Shopping staycation at Hilton Brisbane

Nikki ParkinsonTravel 27 Comments

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).

Hilton Brisbane - shop the sales with ease

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.)

Hilton Brisbane

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.

Hilton Brisbane - Vintaged Bar & Grill

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.

Hilton Brisbane


Hilton Brisbane

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.

Hilton Brisbane

Hilton Brisbane

Hilton Brisbane

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.

Hilton Brisbane - Vintaged Bar & Grill

Hilton Brisbane - Vintaged Bar & Grill

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.

Hilton Brisbane - Vintaged Bar & Grill

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.

Hilton Brisbane - Vintaged Bar & Grill

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.

Hilton Brisbane - Vintaged Bar & Grill

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!)?

Hilton Brisbane - Vintaged Bar & Grill

The bonus of dining where you’re staying? It’s just a lift ride up to bed.

Staycation perfection.

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.

Comments 27

  1. Just re reading this post Nikki thinking I may have to book in the night before I head to ProBlogger – oh yes!!!

  2. Lock it in Eddie, you have just sold that place to me LIKE A BOSS. You go girlfriend. How fantastic. I love everything about it. And how good does that Special offer sound, if only we lived closer!!! Love the sound of that steak too, I do like my beef!!! EAT MORE BEEF i say!!! Happy New Year and I hope you have a wonderful night there tonight xxx

    1. You’d be very happy with the steak offerings and the proximity to all the shops you rarely get to see. They do a good high tea as well – we’ll lock it in next time you’re down this way. Enjoy Maleny x

    2. You’d be very happy with the steak offerings and the proximity to all the shops you rarely get to see. They do a good high tea as well – we’ll lock it in next time you’re down this way. Enjoy Maleny x

  3. I bought that book too! I like to have a pile over the holidays to work through. I always find that Marian Keyes never disappoints.

  4. Never been to Brisbane (it’s a long way from Perth) but it sounds wonderful! Just wondering – which Dyson did you get & do you think they’re worth the money? I’ve been thinking of getting one for a while & can’t make up my mind.

  5. I hope to do the city shopcation at some point, the Hilton sounds the perfect location with everything to hand. Brisbane is such a beautiful city and it will be wonderful to be a part of the NYE celebrations, have a great time!

  6. Looks fabulous! And New Years Eve sounds like it’s going to be a brilliant night for you. We haven’t stayed in the city since well before we had kids. Such an easy option when you need a break in routine but don’t want to travel anywhere.

  7. Wow that looks awesome Nikki ,and such a great idea,for shopping the sales! I like a man that has a stick vacuum in his Wishlist I wish mine did.
    I have looked online but I have not been near a sale yet ,but I will when the crowds die down a little.Enjoy your night at the Hilton again on NYE Nikki xx

  8. You must pinch yourself some days Nikki. I received your book for Christmas *fist pump* and read of your humble beginnings and here you are living it up at The Hilton and sharing it with you many many many fans! Go you! Occasional staycations in the city are a must for country folk like me who are not blessed with the same variety of shopping choices as our city cousins. Often I’ll go with hubby and kids or with a bunch of girlfriends. I love a girly weekend away shopping! The Hilton looks fab. And so is your book btw! x

    1. Ah Shauna, thanks so much for buying my book. I DO pinch myself that I’ve been able to create a business that I love and one that fits with my life. I totally get that my country cousins don’t have the same choices – as you know from the book – I grew up away from shops and well before online shopping HAH! And I’m all for a girly weekend away too!! x

  9. Living at the beach is like a permanent staycation. However, about once a year I like to visit the city for a non-online shopping spree. I usually stay at the Stamford – which admittedly is a bit of a walk for interim drop-offs, but the views up and down the river are breathtaking. I thought about a little escape next week, but they are booked out, so might just have to give the Hilton a go – right on the mall, you say …hmmm. Xx

    1. Oh yes, definitely living at the beach feels that way – it’s very strange in the suburbs in Brisbane at the moment – shops just close for half of January!! The opposite of at the beach. Those river views from the Stamford are something else, that’s for sure!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.