We know borders are opening and everyone is ready to leave town by plane, car, or whatever means they can, but while travel is back on the cards, let’s not forget just how a cheeky stay can be good. They might have been our only option for a while, but really, now that we’ve figured out the benefits, we’re not ready to let them go. No travel time, economical and easy to book, but tick all the boxes for a vacation vibe? What’s not to like?
If, like us, you’ve become a staycay addict, we know where to book your next stay. Emporium Hotel is a little slice of luxury right in the heart of South Bank, and has everything you need for a boujee weekend, including a rooftop infinity pool with stunning city views. If you are wondering how to spend a weekend in a hotel, here is what we suggest.
Early check-in at noon at the Emporium Hotel
Hope you can check in very early to make the most of your stay, but if not, just leave your luggage with the concierge to wait for you in your room when you get that swipe card. And if you are wondering which room to book, a City River Suite has everything you could possibly want including a huge spa tub to soak in before bed.
1 p.m. Popolo picnic at River Quay
Don’t go to lunch before you leave home – we’ve got the perfect base for your stay, with delicious food and epic views. Book yourself one of Popolo’s succulent picnics and wrap a blanket for a few relaxing hours on the grass at South Bank’s River Quay, with the city skyline right in front of you. Popolo will load you with an assortment of Italian snacks and pizzas, and even a bottle of wine if you want to turn it into booze. Find out more and book a picnic here.
3 p.m. swimming on the roof
Okay, maybe wait half an hour or so for the pizza to digest, but once you’ve checked in properly at the Emporium Hotel it’s time to go up to the roof. The infinity pool offers one of the best views in Brisbane, overlooking the river, Story Bridge and the city skyline. As an added bonus, there’s a poolside bar for cocktails and frozen beers. If you’re cold (after all, you’ve got 21 floors) you can take a dip in the spa and sauna right inside.
6:00 p.m. Sunset cocktails on the terrace
After a quick rinse in your monsoon shower (we’re not kidding, that’s what it’s called), put on some fancy clothes and head to The terrace, the rooftop bar of the Emporium Hotel. Hope you can swing a table out onto the balcony for more of these amazing views, this time with signature cocktails like their Bb Breezer, featuring Husk Botanic Agricole, Four Pillars Bloody Shiraz Gin, Pink Lillet, Almond Orgeat, Raspberry and Citrus .
7 p.m. Signature dinner
Now for the really hot part of the trip – a five course dinner at Emporium Signature Restaurant. You can just order from the a la carte menu, but why would you do that when you could taste wine and dine across five courses, paired with matching wines (since you can just go up to your room afterward)? The exquisite experience changes with the seasons, but for now you’ll start with Moreton Bay bug with gazpacho gel, move on to main courses like Borrowdale’s confit pork belly, and finish with a creamy Valrhona manjari dessert.
8:00 am Breakfast at Denim Co
You can of course have your breakfast at the hotel. The patio is open again at 7am for all your caffeine and broke needs. But since you are so close to all the restaurants in South Bank, it would be rude not to taste at least a few. When it comes to breakfast, Denim Co is the place to go – they’ve only been doing this for 20 years. With morning dishes like classic rolls, a croissant benedict, and scrambled eggs with basil pesto and mushrooms on rye, you’ll find something to tempt your taste buds here. Then, if you’ve booked your stay for a weekend, you can do a bit of browsing the South Bank Collective Markets and take home a little souvenir from your trip (or just more food).
10 a.m. Immerse yourself in experiential art
Yes, it’s time to check it out, but the fun doesn’t end there. Just down in South Bank, outside of the Queensland Maritime Museum is Imaginaria, an immersive pop-up art experience that is there until the end of January 2022. You will walk through interactive light shows, chat with a Cheeky AI and slide down a slippery plunge, all inside a giant maze of dark, atmospheric rooms. Find out what’s in store and grab your tickets here.
Want to extend your stay? To verify where else to eat in South Bank here.
Image credit: Hôtel Emporium