Stay-cays and laneways – how to see The City with fresh eyes

Stay-cays and laneways – how to see The City with fresh eyes

If you’ve never entertained the idea of a staycation, we can highly recommend it – playing tourist in your own backyard gives you the opportunity to see things from a totally different perspective. It turns out that one of the best spots for you to spend the night and explore has been hiding in plain sight this whole time – we’re talking about The City. Whether you work in the heart of it or only pop in to shop once in a while, Brisbane’s heart is packed with hidden gems that you might have overlooked – so we’re here to help uncover them. We’ve paired five of The City’s laneways with luxe accommodation to match, so you can plan your perfect stay-cay.

Burnett Lane and W Brisbane
When it comes to legitimate laneway vibes, Burnett Lane is hard to beat.The laneway has a distinct industrial feel, offset by street art and installations that can be spied along the bitumen, sprawled on rusted garage doors, plastered across concrete walls and making their way up staircases. You can start or finish your staycation at Brew – the cosy hideaway cafe does double duty as a wine bar of an evening. As you continue up the laneway you’ll discover Felix For Goodness, serving up a vibrant all-day brunch menu packed full of, well, goodness! The eatery also opens for Friday night dinners, served alongside a considered list of small-batch wines and spirits. Finish your evening with a cocktail and a boogie at Super Whatnot – the DJs here will certainly get you moving. If you fancy a break from feasting, wind down with a class at Shri Yoga – from vinyasa to flow and even meditation, you’ll find your zen in no time.

You might want to plan your staycation for the second half of the year – that way you can stay at the highly anticipated W Brisbane. Due to open on June 1, W Brisbane will be the first five-star hotel to open in Brisbane City in 20 years, so you know you’ll be in for a treat. W Hotels are renowned for their ‘whatever/whenever’ philosophy, meaning guests can have whatever they like, whenever they like – within legal reason of course. With that in mind, you can make your staycation as baller as you desire, whether that be dining at W Brisbane’s signature restaurant Three Blue Ducks and getting pampered in its AWAY® Spa, or requesting your bath to be filled with champagne – the choice is yours.

Gresham Lane and Sofitel Brisbane
If you foresee yourself eating your way around The City on your staycation, Gresham Lane is a great place to fill your belly no matter the time of day. Early in the morning, Espresso Republic can sate your coffee needs, and Sparrow + Finch and Modern Hunter serve up all of your breakfast favourites. Your lunchtime cravings will be catered for – choose from Vietnamese eats from The Roll Shop, Japanese bites from Sushi Place, or oozy grilled cheese sandwiches from Melt Brothers. Come dinnertime, Red Hook has the goods – think stacked burgers and American-style eats – or wander through to Coppa Spuntino for fine Italian fare. A visit to Gresham Lane wouldn’t be complete without a late-night tipple at The Gresham – the multi-award-winning bar knows how to mix a killer cocktail.

You’ll have worked hard eating your way through Gresham Lane – you deserve to be pampered, right? Luckily your hotel, Sofitel Brisbane, has the world-class Stephanie’s Spa for you to escape the hustle and bustle of The City. The Opal Rasul Steam Temple experience is one you will never forget – the ancient cleansing ritual includes mud therapy, warm steam and tropical rain showers. Rest your head in your luxurious king bed and when you wake head down to the award-winning Thyme² Restaurant for a buffet breakfast – omelette station, anyone?

Eagle Lane and Brisbane Marriott Hotel
From day to night, Eagle Lane has got it going on. Perk up with a morning brew and snack from The Coop Espresso Bar, the sweet hole-in-the-wall coffee haunt that’s a firm favourite amongst CBD dwellers. Next on your hit list is Fat Angel, a new-school sports bar dishing out all-American eats and drinks – think chilli dogs, ice-cold Budweiser and NBA games screened live. Save some energy for Brooklyn Standard, a rock’n’roll dive bar where you can catch live music six nights a week. The crew here can whip up a mean cocktail, which you’ll need a few of to quench your thirst after cutting shapes on the dancefloor.

The best part of a staycation? You can walk to bed! Brisbane Marriott Hotel is just a short stroll away from Eagle Lane, so almost as soon as the tiredness hits from a night of dancing, you’ll be swathed in luxury linens in your king-size bed. If you’re feeling a little dusty the next day we’ve got just the remedy – breakfast in bed followed by a leisurely day at Dome Spa Retreat. Dome’s three-hour essentials experience will pamper you from top to toe with a facial, hour massage and hand or feet therapy, and you can top it off with a champagne high tea. Treat yo’self!

Albert Lane and Hilton Brisbane
Once you’ve tried the fare on offer at Albert Lane, you’re going to want to come back for seconds. This foodie gem is packed with a great range of cuisines to try, with something to suit whatever mood you’re in. Little Singapore has long been a CBD favourite for delicious authentic Asian eats, serving up classic dishes packed with flavour. For a truly theatrical dining experience, Harajuku Gyoza is the way to go – the waitstaff are adorably vocal and very enthusiastic, not to mention the handmade dumplings are to die for. Continuing on the theme of dinner and a show, the wizards at Italian restaurant Vapiano make your pizza and pasta fresh to order right before your eyes. Kick the sass factor up a notch at Comuna Cantina, the Latin-inspired digs offering street eats and luxe cocktails for days.

Staycations are all about relaxing in your own city, so you need to make sure you do just that. At home you’d usually walk in the door and head straight to bed after a night out – when you’re staying at the Hilton you can embrace those hotel vibes and sip a nightcap at Vintaged Bar. After restful night’s sleep (thank you, black-out curtains and plush bed), spend the next day basking in the sun beside the Hilton’s rooftop pool, or work up a sweat at The City’s only tennis court.

John Mills Lane and Next Hotel
We know that it’s not technically an officially recognised laneway, but the goodness hiding just off Charlotte Street in the John Mills Himself building deserves a mention. By day you can sip on some of the best coffee in the city at John Mills Himself, a multi-roaster boutique cafe that uses the best local products around. Once the sun sets, the space is transformed into a rad little bar that continues the home-grown ethos by sourcing all of its beer, wine and spirits from as close by as possible. If you’re chasing some reading material for your stay-cay, seek out Archives Fine Books – as advertised on the hand-lettered sign out front, this city mainstay boasts approximately one million titles across a huge range of topics.

Once you’ve conquered the bookstore, head back to your room at Next Hotel to freshen up (read: take a nap) and then venture out to the venue’s rooftop pool bar for a drink or three. You can sip custom concoctions by the water or perch at the front of the deck to indulge in some people watching. Follow that up with a delicious meal at the in-house Lennons Bar and Restaurant, where you can feast on delights cooked on the Argentinian-style parilla grill. When you return to your room, have the sleep of your life in your cloud-like DreamWeave bed.

This article was created in partnership with our friends at Brisbane Marketing. 

The Stumble Guide is our comprehensive Brisbane dining guide with more than 2400 places to eat, drink, shop and play.


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