Accommodation Review : iStay Precinct – Adelaide, SA

In March 2019, I took a flight to Adelaide and stayed three nights at the iStay Precinct – a serviced apartment under the Oaks Hotel banner.

Flying over the Earth like a modern day seagull.
Actual dinosaur footprint, spotted from the air – masquerading as some kind of lake.

For the entire three night stay – and, let’s be honest, even now – I keep referring to the iStay Precinct as “iSelect”.

iSelect is an insurance comparison company, and thinking about it makes me feel bad that I haven’t adjusted my health super. My brain also associates iSelect with that Meerkat that advertises ‘Compare the Market’ – which is NOT iSelect but also compares insurance. It’s a whole thing.

Basically every time I’ve gone to write this blog post, I go down a Meerkat / Rabbit hole on the internet and it’s not productive.

Anyway, moving on 🙂

Front sign that I missed.

It took me a good ten minutes to figure out how to get in the building.

I didn’t see the iStay Precinct logo for long while, noting instead the “Gallery Apartments” sign – and wheeled my suitcase up and down the ramp outside trying to figure out if I should just barge in or not. It appeared that you needed to swipe a pass to get in the front door, which made me hesitate.

As much as I love ramps, I decided to tailgate a man in a business suit and shadowed him into the foyer. He was a nice guy and told me that they’d probably kick me out if I didn’t belong there.

Security Owl watched me wheel my suitcase up and down the ramp for ten minutes.

The gentleman on the front desk was nice and tried very hard to be helpful – despite my crazy-eyed look and greeting of “Hello, I think I’m in the right place”.

He welcomed me back – which confused me again, as it was my first stay – and got me to confirm details on a form showing contact information that wasn’t mine. I was pretty sure my doppelganger had already checked in and was eating her way through my complimentary soaps while I was wasting time in the foyer.

Math tells me that each of the 17 people can be about 75kgs – but cannot carry any bags. I’m sure they’re nice enough people, but I do not want to be in that squished lift. I’ll ride with Gary in the next one. Gary has luggage like a normal person and is sensible enough not to enter a full lift.

Front Desk Man (probably not his real name) either told me the wrong room number as I took the key, or else my mind was just making word salad and shutting down after being too near the plane toilet for two and a half hours.

Which room is mine …. And do I somersault under the hole in the roof, or swing up into it?
Penthouse suite.

I didn’t see the usual arrows with room numbers, directing you down the corridor maze. So getting out of the lifts on Level 7, I had to solve another puzzle and choose a path that would lead me to my room – and potentially into a heated confrontation with my doppelganger.

Choose your own adventure – but quickly, there’s a fire.

I could hear techno jazz playing in the hall, leaking out from one of the rooms – so I just walked away from the fun.


The room / unit – space was a great size – clean, tidy and welcoming. The front door opened onto a little hall, with the bathroom and bedroom on the left and living room and kitchen straight ahead.

Hello, room! Those doors on the left hide a washer and dryer.
Great sized kitchen area for a few days.

As a modern woman, I’m always excited to see good kitchen facilities. It means that there’s no impediment to me creating a gourmet dinner like the one below.

Chocolate is a complete meal.

There was a small starter pack of tea and coffee in the kitchen and four little UHT milks in the fridge, which we won’t talk about.

Kitchen and living area – very comfortable.

There was a note in the room, advising that the apartments were not serviced unless you specifically request otherwise. However, beautiful sprites crept into the room daily while I was gone, stole my garbage, made the bed and left new towels, tea towels and soaps – whether I needed them or not 🙂

So many liquids and powders!

In support of my sprite theory, the wall paper behind the couch was a shimmering vista of golden trees. This is obviously the home to the fey folk. I’m sure they enjoyed watching me spend 5 hours slumped over YouTube on my laptop.

Lounge area & fabulous wall feature.
Close up of the wallpaper & fairy woodland.

There was some kind of old fashioned laptop set up on an entertainment cabinet. I didn’t use it at all though.

This is where the quiz shows live.
Here’s a picture of the main area with my things scattered around in it for a ‘lived in’ feel.

The bedroom was a good size, with heaps of closet space for me to hang up my few work clothes and such.

The cupboard though, had those hangers that call you a thief right to your face – bracketing the main part of the hanger to the rod so you can’t take it home. You’ve got me, closet – the only reason I’m paying for the room is to get these sweet hangers 😉

The hangers – yes I’m still going on about this – also have those clips that make you feel like you have to hang your pants when you don’t want to hang your pants. Who hangs pants on clips? Monsters. That’s who.

I slept here.

The bed was firm, but really cosy – with a nice blanket to me ratio.

Plenty of power points near the bed too, to power your 1000 necessary devices – kindle, laptop, phone, mini fridge, record player, fog machine etc …

The bedroom also had a little desk in there for you to do your important business on. I had no important business – so used it to hold the display cushions and the extra towels from the bathroom that were replaced every day.

Me and mini desk.

One thing that I hated about the bedroom, was the print I could see from the bed.

This guy …

Do you see it yet?

Most people might just see a bunch of dots and lines.

I see a snowman clown, looking into the frame from the side – watching me sleep with his dead coal eyes.

Coal eyes, carrot nose, colourful mop strands for hair and a disapproving mouth. Burn it with fire, please and thank you.

If you can tear your gaze away from that horrific print, we’ll move on.

The bathroom was small but very clean, with a good shower.

So how many creep hatches were there, you might ask? There was one creep hole right over the naked shower zone and then a second creep hole looking at you while you whiz. Then a third spy cone for good measure.

So just your normal amount.

Just going to put this large ‘air vent’ over your naked zone.
Why is the shower head so low? Was that snowman clown rinsing off earlier? No, disregard – he would have melted.
Complimentary washables.

If you’re a person that likes to be both outside and inside at the same time, then this enclosed balcony would rock your world. You can look out on people eating their tea while you eat YOUR tea and see them swimming in their weird balcony pools.

Inside outside balcony area.
You too, could sit at this balcony and think life thoughts.
Sunset making an art piece out of fingerprints on the glass.
View of the neighbouring units from the balcony. Watch Graeme clip his toenails! See if Margery will wash the dishes before bed! Will Susan and Sonia get to the next level of ‘Super Mario Kart’ before it’s time to go to sleep?
Youths strike again, making lovely artwork.
Balcony pool!

All in all, I enjoyed my stay at the iStay Precinct.

The room was comfortable, clean and exactly what I needed for a three night stay.

  • Price Point : As at May 2019, looks like it runs for approx $150 p/night for a self-contained one bedroom apartment. I stayed here on a work trip, so the cost of my accommodation was kindly covered by my employer.
  • Cleanliness : Very clean and tidy – no complaints in regards to any part of the unit. In fact, extra cleaning supplies and fresh towels were provided daily even though I would have been fine to go the three days without any replacements. Bed was made each morning by wonderful fairy folk as previously noted.
  • Cosiness : Very cosy – air conditioning if needed. Slept really well. There was a little bit of noise from the hall outside, and someone in another unit was cooking curry at one point – which made my bedroom smell like dinner – but otherwise checked cosy boxes.
  • Overall Fishbird Rating : 7 Fishbirds out of 10. Points lost due to my inability to initially find the entrance & for that snow clown picture.

1 thought on “Accommodation Review : iStay Precinct – Adelaide, SA

  1. Haigh’s for dinner, sounds like a plan!


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