Catriona and Kelly get to stay in some pretty fancy hotels in their Getaway
travels, but both agree there's something about snuggling into a boutique-style hotel. They've come up with a couple of those in Brisbane.
Chester's Boutique Hotel
Kelly checked in to Chester's, a 10-room hotel in Brisbane's Fortitude Valley. Once one of the city's biggest houses, it's now one of its smallest hotels, and quite possibly its funkiest.
Chester's was the Gittoes' family home and it was a very clever empty-nesters' solution to make the most of their large property. By hotel standards, it's cosily small, and guests say it's like staying with family or friends.
The spacious rooms have views of the city, gardens or courtyard. A large lobby and lounge has a water feature, there's a rooftop bar and believe it or not a boxing gym. The Gittoes are fans of boxing for fitness.
Breakfast is served in the dining room and there's a bar on the roof.
Greer Gittoes shares her parents' entrepreneurship and has opened a hole-in-the-wall cafe in what was once the property's garage.
Quite apart from the delights of Chester's itself, its location ticks all the boxes. It's close to the lively James Street shops and cafes of Fortitude Valley which has become a dynamic and vibrant precinct. Art and music thrive there and there seems to be something happening every night to entertain. Valley Fiesta and Valley Blues & Jazz Festival are held each year.
The newest hotel in the Spicers Group, Balfour in Brisbane's New Farm is a classic and fully revitalised Queenslander with just nine guest rooms, ensuring privacy and attention to detail.
Owner/designer Beverley Trivett took three years to create Balfours and she has achieved something special. Swedish rest chairs, Egyptian chandeliers and antique Chinese side tables and special touches such as filtered and boiling water systems, coffee machine, and Côté Bastide bathroom products for indulgence in the rain shower or giant bathtub.
Guests revel in cosy rooms and enjoy sitting on the large verandahs for breakfast, morning and high tea. At dusk, drinks and canapes are served on the rooftop which overlooks the Story Bridge.
As with all Spicers properties, there are books everywhere, bowls of fruit and biscuits and there's always someone close by to make you a cup of tea or pour a glass of bubbly.
New Farm neighbours Fortitude Valley and Balfours' guests head there for its eating places and shopping.