holiday, luxury escape, travel

Are you in need of a luxury Queensland getaway? Some R&R in a divine, inner-city sanctuary?

RELATED: Why You Should Consider Solo Travel in 2015

As a busy working mum of two toddlers under three, I was excited when I checked into my stunning home-away-from-home for a night: the 5-star boutique guest house, Heal House, at 72 Heal Street, New Farm.

An inner-city suburb of Brisbane, Australia, swanky New Farm is 2km east of the Brisbane CBD on a large bend of the Brisbane River. It’s close to top-end shops, amazing restaurants and cafes and Brisbane icon, community arts and performance centre, The Powerhouse.

I was flying solo for the first time in ages when I checked into Heal House and I couldn’t have been happier about some much-needed solo “me time”, not to mention my choice of accommodation. Talk about the ultimate Brisbane luxury escape!

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I had a happy squeal upon arrival at the stylish boutique guest house; it offers a truly unique and elegant Brisbane experience.

Housed in a large, heritage Queenslander, the property has recently been lovingly restored to make the most of its stunning traditional architecture. What could be more uniquely Brisbane, than staying in such an exceptional place?

In addition, it was so comfy and opulent, with stunning personal touches, it put cold, anonymous 5-star hotels to shame. I’m talking seriously swoon-worthy quality cotton bathrobes, huge bath sheets and superior quality bed linen; an iPod docking station; a complimentary non-alcoholic mini bar, complete with confectionery and an “honour bar”, stocked with a selection of premium alcoholic beverages.

With just three luxury guest suites available, Heal House truly offers an intimate yet high-end luxury travel getaway.

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Hosts Lindsay Bennett and Bryce Williams have also included personal, prized artworks and gorgeous family heirlooms among the stunning kitchen, lounge room and interiors; Heal House is at once super-stylish and glamorous, yet warm and comfy.

It’s the sort of opulence that’s hard to find and such a welcome relief; like me, you’ll look forward to your next visit with gusto.

It’s also the type of quality luxury escape that inspires you to dress up: I put on my best silk Collette Dinnigan maxi dress to enjoy some welcome drinks with my lovely hosts.

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And if I was excited about Heal House’s stylish exterior, I felt even greater joy when I discovered my large master suite. The king-size bed and stunning aforementioned bed linen were seriously swoon-worthy; I couldn’t wait to jump in there!

Stylish, chocolaty colours envelope you in a warm embrace. And there were dimmer lights – a much-forgotten, added luxury which should be an essential in every 5-star bedroom! Of course, there was also an LCD Television with Foxtel, ducted air-conditioning and access to wireless broadband.

Then there’s the amazing ensuite featuring granite tiles, custom marble vanities and premium amenities – for me, you can tell a lot about the quality of any guest house/hotel by its bathroom. This one was so good, complete with massive bath (bath duckies = fun!) and ornate mother-of-pearl furnishings, that I simply didn’t want to leave.

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But leave I must: I had a dinner date at the newly restored Deery’s Restaurant & Smokehouse at Brisbane’s iconic Story Bridge Hotel that night.

Located at nearby Kangaroo Point, which was a short cab ride away, Story Bridge Hotel also recently launched its new Main St. Bar & Eatery, which offers a cool and casual dining experience.

But it was the hotel’s stunning, much-loved Deery’s Restaurant & Smokehouse where I was headed; this place is an absolute delight with its exceptional service, amazing food and warm, inviting interior. It’s quality dining, without the stuffiness.

The revitalised space mixes traditional and current influences, with the familiar warm and earthy timber décor given a facelift via more modern styling and furniture, floods of natural light and, the hero feature, an open ceiling creating a spacious vibe and exposing the original timber beams.

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The menu has also been given a contemporary update under executive chef Jason Walker and head chef Adam Clements, offering delicious, seasonally-inspired new culinary creations alongside Deery’s famous chargrilled steaks.

There, you can enjoy one of the restaurant’s indulgent autumnal dishes. My guest and I didn’t hold back, enjoying entrees, mains and a shared dessert. It was dining heaven! For the full menu, check out www.storybridgehotel.com.au.

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Happy as a clam, I headed back to my luxury abode, where you’re encouraged to enjoy access to the luxury lounge and dining alcove (pictured at top) and a wide verandah with its inviting reading nooks.

But my gorgeous ensuite and bath beckoned, not to mention that massive, inviting bed! Talk about sweet dreams – how good is it when you have a whole bed to yourself? Swoon.

Also included for each Heal House guest is a delicious continental buffet breakfast, featuring locally-sourced produce and gourmet homemade dishes for a mouth-watering start to the day. I heartily enjoyed my homemade bircher muesli, seasonal fruit salad and strong coffee.

All in all, I really wasn’t ready to leave Heal House and could have easily and happily stayed for a week. Healed, I was.
Do yourself a favour: book now. Visit www.healhouse.com.au or phone (07) 3358 3350.