A burst of rich green bamboo and ivy pops against the moody, sensual blacks of a historic Queenslander. Moments away, bold white stucco walls are lifted by grand pillars and shaped by the timeless curves of an art deco classic. This stunning architectural contrast works perfectly, just as the flavours of Vietnam and France dance flawlessly in the kitchen. The urban cool here is palpable, and the sincere commitment to modern imperatives of social responsibility and sustainability are quite possibly unmatched.
Sitting in close conversation with the sights and sounds of an eclectic inner-city enclave, Spicers Balfour Hotel is a unique urban experience that simultaneously embraces its colourful past and confidently leans into the future. Proving indulgence and ethics can comfortably co-exist, this retreat takes an intelligent stance, whilst providing guests the chance to savour the very best of a city on the move.
From the sunset filled roof top bar to the leafy garden courtyards, from the thoughtful, modern suites to the crimson velvet chairs waiting invitingly in the library, luxury is found at every turn. Hidden surprises offer themselves cautiously to attentive guests, and sumptuous textures and finishes proudly present without restraint. The rust coloured rooves of the heritage listed cottages surrounding the retreat paint an intriguing picture of a treasured era, while shimmering city lights promise adventure of another kind.
Sustainability isn’t just a buzzword at Balfour. An unwavering dedication to reducing environmental impact has seen Balfour running initiatives such as energy efficient fridges, motion activated air-conditioning, solar night lighting, a no plastic policy agreed with all suppliers, composting waste to provide soil for local parks – even providing avocado skins to a local artist to use in the creation of inks – these are all examples of the innovative thinking on display.
The theme continues in Balfour Kitchen & Bar, where sustainably sourced seafood and ethically farmed meats are teamed with the freshest of local produce to create an award winning modern Vietnamese treasure. The distinctive sweet, hot, sour and salty flavours of Vietnamese cooking are constantly re-imagined, while respecting the traditions of French and Asian cuisines: the result is a stylish fusion that delivers dishes such as octopus with cassia and anise crème, katsuobushi, finger lime and micro coriander, or pho spiced brisket with shao hsing jus, jackfruit and bone marrow butter.
Balfour’s 17 luxury suites are split across two unique buildings. The nine executive rooms in the main Queenslander building have a distinct European feel, and the eight one-bedroom suites in the art-deco Simla building are filled with richly embellished designs and a sleek aesthetic. All suites are light, bright and airy, with spacious and luxurious bathrooms, amenities and modern conveniences.
The surrounding streets of New Farm are crammed with metropolitan street chic, and the much-loved local cafes, restaurants, bars, cinemas and boutiques are the creative and cultural heartbeat of the city. The nearby James Street and Howard Smith Wharves entertainment and lifestyle precincts literally burst with activity, while the winding Brisbane River and leafy local parks provide peaceful sanctuary.