Debra, a stay-at-home mum of three, loves experiencing and sharing all that Brisbane has to offer; especially southside secrets.
Published November 22nd 2012
Boutique hotel with a history
My husband and I decided to check into a hotel in the city for a night. As parents of three young children, it was more a respite from the rigours of raising a family than a dirty weekend (although my husband may have had other ideas).
After looking online for a hotel deal, and there were lots of local hotels to choose from, I selected the Inchcolm Hotel; Brisbane's original boutique hotel. The Inchcolm Hotel (73 Wickham Terrace) is conveniently located and offered an excellent deal for $165 - but more about that later. The main reason I chose the Inchcolm Hotel is because I adore heritage-listed buildings, rich in character and history.
Originally built in 1930, the Inchcolm accomodated consulting rooms for medical specialists until the late 90s, when it was put up for sale. Amazingly, for more than 65 years the building remained unrenovated, with the exception of two stories being added to the original three story building.
The new owner saw its potential as a boutique hotel and The Inchcolm Hotel was officially opened in 1999; with its original features intact including silky oak wall panelling, brass fittings and door knobs, cage elevator, and neo-Georgian facade. Additional suites were added to the rear of the building but they were deliberately designed to complement the original rooms. A roof-top swimming pool, with marvellous views, was also included in the renovation.
The hotel has 36 unique suites; no two are alike. Each suite is named after a significant person or place, in reference to Brisbane, Queensland, or Australian history: Stradbroke, Gympie, Gallipoli, Kokoda, and Flinders to name a few. There is also a suite named after General Douglas MacArthur, who had a personal physician at the Inchcolm while he was stationed in Brisbane during World War II.
We stayed in Brisbane or Room 103, located in the heritage-listed section. Our suite had old-world charm and character yet at the same time was modern; with a contemporary-styled bedroom, fully equipped kitchenette, modern bathroom, and air-conditioning. Our living area off the bedroom was long and narrow, similar to a waiting room. After flicking through The Story of the Inchcolm Hotel book, which was placed on the table in our room, it became clear why. The Brisbane is part of two consulting rooms; those of Dr Stanley Roe and Dr Edward Ahern.
We decided to dine in our room as we had arrived late, were starving, and didn't feel like getting dressed for dinner. The hotel's new restaurant, Epicurean Brisbane, had just opened that week, replacing the award-winning Seasalt at Armstrongs – big shoes to fill. But with Adam Barton (owner of Cove Bar and Dining) and Head Chef Adam Herbert (Brett's Wharf) at the helm, undoubtedly it will be a success.
Our in-room options were limited to the following: steak sandwich, beer battered flat head fish and chips, poached chicken Greek salad, BLAT sandwich, shoe string fries with aioli, or a cheese plate. We ordered the steak sandwich ($19.50) and the BLAT ($16), which arrived at our door very quickly. My BLAT (bacon, lettuce, avocado, and tomato on panini bread) tasted better than it sounded thankfully. My husband's steak sandwich with cheddar, mesculin, and tomato relish on ciabatta was equally tasty. Were they the greatest, gourmet sandwiches we've ever eaten? No, but they filled the abyss in our bellies.
Epicurean rib fillet steak sandwich with shoestring fries
Next time, I would like to try one of their desserts, especially the Chocolate Phenomenon ($16) with Ecuadorian chocolate and olive oil mousse, white chocolate and tonka bean parfait, and milk chocolate butterscotch. Instead, we enjoyed our complimentary box of chocolates and bubbly before heading out on our long-overdue date.
The Brisbane Stay Special includes an upgrade to a superior suite, continental buffet breakfast for two, a bottle of bubbly and box of chocolates, late checkout, and complimentary passes to Fitness First gym for $165 per night. Click here to book or for more details.