Girlfriends escape to Marriott Brisbane Hotel

Nikki ParkinsonTravel 26 Comments

Yesterday I blogged about how to buy a beauty gift for another woman.

I hinted at the ultimate beauty gift being one that includes a beauty experience; a chance for a bit of pampering.

For me, any chance to share the pampering experience makes it all the better.

Last weekend I was invited to do just that.

The Brisbane Marriott Hotel asked if I’d like to come and experience the Dome Spa Retreat, stay overnight and enjoy my fill at their restaurant, Motion Bar & Grill.

… and said I could bring a friend.


It took about .05 seconds to respond to that email. Not just because of the idea of escaping from the everyday and pre-Christmas madness but because I had a friend in mind who very much deserved that escape.

Not because of any First World problems like my own but because she’s been caring for her sick mum and dad for the past four months, while holding down a demanding full-time corporate job and also seeing her daughter through Year 12.

The concept of “me” time was a dim, distant memory.

So for 22 hours it was all about remembering what that FELT like.

Remembering what it felt like to not have to be somewhere, to not have to be responsible for anyone but yourself, to enjoy the moment without guilt.

The beauty of a hotel/spa escape close to home is that you an do all that and be in escape mode in no time at all.

That’s what makes a good staycation, don’t you think?

You’re a world away but just around the corner?

For me, the perfect way to ease into a staycation is to have a spa treatment booked for your arrival – and that’s just what I did for both us.

The Marriott’s Dome Spa Retreat has been a favourite destination for fellow Brisbane “Spa Rats” for many years now. I’m ashamed to say that until last Saturday I’d never been.

Brisbane Marriott Hotel Dome Retreat and Spa

 What to expect

As part of my post-graduate degree in Spa Rat Behavioural Science**, I’ve seen and experienced my fair share of spas and treatments. A big plus for me is the ability to relax before and after your treatment – not in a tiny room – but somewhere where you have space but can still leave your robe and slippers on.

Dome is situated on the pool level of the hotel – so in good weather this is open up and makes for a great way to extend the relaxation factor.

Brisbane Marriott Dome Retreat and Spa

Those in the know (and a quick squiz of the Dome spa’s website got me up to speed) book the celebration package if coming with a friend or a group of friends.  It includes a massage, facial or hand or foot therapy treatment, plus high tea served poolside with a glass of sparkling wine and a gift bag.

Brisbane Marriott Hotel Dome Retreat and Spa high tea

I clocked a mother and daughter doing this; as well as a hen’s party of about eight girls on the afternoon of our visit.

The pool is not just reserved for spa guests so you might a family or two drops in for a swim too. It’s also possible to book your treatment and then when finished and seated outside, order from the poolside dining/drinks menu. In good weather, I’d do that and park myself poolside for the afternoon with a good book.

Brisbane Marriott Hotel Dome Retreat and Spa

So how were the treatments, you ask?

Bliss, I answer.

I opted for the hand therapy as my poor hands were in need of some TLC. Expecting to be sitting at a manicure table, I was surprised and delighted that I got to lie down with an eye cover over my eyes for the duration. I’m pretty sure passing out occurred and a little purring ;).

My friend had the massage. And it was a good massage. Not the airy-fairy type; the type delivered by a massage therapist who knows her way around a knotted up back. She noted that my friend had a lot of tension areas. This, of course, was not news to my friend, who just smiles and gets on with her day when anyone asks how she’s going.

We decided that it would be prudent to dress before going down the lift to check in to our room. Just as well as an upgrade to the executive lounge floors was granted by the fairy godmother at reception. Floor 26 it was … I couldn’t help but think that we were sharing the space shared just weeks ago by President Obama.

Brisbane Marriott Hotel executive lounge

Would he have availed himself of the refreshments in the executive lounge? Made his own coffee or put together a cheese platter to go with a sneaky Aussie Shiraz? Probably not … but a girl’s got to dream.

And sweet dreams it was … like the Nanas we’ve become, we were tucked up in an AMAZING hotel bed by 9.30pm. My friend passed out; me not long after (there was a new episode of Serial to catch up on!).

Brisbane Marriott Hotel - bed

Sleep was our friend and was fast coming after we had earlier given the seafood tower at the Motion Bar & Grill a good nudge.

Brisbane Marriott Hotel Motion Bar & Grill

The next morning over breakfast in the executive lounge we called the other friend in our trio (we all went through uni together, studied journalism and then worked at the same newspaper together for our first job). She too declared she was a friend in need and demanded that should this scenario play out again that she be invited.

Brisbane Marriott Hotel view from executive lounge


We’re planning on heading back early in the New Year.

For more information about The Brisbane Marriott Hotel or to book, visit here.

Is this the type of escape you would like to do with a girlfriend? Got another place you’d recommend in Australia (or overseas) that makes for a great girls’ staycation? 

Brisbane Marriott Hotel foyer

* We were guests of the Brisbane Marriott Hotel. All was included except for half of our meal. And yes, we are grateful.

** Not a real degree. 

Comments 26

  1. On Saturday I am leaving on a cruise to Noumea and Vanuatu with my 3 best girlfriends!!! We’ve traditionally done a girlie weekend up the coast once a year, but this year we decided to go all out. Can’t tell you how excited we all are!!!! There’s nothing like getting away with your gal pals 🙂

  2. The spa at the QT Sydney is blissful. I can also highly recommend booking a long razor shave for the man in your life from the barber shop, even if he’s not really a spa type. My husband raved about this to all and sundry afterwards, and he’s not at all into massages, facials or other treatments.

    I love the executive/club floor and usually manage to arrange to stay on these floors when I’m travelling for business. With my love for canapes, I can pretty much do with out actually paying for a meal for a week on the road- so it works out cheaper for my employer in the long run- well at least that’s how I justify this indulgence.

    1. Johanne, I could see the regulars in the lounge and totally got why this would work brilliantly – a gentlemen (a regular) from the US even thanked the lounge staff and said he’d be back in again in February. Great home away from home!

  3. What a heavenly and blissful girls staycation! This should be mandatory for all females at least once or twice a year!

  4. That looks amazing I would love to take my sister somewhere like that one day !She works 2 jobs sometimes 3 and has a very demanding mentally Ill teenager who is puting her through hell ATM ,if it’s not bad enough to be grieving for our mother she has this to deal with as well,I know it’s not his fault at all but I just feel so so sorry for her.
    Nikki you are a very kind friend and you have been so busy this year I’m glad you got some “me” time too Xx

  5. This looks so dreamy. Everyone needs a friend like you and a spa-cation like that! And I do adore an executive floor! In the interests of research, you could “test” out spa-cations in luxury hotels all around Australia and then compile a guide to the Ultimate Spa-cation… I can help you with that if you like! 🙂

  6. I totally love a spa treatment, any beauty treatment really! It’s a great way to relax, leave the world behind and empty the mind and the bonus is you come away all soft and glowing. Blessings to your friend Nikki and hi 5 to you for thinking if her. What a great way for her to reboot x

  7. that looks gorgeous nikki! … sooo casual and relaxed!
    you would be a good friend indeed!
    love the seafood tower and love your city Brisbane!
    my nephew had his wedding reception at the intercontinental in adelaide
    and we stayed the night with a family breakfast the next morning! …
    it was all fabulous and I’m sure they have a spa treatment!
    it’s where the stones stayed! … cheers! m:)X

  8. Wow that looks amazing! Nice that you thought of your friend too, sounds like she definitely needed the pampering. Would love to take my daughter there 🙂

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