We know borders are opening up and everyone is ready to get out of town by plane, car or any means possible, but even though travel is back on the cards, let’s not forget how good a cheeky staycation can be. They may have been our only option for a while, but truly, now that we’ve discovered the benefits, we’re not ready to let them go. No travel time, budget-friendly and easy to book, but ticking all the boxes for holiday vibes? What’s not to love?
If, like us, you’ve become a staycay addict, we know just where to book your next one. Emporium Hotel is a little slice of luxury right in the heart of South Bank, and has everything you need for a boujee weekend away—including a rooftop infinity pool with jaw-dropping views of the city. If you’re wondering how you’d fill a weekend staying at the hotel, here’s what we’d suggest.
12pm Early Check Into Emporium Hotel
Hopefully you can snag a super early check in to make the most of your stay, but if not, just leave your bags with the concierge so they’ll be waiting in your room for you when you do get a hold of that swipe card. And if you’re wondering which room to book, a River City Suite has everything you’ll want—including a massive spa bath to soak in before bed.
1pm Popolo Picnic At River Quay
Don’t go lunching before you leave home—we’ve got the perfect start to your staycay, involving delicious food and epic views. Book yourself one of Popolo’s luscious picnics and pack a blanket for a few hours of lounging on the grass at South Bank’s River Quay, with the city skyline right in front of you. Popolo will load you up with a spread of Italian nibbles and pizzas, and even a bottle of wine if you want to make it a boozy affair. Find out more and book a picnic here.
3pm Rooftop Swims
Ok, maybe wait a half hour or so for the pizza to digest, but once you’ve properly checked into the Emporium Hotel it’s time to hit the rooftop. The infinity pool here has one of the best views in Brisbane, overlooking the river, the Story Bridge and the city skyline, so you’ll be ‘gramming for hours. Bonus, there’s a bar out in the pool area for ice cold cocktails and beers. If you get chilly (you are 21 stories up, after all), you can duck into the spa and sauna just inside.
6pm Sunset Cocktails At The Terrace
After a quick rinse off in your monsoon shower (we’re not kidding, that’s what it’s called), don some fancy duds and head up to The Terrace, Emporium Hotel’s very own rooftop bar. Hopefully you can swing a table out on the balcony for more of those incredible views, this time over signature cocktails like their Bb Breezer, with Husk Botanic Agricole, Four Pillars Bloody Shiraz Gin, lillet rose, almond orgeat, framborse and citrus.
7pm Dinner At Signature
Now for the really boujee part of the trip—a five-course dinner at Emporium’s own Signature Restaurant. You can just order off the a la carte menu, but why would you when you could wine and dine your way through five courses, complete with matched wines (since you can just stumble upstairs to your room afterwards)? The exquisite experience changes with the seasons, but right now you’ll start with Moreton Bay bug with a gazpacho gel, move on to mains like the confit Borrowdale pork belly and finish off with a dessert of Valrhona manjari cremeux.
8am Breakfast At Denim Co
You can of course breakfast in the hotel—The Terrace is back open at 7am for all your caffeine and smashed avo needs. But since you’re so close to all the eateries of South Bank, it’d be rude not to sample at least a few of them. When it comes to breakfast, Denim Co is the place to go—they’ve only been doing it for 20 odd years. With morning feeds like classic hotcakes, a croissant benedict and scrambled eggs with basil pesto and mushrooms on rye, you’ll find something to tempt your tastebuds here. Afterwards, if you’ve booked your staycay on a weekend, you can do a little browsing at the South Bank Collective Markets and take home a little memento of your trip (or just more food).
10am Immerse Yourself In Experiential Art
Yes, it’s time to check out—but the fun doesn’t have to end there. Just down in South Bank outside the Queensland Maritime Museum is Imaginaria, a pop-up immersive art experience that’s here until the end of January 2022. You’ll wander through interactive light shows, chat to a cheeky AI and slide down a slippery dip, all inside a giant maze of dark and atmospheric rooms. Check out what’s in store and grab your tickets here.
Want to extend your stay? Check out where else to eat in South Bank here.
Image credit: Emporium Hotel