There's a lot going on at Spicers Balfour Hotel and maybe not enough square footage to accommodate it all, especially with the high volume of non resident guests. A previous review describing it as a 'Restaurant with rooms out the back' makes a good point.
Having spent a few days in the area, we did get to realise that staying at Spicers Balfour Hotel was a good opportunity to stay in a restored Queenslander house. The verandah, which is used for dining, is very pleasant. At the top of the house, configuring the bar to view the Storey Bridge is inspired, fantastic view.
Arrival can be a bit anonymous (we were all travelling so no previous phone call) but once contact is made the welcome is very warm and you are shown round. Throughout our visit the staff were always friendly and accommodating.
It's a boutique hotel, but it's also bijou - the rooms are small, possibly emphasised by the dark tones of the decor. Bed comfortable, lovely linen, but not king size. Nespresso coffee machine and automatic hot/cold water machine (why no kettle we thought at first, but now want one at home). Plunge/cafetiere available, also coffee bean grinder machine if you travel with your own beans. No fridge. (An instant Pot Noodle was included in the 'mini bar' in ironic (?) contrast to the surround tastefulness!)
However...the layout of the hotel is such that we doubt any room will be truly peaceful. The bar, restaurant and kitchens are the core of the hotel and the rooms are shoe-horned around the edges. Night was quiet, but long days are busy at Spicers Balfour Hotel...In addition to Breakfast, Espresso and Afternoon Tea, the Balfour's Kitchen now does Dinner, so all day there is a high volume of non-resident business. Very enterprising, but servicing this generates a fair amount of activity and noise.
The Balfour breakfast seems to be a destination item, particularly at weekend. Residents are guaranteed a place but for us last Sunday it seemed touch and go. We also had to wait a while for the food to arrive which was a bit tense as we had to check out, thankfully one of the team appreciated this and put us at our ease.
Overall a lovely contrast to larger 5 star chain hotels, but volume of non resident business can make things hectic.
- 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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