Because everyone deserves a mini break right! OK so full confession - we tried to book our Robe Christmas lunch at Hellenika (one of Brisbane's newest and hippest restaurants) late. Very late. Like the week before. Oops. So (of course) we HAD to book a night at the Calile Hotel to ensure we could be squeezed in for lunch (oh the things we have to do).
The dreaded check in
We arrived for lunch at 12pm and dropped our bags at the front desk. I have to say I dread check in at hotels as it always seems a palaver and, while there was no glass of prosecco to ease the pain (one of my favourite things about European Hotels), the process was remarkably smooth. Despite being 2 hours early for our check in time of 2pm, the incredibly professional and friendly staff moved things around and found us a room available for immediate occupancy. Whaaaat? We didn't even ask for it. Our bags were whisked away and we were free to sit back, relax and enjoy lunch. Pretty impressed.
This is a beautiful hotel. There is no denying it. One of the things I absolutely LOVED about was its laid back resort feel - perfect for Brisbane weather and, well, wearing your Robes around the pool...despite it being in the middle of a hustling city. Architects Adrian Spence and Ingrid Richards looked to cities that already had a resort focus for inspiration such as Miami, Palm Springs, Rio De Janeiro and Mexico City. They "wanted to establish a civic vernacular that celebrates our own unique hot weather and outdoor lifestyle" said Spence in a recent article. The central pool (which is huge), beautiful cabanas with large centred ceiling fans and sun loungers certainly give it that amazing resort feel. But I have to say I was more taken with the externally ventilated corridors and high fans that created a perfectly balanced breeze while inside, the internal gardens that made me feel like I was outside in a tropical garden and the unique spaces created throughout the hotel for guests to just sit and relax. It truly is a masterpiece of urban design.
We chose a Poolside room so we could wake up, throw open the doors to our balcony and enjoy the morning. Despite feeling a little dusty on Sunday morning (thank goodness for full block out curtains), we did just that. The beautiful staff (with seriously cool uniforms) at breakfast had no concerns with serving our breakfast to us in our room after we decided our balcony was a much better option than the lobby bar. Ben had calamari stuffed with pork and noodles (seriously delish) and I had a salmon bagel with cream cheese, capers and a Japanese slow cooked egg. Could not fault it. Oh, except they don't serve mimosas until 10am...I had almost forgotten I was not in Europe. Having woken pretty early and with a check out at 11am, we found ourselves with plenty of time to do a bit of yoga, read the paper and go shopping. Now that's a good Sunday morning.
The only thing I found was lacking was the number of nights we had to spend there. But never fear, we will be back. Soon. Maybe next weekend. You can find the Calile Hotel at 48 James Street, Fortitude Valley, QLD, Australia. Website is thecalilehotel.com. Oh and make sure you grab a Robe to take with you - it is PERFECT poolside!