My friend Smaggle recently posted about how to shop on Boxing Day like a boss.
It’s an extremely useful blog post and I wholeheartedly agree with all of her tips … but I now have a new one to add to her list.
If you REALLY want to shop the sales like a boss and your post-Christmas budget extends to it, then I say book into a hotel smack bang in the centre of where all those sales are happening.
In Brisbane you can’t go past the Hilton Brisbane and we were lucky to be invited to spend the night there last weekend and give this sales’ shopping twist a go*.
And give it a go we did.
We being Mr SY and I.
Yes, Mr SY loves to shop (almost) as much as I do.
I was talking to an old friend recently about the topic of marriage and she had a theory that marrying someone who likes to hit the dance floor with you is a good sign as to how that marriage might survive.
I say marry someone who loves to dance but also someone who loves to shop. Therein lies a pretty sweet kind of spot.
Armchair psychology aside, my point is Mr SY did not baulk at the whole sales shopping staycation proposal.
Far from it.
We had Christmas gift cards and dollars to spend and took to our assigned task with gusto.
I’d planned out my hit list in advance with the help of online tracking. A few needs (another sports bra – I’m in love with this one from Triumph, doona cover for eldest son – let’s just say when he came home from residential college I didn’t bother washing his old doona, I binned it) and a few wants (beach bag, book and wide-brimmed hat for our holiday next week and headphones that don’t hurt when you’re wearing earrings).
Mr SY had his shopping sights set on some new threads and a Dyson handstick vacuum after experiencing vacuum envy from using BabyMac‘s “swiffer”. (I KNOW. He dances, shops AND cleans. The dream trifecta.)
The list was ticked off in army-like fashion. I even squeezed in a blow-dry and makeup at city salon, Hare’s Hair, in preparation for dinner that night.
It wasn’t the first time we’d stayed at Hilton Brisbane. The iconic building designed by architect Harry Seidler is positioned right on Queen Street Mall, closer to the heart of Brisbane CBD shopping than any other hotel.
I love that it’s just a ride in the lift down to street level and into the Wintergarden Shopping Centre; QueensPlaza is across the mall and the Myer Centre a few hundred metres up the mall towards the river.
Shopping bags get too heavy? Simply take them up to your room?
Forget to bring the dress you planned to wear out for dinner (yes that was me!)? Buy a new one. Well, that was the theory but after a quick scan, I decided a quick cab ride home would be a better option than a new frock bought in haste.
Friends you haven’t seen for a year happen to be walking down the mall at the end of the day, see your Instagram photo of where you are staying and text to see if you’re up for a drink?
Yes, you say. Come on up to Vintaged Bar & Grill for a pre-dinner catch-up Champagne.
The bar area is in the heart of the hotel. Look up and chances are you’ll have reverse vertigo. The central atrium allows light in from 25 floors up.
The glass-walled lifts whisk you from the lobby to your room in seconds.
We were staying on the 24th floor with a view west across the CBD towards City Hall. All our needs for an overnight hotel stay met.
It’s not often that we put our hands up to eat dinner at a hotel restaurant but we were very happy to accept the invitation to dine at chef-hat-awarded Vintaged because 1) we had dined there before and loved and 2) we are big fans of an expertly cooked steak.
Meat is a key feature on the menu and have been selected from Queensland and around Australia. You’ll also find seafood and vegetarian options so if that’s more like you then don’t be scared off from dining here.
We did have an entree each (well the shopping had been cardio-like in its execution) but it would also be possible to get your fill just by ordering a main and several side dishes. There are also mains designed to share so this style of dining would work really well with a group of people.
I opted for the Darling Downs (Queensland) Wagyu rump cap and Mr SY the O’Connor pasture-fed scotch fillet from Gippsland (Victoria). Neither of us were disappointed at all in the way the steaks at been cooked – medium perfection. The flavours were both amazing but incredibly different.
Can we talk about the sides though? WOW. Not just your average side salad, fries and maybe steamed veg. No … try choices of fried brussel sprouts, lentils and mint; and grilled eggplant and peppers, garlic and goat cheese.
I’d love to tell you that we stopped right there but who can go past a dessert when it looks like this … strawberry tart and balsamic icecream (the scoop looks like the man in the moon, as noticed on Instagram!)?
The bonus of dining where you’re staying? It’s just a lift ride up to bed.
So much so, I got online the day we got home and booked to go back and stay on New Year’s Eve tomorrow night. This time with the youngest in tow.
The experience will be different but the ease and familiarity of the location will make it a fabulous way to see in 2015.
Are you a fan of a shopping staycation? Had success in the sales this year? Share your bargains with us all!
For more information about staying at Hilton Brisbane, visit here. There is currently a Bubbly Nights in Brisbane special offer that starts from $255 per night and includes Vintage Veuve Clicquot Champagne on arrival plus an exclusive offer with world-class Monili Jewellers and 20% dining voucher for Vintaged Bar & Grill.
* Our accommodation, meals and valet parking at Hilton Brisbane was complimentary.