Freelance writer exploring Melbourne and beyond. If you enjoy the following article click on the Like button, Facebook it to your friends or subscribe. I'll update you with yummy and often free events. Like my photos? I instagram @redbagwilltravel
Published August 26th 2018
Luxury it's worth it
Luxurious bedroom suite at Sofitel Brisbane. Photo @nadinecresswellmyatt
A tap at the door and a tiny voice pipes up 'housekeeping." Then two smartly uniformed women in frilly aprons enter my suite. They draw the silver curtains, plump the already well-endowed pillows, turn down the sheets on my huge bed and leave me not only a goodnight chocolate and bedside water but a nightcap of soothing lemongrass, lime and ginger tea.
They even kneel next to my high bed and carefully fold over a bathmat on the carpeted floor before topping this with a pair of bathroom slippers.
I need no further inducement to climb into the bath in my marble bathroom where I soak in a tub infused with Vie élixir a mixture of Epsom, pink and Celtic salts and of myrrh, geranium, sandalwood, patchouli & lemon essential oils.
Then I slip between the crisp sheets, my head nestling on pillow slips I have sprayed with a little bottle of supplied lavender mist. It is the only time I can remember falling asleep the moment my head touched the pillow.
Discover Brisbane's best kept secrets inside your exclusive concierge experience box or luxuriate in a Sofitel Indulgent Bath Ritual in your oversized bathroom with a glass of complimentary French Sparkling wine in hand.@nadinecresswellmyatt
Welcome to French luxury Sofitel style. But let me explain as I had a rather special package in one of their junior suites.
Not sure what I expected of this upmarket experience but it is to use Sofitel's French lexicon 'manifique' and 'par excellence'. I have my own loungeroom decked out in silver and grey. There are chic, black, gathered French Empire light shades and a huge desk from which I write this piece.
Living area Junior Suite Sofitel Brisbane. Photo @nadinecresswellmyatt
On the wall is a black and white print showing French Mansard roofs with dormer windows of the type you spot in Parisien hotels and townhouses and in the background, just in case there was any doubt about where you have been transported, rises the Eiffel Tower, picked out in red in selective colourisation while the rest of the image is monochrome.
On the opposite wall is a huge photographic print showing a circle of Greek Classic Revival style columns. They look so European but when I look out the window, I see they are in fact a photo of Brisbane's iconic Shrine of Remembrance with its statuesque, Queensland, granite columns.
Like the Eiffel tower, some of the pillars in the painting are red and this ties in with the featured red cushions scattered on the huge grey lounge suite. The separate bedroom has a king-sized bed with a pale studded velvet headboard. Or I could lie on the velvet chaise lounge day bed. Both are perfect vantage points to view one of the largest TV screens I have ever seen.
And everywhere I look are the little touches. The monographed bathrobe that feels like velvet, silk padded clothes hangers, mirrors that show both your back and front when dressing, a European rain shower, an espresso machine, the complimentary bath soaks, a whole wooden box of Les Notes De Lanvin toiletries, and gosh they even give you your own loofah. And a complimentary bottle of French champagne.
It's the little touches that make this such a wonderful stay. Photo @nadinecresswellmyatt
Of course, such luxury will set you back but there is more. A hell of a lot more. Staying in a junior suite grants you access to Club Sofitel on the 30th floor with its comfortable club style seating and panoramic views over the city skyline.
At Club Sofitel, you simply help yourself to coffee, tea, soft drinks and substantial snacks from nuts and fruit, to sandwiches, croissants and Danishes on the weekends. You have all day access from 6.30 in the morning until 9 pm on weeknights and 10.30pm on weekends.
If you happen to be in Brisbane for work, this area becomes your daytime office as you have access to a printer, stationery, wifi and computers and even an impressive boardroom.
If you are just there to relax there are newspapers, magazines, a television, board games and even an Xbox If you have ever been to an airport lounge, it is like that although far more spacious and salubrious and with stupendous views. And your access runs for 24 hours and not just for half an hour before a flight.
Then, between 5.30 and 7.30 pm, they have an event called Aspero Chic described as pre-dinner drinks and canapes.
Aspero chic is apparently a French tradition of taking an interlude between the affairs of the day and a lovely night by unwinding with pre-dinner drinks and snacks in order to stimulate the appetite before dinner. Although most people would be hard pressed to fit in a meal after this repast.
There is a selection of cold foods such as excellent cheeses, fruit, cold meats, crudites and dips for you to choose from.
But you also have the chef's selection of hot foods delivered to your table. On my particular evening, there was a small glass of homemade tomato soup, steamed prawn and scallop siu mai dumplings and a miniature gourmet beef burger about the size of my fist.
It is an open bar, so help yourself. There'a whole glass fronted fridge full of various beers and ciders and a tray of pre-prepared cocktails. Pour yourself a gin, vodka, cognac, bourbon, rum, Baileys, Johny Walker red whisky, rum or Frangelico
Or avail yourself of the fine wines and champagnes on offer.
Aspero Chic. All part of the package when you book into a Sofitel Brisbane Junior Suite @nadinecresswellmyatt
There was a wonderful ambience looking out at the lights over Brisbane, sipping champagne and tucking into such wonderful food. Brisbane even put on a fireworks show which we were well situated to watch through the massive windows.
Breakfast the next morning in the Club Lounge is also included in the package. This is yet another spread. You can make your own healthy juice with the extractor and fresh ingredients including carrots, pineapple and ginger.
There is an array of bread, cereals, yoghurts and fresh fruits. Special mention must be made of the berry compote which was tantalisingly flavoured with spices. And then hot dishes such as eggs and pancakes cooked individually for you.
I ordered an omelette leaving the fillings up to the chef's inclinations. It came out as the perfect parcel stuffed full like a sushi with mushrooms, spinach, roasted tomatoes and a bean ragout.
Both hot and cold food options. Something to tide me over to dinner. Photo @nadinecresswellmyatt
I saw a note saying that if you prefer, you could have breakfast downstairs for an additional $20 or the fee was waived if you had children with you (a polite way of keeping the Club Lounge quiet and sedate.)
You have this choice because the Sofitel Brisbane's downstairs buffet is legendary. But if downstairs, you wouldn't breakfast with such exceptional views over the awakening city.
Sofitel Brisbane decorations by chef to celebrate the coming of spring photo @nadinecresswellmyatt
Sofitel seems to be one of the tallest buildings towering above other hotels, the quintessential Queensland old pubs in the centre of the town and historic churches. This view is cradled by the distant mountains.
I found looking out over the sunshine-tinged-city an amazingly peaceful start to the day.
Sofitel Brisbane. Such a French experience. Photo @nadinecresswellmyatt
Sofitel Brisbane is directly above Central Station, so it is a breeze to arrive as there are trains directly from the airport.
The escalator was out of action, so when I asked the station staff how to get my bag up, they immediately called the hotel who sent one of their concierge staff down. This gentleman led me up via a hidden station passageway and then a service elevator. Carrying my bags, of course. What exceptional service.
So while good hotel experiences these days are a dime a dozen this unique stay at a luxurious Sofitel suite with unlimited access and meals in the Club Lounge was a unique hotel experience.
Luxury for sure and so totally worth it.
And for breakfast the most perfect omelette imaginable. Photo @nadinecresswellmyatt