Booking on the net was easy. The website is friendly and informative and since we have stayed at Spicers Gap in the past we were looking forward to a few days at the Spicer’s property in New Farm in Brisbane – Spicer’s Balfour.
We were rung on the day to ask about a time of arrival and to talk about a dinner reservation. We called back when we realised we were a bit lost and help was readily and cheerfully at hand. So far so good.
We were able to park our car on the property – great. We entered the reception area and a sign directed us up some poorly lit steps. That’s when the first thing went wrong. I fell over the bottom step. Dusting myself off and reassuring staff that I was OK we proceeded to our room. We were impressed that our booking had been upgraded and we had a Terrace Room. The room was small but beautifully appointed as we found after we hunted down the power switches. It was difficult in the gloom though once illuminated each switch had a tag nominating which light it would power.
Nothing was too much trouble for each and every member of staff.They were polite, enthusiastic and keen to please. We enjoyed our evening canapés on the rooftop earlier than scheduled so that we could attend a previously arranged function. Arriving back at the hotel at ~ 8:30 we found no parking. We had to leave our car on the street more than a block away. Dinner was pleasant but not of the standard that we were expecting given our previous stay at Spicer’s Gap. Our verandah was a lovely spot to eat but there was no real privacy. Just a few metres away we overlooked the verandah of another property. Inches away fellow diners could be seen and heard. The slatted screen was ineffective – superfluous since it filled no function.
We slept well in and next morning anticipated breakfast. We waited more than 90 minutes after we had ordered breakfast to our room. Meanwhile we were quite aware of other guests who appeared in the dining area on the other side of the slatted screen being served.
Our host asked about the problem we had with the car the previous evening and very kindly offered us a bottle of wine to enjoy after our scheduled afternoon massages.
We arrived back to our room in the early afternoon – 15 minutes before the scheduled massage. The room door was propped open with a stool and there was no-one in the room though clearly someone was in the process of cleaning. I wondered about security of our valuables left in the room.
Next came a phone call that the massage therapist had a flat tyre and was delayed! Another call to explain that he wasn’t able to come. Another call with the message that no-one was coming.
When we first arrived at Spicer’s Balfour, we had a serious discussion amongst ourselves about staying longer. We didn’t have to be anywhere else for a couple of days and we anticipated a wonderful experience. By the second evening we had decided that we would head home as planned on day 3. It seems such a pity since the place is lovely, the staff are involved and keen to serve. Something mitigated against a serene time. It is difficult to say just what that something was. Overall we couldn't fault any member of staff nor the facilities. I guess even hotels have 'bad hair days'.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- From the outside, Spicers Balfour Hotel resembles many of the large and beautiful classic Queenslander homes found in its neighbourhood, the fashionable inner-city Brisbane suburb of New Farm. The hotel offers nine rooms each with individual elegance and charm providing an indulgent haven with all the comforts and attention to detail expected from a leading five star hotel. Small boardroom for meetings of up to 18 delegates, onsite restaurant serving sumptuous breakfast's and high tea's daily, lunch (Monday-Friday),and dinner (Monday-Saturday), library, large and open QLD Verandah, complimentary parking facilities and rooftop bar with views of the stunning city skyline and Story Bridge. Whether it's a corporate trip to Brisbane, a romantic city escape from the kids, or just a cosy, convenient place to come back to after a show, Spicers Balfour Hotel is the ultimate city escape. ... more less
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