The moment I had nabbed my ticket for The Design Conference, my very next thought that came to mind was where I might call home for two nights in Brisbane. After already experiencing a number of MGallery by Sofitel Properties, Brisbane’s edition - The New Inchcolm immediately sprang to mind.
Sitting on the outskirts of Brisbane’s CBD in Spring Hill, the hotel’s prime position on Wickham Terrace comes with quite a history. Once a private medical practice, and preceding that in the 1800’s, the site of a private residence belonging to Dr Thomson - accomplished doctor, scientist, astronomer, psychologist and pioneering photographer - in 1988, the final incarnation came to be a boutique hotel. The heritage listed establishment underwent a major refurbishment and expansion in 2014, growing from 26 to 50 rooms and striking a beautiful balance between respecting time gone by, and total welcoming the latest mod cons and hotel features you could hope to find (Nespresso machine, check!)
Stepping inside The New Inchcolm feels reminiscent of a scene out of The Great Gatsby - there’s a 1920’s glamour - meets downtown and clandestine New York sophistication - meets unassuming and home-away-from-home locale, with tomatoes plucked from the kitchen garden’s vine and plated up right before you.
The original wooden elevator remains, with metal meshing detail - which was originally one of the first installed in Queensland - encircled by a circular staircase spiralling up to the four levels of rooms.
The lights were dimmed and my shoes clicked on the shiny white tiles as I made my way to reception. Bottles of wine were being cracked, intimate jazz music played among hushed but convivial conversation of dinner goers, in a beautifully sophisticated ambience. The staff were personable and welcoming as I was handed my key card for my room. It was love, right from the start.
“Will you sleep with us tonight?” the room key cheekily asks me - “happily to oblige,” I smile to myself.
The witty repartee is splashed in cheeky charm across many details of the hotel, I later find.
I was lucky to call home the Inchcolm Suite - a two level loft setup on level 4, with living room, desk and kitchenette, appropriately renamed maxibar, and a second level leading up to the bedroom and ensuite on second floor. I tapped the button to automatically open the curtains, and my jaw dropped in awe with the two level, floor to ceiling glass canvas before me, showcasing the Brisbane city skyline by night.
Immediately, I felt inclined to nest - pop my toothbrush in the bathroom, my slippers by the bed and my laptop on the downstairs desk.
Exhausted from information packed days at the conference, I ordered myself to room service, and it’s that good that I repeated the ritual for my second night. First, the cheeseboard, after spying my favourite cheese in the world on the list (Delice de Bourgone). And second, the Wagyu burger (yum).
Did I mention that the lost art of turndown service is a thing here?
While breakfast is available in the Thomson’s Reserve, I chose to have mine in bed, with a simple tap of my room’s iPad ordering system, and making my own coffee from my suite's kitchen.