’.

In good news for the environment, the hotel has steered clear of those silly, landfill-clogging miniature bathroom amenity bottles and has used instead large-format bottles filled with Australian-made Biology products in environmentally friendly packaging.

Hotel Indigo Adelaide Markets_bedroom mural

A touch of pink

Of course, one design element that gets a big tick from me is the multiple touches of pink used throughout the hotel!

At the hotel’s Sydney media launch, the Hotel Indigo team explained that the pink flourishes in the boutique hotel are in honour of the late Don Dunstan, AC, QC a South Australian politician who became the 35th Premier of the state when he was aged 40, between 1967 and 1968; and serving a second term as Premier between 1970 and 1979.

Don Dunstan was socially progressive and championed social cause and change in South Australia. During his administration, Aboriginal Land Rights were recognised, homosexuality was decriminalised, the death penalty was abolished, drinking law restrictions were relaxed, a ministry for the environment was created and anti-discrimination laws were established.

Why pink, you ask? Well, as a passionate campaigner for social rights and equality, Dunstan was determined to get his point across to his detractors. On 22 November, 1972, despite protests from his staff and advisers, Dunstan, who was fond of colourful Hawaiian floral shirts and safari suits, snuck out to a press conference and photo opportunity on the steps of the Parliament building wearing tight-fitting and bright pink shorts, a white t-shirt and knee-high white socks. He knew this would get the most attention for the causes he felt so strongly about. “Dazzling Don Dunstan has done it again”, wrote the local papers.

The shorts are now on display at the Centre of Democracy in Adelaide, after being bequeathed by Dunstan’s widowed partner, Stephen Cheng. You can read more about these iconic pink shorts and the tailor responsible in this blog post by the Centre of Democracy. 


Sitting in a cultural hub of the city, the hotel is just steps from the entrance to the Adelaide Central Market which was established in 1869. It is one of the largest undercover fresh food markets in the Southern Hemisphere and is the second most visited destination in South Australia, after Kangaroo Island. 

Adelaide Central Market by Andre Castellucci, courtesy South Australian Tourism Commission
Adelaide Central Market by Andre Castellucci, courtesy South Australian Tourism Commission

The hotel is also close to the newly renovated Her Majesty’s Theatre; Chinatown (with nearby eateries on Grote and Gouger Streets); neighbourhood laneways lined with bars; Rundle Mall; Adelaide Botanic Garden; Adelaide Oval; Adelaide Zoo and Art Gallery of South Australia.

Food and drink

Hotel Indigo Adelaide Markets_Market & Meander
Market & Meander at Hotel Indigo Adelaide Markets

The hotel features two restaurants: Market & Meander Eatery and Bar, as well as a rooftop raw food bar, Merrymaker on the 16th floor, which is the highest rooftop bar in Adelaide. Guests can take in views of the CBD and Adelaide Hills from the colourful space that has a slight 1950s diner vibe to me.

Hotel Indigo Adelaide Markets_MerryMaker Rooftop Bar

Menus are focussed on locally-sourced produce where possible such as Coffin Bay oysters, cured meats from Adelaide Central Market, local seafood, charcuterie and cheeses prepared in an open kitchen.

The drinks list features 25 gins and a large selection of South Australian wines and craft beers. Be sure to order the bar’s signature cocktail, ‘The Don’, named in honour of Don Dunstan. It is made using local 78 Degrees Sunset Gin, a pink gin produced by Adelaide Hills Distillery. I sampled The Don at the Sydney launch and I reckon colourful Don himself would surely approve of his namesake blush-coloured drink, available for all to sip while overlooking the culturally diverse Adelaide that he envisaged. 

The Don cocktail as sampled at the Sydney launch. Image: Vintage Travel Kat
Cuisine at Hotel Indigo Adelaide Markets
Rooms at Hotel Indigo Adelaide Markets start at AUD$250 per night.