The two storey building is similar to many of Adelaide's hotels being dominated by a typical balcony and chamfered corner entrance and constructed of bluestone rubble. Overall the hotel has a remarkably coherent composition, linked by a consistently detailed cornice. The building displays an unusual veranda balcony to Pitt Street. Early additions to the hotel were carried out in sympathy with the original building. The visual integrity of the hotel is high except for relatively recent shopfront alterations to the eastern portion.
The tender notice of architect, F.W. Dancker for the Metropolitan Hotel appeared in the South Australian Register 17 August 1883, ' . . for building an hotel of 25 rooms in Grote Street'.