The Spicers hotel is a Luxury hotel located in a quiet suburb of Brisbane, just a few minute away from the heart of the city. Perfect for a quiet weekend away!
Arrival at Spicers Balfour Boutique–
We arrived at 11:20pm on Wednesday night due to a flight delay; we parked our rental car in the provided parking area and made our way to the reception, which was upstairs in the restaurant as we had arrived late. Yolandie greeted us at the desk, checked us in very quickly and professionally. She then explained where and what time breakfast was and showed us to our room.
On the way to the room we passed the upstairs bar (an honesty bar) and a fridge in the hall way full of drinks (also an honesty bar). When we arrived at the room Yolandie showed us how to use the key scanner, the air con and the hot and cold filtered water system in the room and left us for the night.
We found a park very easily on the property. There are probably only 7-8 car parks on the hotel grounds but we were told by Willie (the hotel’s General Manager), so that if a guest checks in and there are no car parks to let reception know and they would happily assist in parking close to the hotel (as they have car parks available down the road).
We booked and stayed in the Executive Room, which compared to other hotel rooms, is fairly small however it is extremely cosy and makes you feel like you are home. As you walk in you are welcomed by your very own Nespresso machine that comes with 2 x 3 different types of coffee, next to the coffee machine is the minibar; the minibar included goodies such a cup of noddles, red rock chips, Ferrero Rocher, VOSS water and sunscreen (just to name a few things).
The bed was large (queen or king I think) and very comfortable, with really soft linen which was a lovely touch as most hotels that have rough bedspreads. There were two very yummy chocolate fudges left on our pillows to enjoy as a midnight snack! The bathroom had a heated towel rack and rainfall shower (my favourite!) One thing I noticed was as soon as we entered the room was that soft music would be playing, I think that there was a sensor in the room connected to the TV, or maybe I was delirious from a long day.
On each side of the bed were two blue oriental looking bedside tables, each had a small cupboard and a hidden compartment that you could use for your expensive goodies if you wanted however there was also an in room safe. If you do decide to use this, make sure to check it before you leave.
The TV was located in the corner of the room, hung on the wall, it was in a great spot to sit in bed watching TV and there was also a DVD player on the shelf connected to the TV. Not that you would need to use this as there were several different TV channels to choose from.
There is no pool at this hotel however Valley Pool is located 5 ins drive away (or 20 min walk), entry is $4.50.
We had breakfast in the restaurant the next morning and had the choice of sitting inside or outside. We chose outside to enjoy the fresh air and the sounds of the birds. The breakfast menu had a lot to choose from for all different tastes!
I had the “Balfour Big Breakfast” (as I usually do), which had grilled bacon, potato croquettes, poached egg, grilled mushroom, tomato chilli jam and cotuchino sausages. I could have eaten the sausages all day – yum yum! They were absolutely delicious!! Then again the whole breakfast was very big and very yummy! The tomato chilli jam was fantastic; the chilli wasn’t overpowering, it was very easy to eat.
The mushrooms were large mushrooms, not the annoying little button mushrooms that you have to chase around the plate with your fork. The potato croquettes were made of real potato and tasted much better than the usual “hash browns”. The Big breakfast also comes with 2 pieces of toast, which I didn’t get to as I was very full from the rest of the very yummy breakfast!
My travel partner had the Cinnamon dusted Churros with chocolate and raspberry sauces which was a big change from his usual fruit and healthy stuff. The Churros were freshly made, they were soft on the inside with a little bit of crunch on the outside. The raspberry and chocolate was a fantastic topping he tells me.
In the above “arrival” section we talk about “The honesty bar”, this is a great concept that we have never seen before and I would imagine that it would only work at a small hotel such as the Spicers Balfour. The honesty bar upstairs was a fully stocked bar, with beers, a huge selection of spirits, wines, sparkling wine, soft drinks and different types of juices.
You go up to the bar and grab whatever drink you like after a hard day at work or a hard day of walking around the city, you can have an ice cold beer, crack open a bottle of bubbles or even mix yourself a cocktail and all you need to do is write down what you have in the book, chill out and enjoy the amazing view. Spicers Balfour trusts that their guests are honest and will write honestly what they had to drink; it’s such a nice outlook to have.
In the Guest compendium is a large list of restaurants in the area/close by. What it great about this list is that it had the name of the restaurant, the address, the phone number, the open times and/or days of operation and the average price for entrée, main and dessert. This hotel realises that guests might not dine in their restaurant every night and wants them to have lot of choice.
It would be nice if they an after-hours room service menu, although I am unsure how often this would be used.
We did not use this facilities while at the hotel however they do offer an in room spa menu which would be better when hiring a “Terrace suite” as it has more room. Please keep in mind this is an external company, not employees of the hotel.
The Spicers Balfour is located in New Farm which is just a few minutes from the Brisbane CBD, prefect for a honeymoon couple or a couple wanting a weekend getaway or business man or woman who want a bit of peace and quiet or a homey feel to their stay in Brisbane, rather than staying in the hustle and bustle of the CBD.
Staff Worth Special mention –
Yolandie, the lovely lady who checked us in and looked after us throughout our stay and of course Willie the hotel’s general manager who came to check that we were happy, he kindly showed us around the hotel and answered all of our questions.
General Summary –
The only thing I didn’t like about the property was that there was no elevator (that I could see), there were stairs everywhere and while I’m not opposed to stairs I will take them over an elevator, it was a little difficult with a large bag and we felt a little guilty asking our lovely (yet smallish) receptionist to lug our huge heavy bag up the stairs. In saying this it is a small hotel and they do have a chair lift to help people with disabilities up to the restaurant level (which also has a few rooms on this level).
This is a very small hotel with only 9 rooms but it is extremely comfortable! It makes you feel like home, which is the feeling the hotel and the staff want you to have. I recently read a review on Tripadvisor about this hotel that said “You come as a guest, leave as a friend and return as family”. This quote is so true! The hospitality of the staff and the general manager nurtures a loving and caring environment that makes you counting the days til you go back!
This is also an awesome little hotel for weddings and receptions; you can hire the whole hotel for approx. $7,000. You can get married in between the frangipani trees, have your photos taken on the property and have your reception in the conference room. You and all of your guests (up to 15 people) can stay the night in the hotel and enjoy the rooftop honesty bar!
Would we stay here again?
In a heartbeat! I love that’s the Spicers Balfour feels so much like home; they have a nespresso machine, that’s an instant win in my heart! (haha!)
What I love about this hotel is that services matters and if there is a problem the staff and the general manager Willie are there to assist you not matter what the problem is. They genuinely care about their guests and take their feedback on board; they make changes based on suggestions from guests because they care. Remember, if the staff don’t know there is a problem they can’t fix it, polity let them know there is a problem and I’m sure they will jump at the chance to help (this is the case in most hotels).