Review: Gambaro Hotel, Brisbane

I’ve been living at mum and dad’s place for a little over a week now and so far, it’s been smooth sailing, mostly due to mum taking amazing care of me when I was practically bed-ridden for a few days with a virus last week.

However, I still jumped at the chance to sneak off to Gambaro Hotel, a boutique hotel on Brisbane’s Caxton Street for a mini staycation — and the timing was perfect, with my stay booked for the same weekend as the Moet & Chandon Gala Ball, also at Gambaro Hotel.

And from the moment I checked in, it was bliss!

The Room
Although in the inner city, the hotel’s four floors are surprisingly quiet and seem far removed from the party outside – and while it wasn’t an event day so the street wasn’t jam packed with post-sport/concert revellers, it was a Saturday night.

All rooms and suites have been designed with a rich and glamourous décor featuring deep shades of chocolate, silver and dark wood. They also boast luxurious Sealy Dynasty Series King bed, luxury feather and down pillow toppers and if you feel your pillow isn’t quite ‘you’, you can order something firmer, fluffier or even more chiropractic-friendly from the extensive pillow menu.

The ensuite bathroom was spacious with an oversized walk-in rain shower perfect for two, marble vanity and exclusive Appelles black label bodycare made with natural extracts and premium certified organic essential oils, selected especially for their beneficial and restorative qualities.

There’s also complimentary Wi-Fi (for all those #instaworthy moments), cosy terry towelling robes, in-house movies through the 40” TV, a well-stocked and mini bar (hello, Cadbury chocolate and Moët & Chandon), and a lounge chair for one–perfect for throwing your clothes on at the end of a night on the dance floor.

Our Petrie King Balcony room had a small veranda, with a chair and small side table, which overlooked the collection of tin-roofed cottages and Terrace houses for which the surrounding area is known.

As the morning fog lifted, I watched the golden hues of sunshine cast a glow over the smattering of rusted tin roofs and it could just have been that I had enjoyed too much wine at dinner, but it was a pretty lovely sight. We rounded out our stay with room service for breakfast.

The Food
It would be hard (and foolish) to stay at Gambaro Hotel and not enjoy a meal from one of their two restaurants – especially if you’re into reef or beef.

Gambaro Seafood Restaurant is right next door to the hotel, and has spent decades earning and maintaining its reputation as Queensland’s best seafood restaurant and it’s no surprise the staff are friendly, polite and attentive.

Across the road at Black Hide Steakhouse – Australia’s Best Steak Restaurant 2016 – where the grilled steak is tipped to be top shelf, with sauces and condiments setting a high bar, and served on dark plates for an added touch of elegance.

We made a reservation for dinner at Queensland most awarded seafood restaurant – and the scene of many of my past birthday dinners – Gambaro’s Seafood Restaurant.

The restaurant underwent a full cosmetic makeover mid last year paying homage to their produce by incorporating seafood-inspired details to the interior including a school of glittering-gold fish along a marine blue wall.

Between the two of us, we managed to try something from most sections on the innovative and fresh autumn menu from Head Chef, Lukas McEwan starting with Oysters Kilpatrick and Scallops with porchetta and hazelnuts.

For our main meals we ordered the Mud Crab with chilli and white wine and Sicilian BBQ Moreton Bay Bugs which were topped with capers and olives, accompanied by sides of Heirloom Tomato Salad with balsamic onions and Parmesan and Broccolini with garlic and butter.

The Mud Crab, which weighed in at a whopping 1.6kg, was my favourite dish hands down (and even though I didn’t order it, I managed to polish off close to one-third of it). The chilli and white wine gave it a sweet twist, but didn’t take away from the flavour of the crab itself.

Now that the weather has cooled, be sure to try something sweet from the dessert menu – my choice would be the Date Pudding with vanilla bean custard, candied walnuts and burnt caramel gelato.

The Facilities
On the third floor of the hotel is the Sunset Lounge, an open air patio/function space offering views over Caxton Street, Suncorp Stadium and the hills of Paddington to Mount Coot-tha and beyond.

If watching the sun disappear behind the Brisbane skyline isn’t relaxing enough, you can order a massage therapist to visit your room, turning it into your own private spa suite!

Treatments including the Stressbuster to relieve fatigue, tension and jet lag; the Perfect Partnership treatment for couple’s which will leave you both feeling refreshed and relaxed, and the Fabulous Feet – a must for any fashionista who has danced the night away in heels.

And, if you’re keen to have your car on hand for any mini road trips around town, valet parking is available for $35 per day.

The Location
Literally a stone’s throw from Suncorp Stadium and the Barracks – an area filled with buzzing bars, casual eateries, fine dining and entertainment options, Gambaro Hotel is the perfect luxe getaway for those attending a sporting event or concert.

If stretching your legs and getting some fresh air is on the agenda, you’re within walking distance of Brisbane’s CBD, the cultural precinct of South Bank, including the Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA) and Queensland Performing Arts Complex (QPAC) or head over to Roma Street Parklands to snag a spot in the sunshine and relax.

For those, like me, who also need to indulge in a spot of retail therapy or even a little window shopping, there are hundreds of places to check out if you head west along Given and Latrobe terraces.

My favourites include Olive Home (homewares, fashion and gifts), Petrol (women’s clothing with brands including Stevie May, Talulah and By Johnny), Thousand Island Dressing (fabulous and fun jewellery and accessories that won’t break the bank) and Miss Henry (women’s fashion from Camilla, Sass & Bide and divine handmade jewellery from local gal Jimena Alejandra).

Refuel along the way with coffee at Atticus Finch Cafe, lunch at Paddington Deli and Epicerie or the Middle Eastern inspired Naïm and an afternoon cocktail from Darling & Co.

If you head up to The Barracks, grab an ice-cream from Movenpick and check out The Robe for gorgeous pieces from Maison Scotch, Bella Dahl and Salus Body.

There’s also plenty of shopping to be done in the Queen Street Mall, which boasts international brands Uniqlo, H&M, Forever 21 and Zara, as well as luxury stores including Chanel, Gucci and Tiffany & Co on Edward St and inside QueensPlaza.

The Verdict
A great little inner city getaway with stylish rooms and on site bar and restaurant. Perfect spot to stay if you’re attending an event at Suncorp Stadium or keen to be out of the CBD but still close to the action. If you’re keen to party the night away with crowds of revellers, book your stay to coincide with a football game.

Perfect for: Stylish city breaks and romantic nights away. 

Gambaro Hotel is located at 33 Caxton St Petrie Tce, Brisbane. Check them out Facebook and Instagram.

Editor’s note: I was a guest of Gambaro Hotel, however all opinions are my own.

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