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Suite Life: Spicers Balfour Hotel

Why stay here?

Spicers Balfour Hotel is a boutique property and the only residential hotel in the Spicers Retreats portfolio. The hotel is in the chic and leafy Brisbane suburb of New Farm, with countless dining options, quirky coffee spots, and boutique shopping. Spicers Balfour Hotel feels like a suburban escape – relaxed luxury that’s within easy walking distance (less than two kilometres) from Brisbane’s CBD. Adjacent to the main hotel building is the Simla wing – a Georgian-style building housing the property’s eight, art deco-inspired Balfour Suites.

 

Rise and shine breakfast time?

Spicers Retreats is renowned for its emphasis on outstanding dining, and this was no exception. The hotel’s Balfour Kitchen serves breakfast à la carte with a selection that made it almost impossible to choose. Our patient waiter was on standby while we pored over the options – eventually settling for the hot smoked salmon with potato rosti, pea smash and a poached egg with dill vinaigrette; and grilled halloumi with black bean salsa, corn wafer, avocado smash and chilli jam. A freshly brewed pot of T2 tea and fresh OJ complemented our meals.

 

Breakfast is served: hot smoked salmon with potato rosti, pea smash and a poached egg with dill vinaigrette | Belinda Craigie 

 

What’s for dinner?

The Balfour Kitchen was equally impressive at dinner, with a menu curated by chef Will Wallace, previously of hatted restaurants like the Royal Mail Hotel in Dunkeld, Victoria and The Bentley Restaurant in Sydney. Serving modern European food, the menu is designed around multiple plates with variations in size. After nibbling on canapés served at the rooftop bar, we decided to share a selection of smaller plates in the restaurant, including butter poached prawns with pomelo and avocado, beef tartare, roast cauliflower and almond salad and truffle oil potato mash with parmesan. Paired with a Leeuwin Estate Riesling and finished with a caramelised chocolate mousse with hazelnut, cassis and eucalyptus, the experience was only made better by the setting – dining on a wrap-around outdoor terrace on a warm Brisbane evening really served to emphasise the feeling of a relaxed and luxurious getaway.

 

Time out

There was no spa.

 

Wow factor

Bougainvillea lined the pillars of the hotel’s rooftop bar, which had views of the lit-up Story Bridge and Brisbane’s city skyline in a relaxed, tropical setting. During the day, guests can take advantage of the honesty bar for some quiet time. There is also a small honesty bar in the Simla building for Balfour Suite guests. We also loved the interiors of the Balfour Suites – fans of art deco will enjoy the decorative touches that accentuate the building’s heritage.

 

Could do better

Bearing in mind Brisbane’s hot climate, chilled water (rather than water sitting at room temperature) on arrival would have been a good way to refresh.

 

Insider tip

Wilson’s Point lookout is about five minutes’ walk from the hotel and has beautiful views of the city and river.

 

Art deco accents in the Balfour Suites | Spicers Balfour Hotel

 

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