The Palais Hotel

The Palais Hotel is an elegant white building situated on the beachfront esplanade of Semaphore – West of the city. Built in 1922, the unique structure with its rooftop tower gives the pretty impression of a palace, proudly overlooking white sandy beaches and dazzling ocean sunsets.

It has had a variety of uses over the years, including hosting a dance hall, bathing house, team room and surf living saving club. It was gutted by a fire in 1994 but enjoyed a fresh restoration in 1996 and is now happily back to its former glory. It has since been listed by the National Heritage Trust of South Australia.

The Palais Hotel can welcome newly married couples for receptions after a beachfront or park ceremony nearby (or further afield). There are a few function rooms to choose from, catering for smaller events of 60 guests to larger affairs of up to 300. The main attraction is the purpose-built tented Ballroom, which includes a magnificent balcony perfect for drinks while overlooking the coastline.

Inside are high ceilings with rustic brick walls, centred by a grand wooden bar featuring sailing ship models and a feature clock. It can comfortably seat up to 180 guests downstairs plus 40 on the mezzanine floor, or up to 300 standing for a cocktail event. Minimum numbers of 80 seated or 100 cocktail are required. Smaller options include The Deck, The Lounge and The Atrium.

The function manager at the Palais Hotel is happy to personalise each wedding to suit a variety of budgets and styles. The website has a handy function pack available, detailing current menus and packages.

All events require catering and a minimum spend over the bar, either by bar tab, beverage package, subsidised drinks or guests purchasing their own. The cocktail food, platters, sit down menu and shared menu options are quite extensive. The current inclusive wedding packages, charged per person, are:

  • Seated Gold – Includes two alternating entrees, two alternating mains, cake cutting fee plus coulis and cream, buffet tea and coffee and a five hour beverage package. This can be upgraded to the premium beverage package for an extra fee per person.
  • Seated Platinum – Includes everything in the Gold package but mains are a choice, and three canapes are added on arrival.
  • Seated Shared – Three shared starters and three shared mains are set on the tables. Cake cutting, tea, coffee and beverage package are the same.
  • Cocktail Gold and Cocktail Platinum – Both include various finger food options served by roaming wait staff, as well as cake cutting, tea, coffee and beverage package.

A list of preferred suppliers is given in the function pack as well, including suggestions for live music, DJs, cakes, furniture, lighting and celebrants.

Photo opportunities are easy around the Palais Hotel, being right on the beach and next to Semaphore Jetty. The surrounding scenery includes several tall palm trees, salt tolerant beach shrubs and green grassy parks. The sweeping tented area provides a lovely backdrop for indoor photos, especially when dotted with sparkling fairy lights. The indoor wooden decking provides ample space for dancing.

The venue is located about 30 mins from the CBD, connected by a direct train line and nearby the Peterhead train station. It has its own little semi-dome front driveway allowing easy access for limousines or other special wedding party vehicles. The hotel itself does not have accommodation, but there are a few nearby options in Port Adelaide.

The Palais Hotel is a stunning choice for beach front weddings, with plenty of light-filled airy spaces and grand indoor options. Dancing the night away with sunset beach views and refreshing sea-breezes will appeal to all sorts of couples for an unforgettable day with family and friends.

Photography by SvenStudios

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