Emporium Hotel is what movies and TV shows told you city life would be like and then you realised you would never be able to afford long term. Its rooms range from the standard queen through to deluxe corner suites which come with everything you'd dreamed your inner-city apartment would have.
Emporium Hotel is the jewel in the Emporium stable. It sits on its own little square block surrounded by restaurants and boutiques. Think of a cuisine and it'll probably be on offer downstairs. If not, Brisbane is your oyster - five minutes up the road is Valley and another five minutes past that is Brisbane City. A visit to the hotel's cocktail bar – an attraction for hotel guests and city residents alike - is a must.
Two words – the spa. The king spa suite's main attraction. It's raised, long (fits a 5'11 woman comfortably) and decadent. Order a drink, turn on the bubbles and let the world disappear. Afterwards wrap yourself into a fluffy robe, order some in-suite dining, snuggle into bed and keep the world at bay with pay TV.
Suites come with king beds and more pillows than two people could ever need. Or curl up in a window chair and spy on the diners and shoppers below. Emporium prides itself on elegance – sheets are thick, the robes are suitably fluffed, towels are soft and the decor is richly understated. Given its location – in between the Valley's busiest streets, Wickham and Ann, and the restaurants and bars below, the noise factor is surprisingly non-existent.
In-suite dining offers something from Vietnamese to pasta until 11pm. A large breakfast and sweets range is also on offer. The al a carte breakfast is better than you'll find at a lot of hotels, but downstairs Buzz cafe and the decadent Belle Epoque Patisserie are definitely worth a look. For dinner, it is hard to go past Tartufo. Pricey, but as a treat, amazing.
WORTH STEPPING OUT FOR
The food. Those mentioned are the stand outs, but Mexican, Japanese and Moroccan are among the cuisines on your doorstep. Nant whisky bar is worth a trip to the precinct (in a taxi of course) by itself. Brisbane and her attractions are only a few minutes away – walk up Ann Street and go boutique shopping and pop into the Malls – both China Town and Brunswick and enjoy some free entertainment. James Street and some of the best food and shopping in Brisbane is only around the corner. But that's if you can get out of the bath.
Being situated just outside the city is a boon – it provides a chance to explore some of the back streets the Valley and its surrounds have to offer. Those who like their food might want to stay a few more nights – Emporium is within walking/stumbling distance to Brisbane's best restaurants and bars. This isn't a hotel for views – unless you like industrial. But it can make you feel like you've stepped into a fictional life where you are rich enough to afford a roof top pool, luxury furnishings, maid service, a cocktail and five star restaurant existence and a doorman. Just like in the movies and TV.
HOW TO GET THERE
Only 2kms outside Brisbane city and 6kms from the airport, Emporium is one of the easiest hotels to find in Brisbane. Head to 1000 Ann Street, Fortitude Valley Brisbane.
Queen/standard rooms start at $199 while a deluxe corner suite is $459. A king spa suite is a nice compromise at $259. The hotel also offers an accessible suite. Phone 3253 6999 or 1300 883 611 within Australia, see emporiumhotel.com.au
- The writer was a guest of Emporium Hotel Brisbane.