Majority of us cannot claim that a hotel bears our name, not out of privilege but as a tribute. This is my first thought when I learned that Art Series The Watsons Apartment was named after one of the greatest aboriginal artists in Australia, Yannima Pikarli Tommy Watson. I was able to stay in this artsy boutique hotel during my 3-day business trip in Adelaide, South Australia.
Art Series Hotels
The Watsons is owned by the Art Series Hotels, a chain of artsy boutique hotels and residences established in 2009. Each of their hotel is named after some of the best contemporary artists in Australia. These artists inspire the overall design of the hotels, their artworks adorn the rooms, halls, and walls. Aside from the Watsons, they have The Fantauzzo and The Johnson Hotel in Brisbane, The Chen, The Larwill Studio, The Cullen Hotel, The Olsen Hotel, and The Blackman Hotel in Victoria.
The Artist, Tommy Watson
The Watsons features the artworks of the late Tommy Watson. He was born around the 1930s and spent his early childhood hunting with his father in a country along Gibson Desert. It was not until 2001 that he started painting and quickly rose as one of the greatest indigenous artists of the land down under. Some of his art are exhibited at The National Gallery of Victoria and the Art Gallery of New South Wales.
At The Watsons, his abstract paintings are mounted on the walls. He is drawn to rich colors of red and orange, shapes and lines built with dotted technique. His art is said to have been inspired by sacred mythologies and intangible nature of the land.
The Watsons is located in a quiet neighborhood along Warwick Street, Walkerville. It has fully furnished suites, an onsite restaurant, a 25-meter swimming pool, and a gym. They also offer long-stay residence apartments.
I was booked in a two-bedroom suite (not sure why they put me in there when I was alone), with a fully functional kitchen, toilet and bathroom, dining table, and a living room. There are three TVs, one for each bedroom and another one on the living room.
There is a washing machine in the bathroom across the sink area. It all looks good, just one misplaced thing, a microwave oven. I am really not sure why they put it in there.
The fridge is filled with different kinds of drinks and snacks. I took the liberty of taking a few of them (mainly bottled water) as my reservation includes a budget for hotel incidentals.
The kitchen is fitted with a stove, the cabinets are filled with dining utensils, there’s a dishwasher, and a coffee machine.
The room is paid for, but I only slept on one of the bedrooms for environmental reasons. It means that whenever I stay in hotels, I make it a point to not to use more than I should. I don’t ask for extra toiletries unless I ran out of them and I only use one bath towel. I also put up the no-disturb sign every time I leave the room so the housecleaning doesn’t have to keep changing my bed sheets and towels. Most of my stays are short anyway, I’ve learned to make do with what’s available in the room.
On my first night I called room service to order my dinner. I’m surprised at how fast they delivered the food and doubly impressed because it was delicious. It’s seared salmon with risotto.
They have an in-house café called The Grind. I would have wanted to hang out there, but there’s not enough hours in a day. By the time I get back to the hotel, I’m already too full to even think of dining in there. I did go there one morning to get coffee and it was good.
The Watsons is one of the most beautiful hotels I have ever stayed in and I liked it not only for its good facilities but also for the whole concept of collaborating with a local artist. The paintings of Watson added a unique personality to the hotel, it was a joy for me to see them up close. What an excellent way to celebrate a man and his work indeed.