“Staycation”. What does it mean? Dictionaries have various definitions, including staying in your own country instead of travelling overseas. For the moment we can’t travel overseas anyway, so the term is mainly used for a short break close to where you live. For Queenslanders this has meant discovering their own state…and that includes the capital Brisbane with its raft of new and refurbished hotels offering staycation packages. Even if you live in the suburbs, taking a break to get away from the kitchen and washing the dishes sounds pretty attractive for a night or two.
Many of the hotels have terrific extras included in the basic price, plus options for a wide range of benefits and city experiences. Here are just a few:
SOUTH BANK AREA
EMPORIUM HOTEL SOUTH BANK
Emblematic of the New Brisbane, this colourful, vibrant new kid on the South Bank block exudes style, design features like ever-changing video walls (try an elevator ride), the top floor Terrace with dining and horizon pool overlooking the river and city; guest rooms with thoughtful features like a huge mirror which becomes a TV; and above all, a service culture rare in this country. The Staycation package is amazing value too, from $199 per room per night including accommodation, free wifi and valet parking (worth $45). Or there’s the new Girls’ Staycation package…check it out. If you’re a girl. www.emporiumhotels.com.au
NOVOTEL SOUTH BANK
In this recently built property the owners have given much thought to including every detail for maximum creature comfort, especially for families and couples. Kids get lots of goodies including free breakfast (for under 16s) plus sports gear to use in the park opposite or the pool area; there are adjoining or separate 2nd guest rooms available at 50% discount. Parents will appreciate free parking and a $50 shopping voucher or a $60 dining credit. Holiday Saver room rates from $207. www.novotelbrisbanesouthbank.com.au
W HOTEL in North Quay
W certainly has the “wow” factor, with views over the ribbon of the Brisbane River from all rooms and terraces. The design concept here is “River Dreaming”, drawing inspiration from the flow of the river itself and acknowledgement of Indigenous culture and art. “Passion points” are part of the hotel’s DNA in curvy, colourful interiors; and ethically sourced quality cuisine in acclaimed restaurant Three Blue Ducks and the riverside WET DECK Terrace. There’s also a huge pool and luxurious spa facilities. The Take A Stay-Cay package includes parking, breakfast for two, Veuve Clicquot and late 2 pm checkout.
From $419. www.wbrisbane.com
ADINA APARTMENT in George St.
If you need a bit of space and a work area (and all those extra shopping bags) then there’s nothing like an apartment hotel. Adina Brisbane is centrally located in a heritage-listed Art Deco building, lovingly restored with modern features including a kitchen, pool and gym. Highly awarded Donna Chang restaurant is part of the hotel. A staycation here gives you excellent value using the Rate of the Day promotion from $143.20 per room per night. https://www.tfehotels.com/en/book-accommodation/australia/brisbane/
This is definitely one for the shopaholics who love James St. and The Valley’s foodie/café scene. Bring your best resort threads to dine at Hellenika or relax and sip cocktails poolside at this newish and definitely stylish urban oasis. The Calile’s Mid-Week Escape package provides all of the perks and none of the waiting until Friday. Enjoy on-site parking, late checkout and Friends of Calile shopping, dining and wellness benefits when you sign up and book direct. Valid Sunday – Thursday from $289 per room per night.
OVOLO THE VALLEY
The Ovolo brand is all about quirkiness and fun, so here you can design your ideal getaway called Staycay Your Way, with free perks like Happy Hour and use of mini-bar plus various optional extras to create a tailor-made stay. These include foodie tastings, helicopter tours, wine blending classes and in-room massages. Also optional are cocktail classes or dinner for two at ZA ZA TA Bar & Kitchen. And you don’t need to worry about leaving your furry friend at home when staying at Ovolo’s pet-friendly hotels. From $358 per night. www.ovolohotels.com