When I’m on holiday or travelling, I tend to avoid hotel restaurants in favour of wandering out and eating locally. That being said, if you’re staying in a good hotel, it’s generally expected that a restaurant in said hotel should match the quality of its rooms – and can be valid dining destinations in themselves. 

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Six Acres, Rydges Fortitude Valley

Located in Brisbane’s rapidly developing Fortitude Valley, the newly constructed Rydges Fortitude Valley channels a boutique hotel more than a chain, in light of the careful attention to detail and design that extends from the giant cow sculpture in its lobby to the adorable designs on the cushions in my Exec King room. As the hotel is right next to the Royal International Convention Centre at the Brisbane Showgrounds, the agricultural theme is immediately apparent in every corner of the room, furnished with natural dark wood textures and bold graphic prints. There’s a modern playfulness to the Rydges’ design sensibilities that adds a fun factor to your typical business suite. And that’s not even considering how the hotel-branded USBs are in the shape of small cows and pigs!

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The Six Acres restaurant space is full of thoughtfully considered furnishings designed to take advantage of the natural light pouring in from the glass walls. From the gorgeous teal and tan leather combinations to the wall décor and creative way of displaying the cereals, the breakfast buffet extends the agricultural theme of the rooms and is, simply, a gorgeous and restful space to start your day.

The Rise Buffet Breakfast at Six Acres is predominantly a continental breakfast, with a solid selection of mushrooms, hashbrowns, eggs, bacon, mini sausages and cooked tomatoes. There is also a variety of artisan bread, cereal (in brown hemp sacks!) and pastries. I really enjoyed the beautiful fruit juice ‘shot’ and the DIY granola station that Rydges offers. The in house gym and swimming pool are also an elevator ride away if you need to work off the calories after breakfast. 

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There are 119 Executive King rooms at Rydges Fortitude Valley as well as 60 Arena rooms and 4 suites. All are clean and simply furnished, comfortably fitting two people and a luxurious space for one. The amenities tray, keeping with the spirit of the hotel, is full of playfully designed food and even games like dominoes and pick-up sticks. The TV, in particular, occupies about a third of the wall and is definitely a reflection of how the hotel is keeping up with the modern age. It features a full selection of cable and international channels from America, Europe and Asia and also a function allowing guests to read newspapers from all around the world on the TV.  

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Thyme2, Sofitel Brisbane Central

If there’s one word to describe Sofitel Brisbane Central’s buffet situation, it would probably be ‘abundance’. The scale of this buffet is such that a gigantic fairy-light-illuminated tree on top of a table full of beautifully presented desserts doesn’t even seem strange – just another day in the life of luxury and all.

Name any sort of food and the buffet probably has it, from an entire runway of salad varieties (including DIY options), to platters of cold cuts, to tables of seafood and a fridge of desserts that included tiny delicate pastries like lemon meringue. I really enjoyed the hot food varieties offered at the dinner buffet – there was a pretty extensive variety of cuisine and flavours, many of them with South East Asian influences, including curry lamb, not to mention soups and vegetarian options.

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If for nothing else, eat at the Sofitel Buffet for the gorgeous view you get of the centre of Brisbane’s CBD, whether it’s in the early morning light or illuminated in the dark. Location is the paramount feature of Sofitel – the hotel lobby is literally 3 escalators away from the ticket barriers of Brisbane’s Central Station so you can get off your airport AirTrain and right up to your room so you can maximise your sightseeing time.

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As well as the usual continental breakfast affair, Sofitel also provides cold cuts, cheese and salads in the morning, which is good if you’re like me and prefer some savoury breakfast foods along with a croissant or sweet pastry.

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sofitelroom-7The Sofitel rooms themselves are spacious, designed for business people with a gigantic desk for working and a brilliant view of the city below. The bathroom provides a very thoughtful set of amenities with all the guests’ needs considered – nail file, comb, makeup removal pads – as well as slippers. Of course, I adored the thick fluffy white towels and bathrobe that was provided, which always wins me over in hotel situations. Blame my inner Hollywood-cliche-loving nerd. 

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QT Bazaar, buffet, cheese, wine

QT Bazaar, QT Hotel

The dinner buffet at the Bazaar was one of my favourites and features a wide selection of cuisine, from traditional roasts, cheese, cold cuts, salads and seafood, to more multicultural offerings such as a DIY taco station, pizza, Indian curries and Chinese stir fry. We watched the chef crack open the special mould for the clay-baked chicken with a hammer and the meat inside had a subtly smoky flavour while being extremely tender. The hardest thing at any buffet is controlling your portions so that you can try a bit of everything. I particularly recommend the braised lamb and butter chicken. And prawn chips, of course.

Again, you really need to stop and appreciate the detail that went into the décor of the farmyard-inspired QT Bazaar, full of rustic wood, copper and metal accents with a slight Asian influence. These are all, in part, inspired by the QT food philosophy, which emphasises the importance of maintaining a close connection with producers and being involved in every stage of the food process.

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What brought a huge smile to everyone’s faces most of all, however, was the intricate dessert selection. You name it and it’s there – macarons, bite-sized salted caramel tarts, Rocky Road and jars upon jars of puddings. True to QT’s retro theme, there was also all the childhood nostalgia treats like long sticks of rainbow sorbet, jars of lollies and a fairyfloss machine. The one thing you absolutely must try is the S’mores Jar, which is just the perfect combination of hot, gooey dark chocolate, biscuit crunch and marshmallow.

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Breakfast at the Bazaar offers you the usual suspects of a continental breakfast – pastries, bacon, cereal, fruit and waffles, as well as an egg and omelette station and corn fritters. If you enjoy McDonalds hashbrowns, the smaller triangular ones at Bazaar get very close to the taste and texture and is a definite recommendation.

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QT merchandise QT merchandise

With its quirky, retro-inspired beach design to match its surroundings, everything about the rooms at QT Gold Coast is about light, quirky patterns and charming attention to detail. The netted bag contained thongs for guests to use – unfortunately a bit too big for my feet though! There was a slab of edible chocolate stationery, as well as a QT bathrobe in the wardrobe (always a plus in my book). We also got a goody bag of QT merch that can be purchased in the downstairs shop – that metal pineapple is a candle and it is brilliant.    

Pro-tip – get a room on the 18th floor or higher – who can say no to that balcony view?

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Six Acres, Rydges Fortitude Valley
601 Gregory Terrace, Bowen Hills QLD
Phone: (07) 3188 3000
Web: rydges.com/accommodation/brisbane-qld/fortitude-valley-brisbane
Six Acres Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Thyme2, Sofitel Brisbane Central
249 Turbot Street, Brisbane QLD
Phone: (07) 3835 3535
Web: sofitel.com/Brisbane/Sofitel
Thyme² Interactive Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - ZomatoQT Bazaar, QT Hotel
7 Staghorn Ave, Surfers Paradise QLD
Phone: (07) 5584 1200
Web: qthotelsandresorts.com/gold-coast/eat-drink/bazaar
Bazaar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

I Ate My Way Through travelled as a guest of Brisbane’s Airtrain

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Christina delights in new experiences and aims to create content that inspires, whether that's with her words, camera or paintbrush. If she's not working her way through an entire trees’ worth of readings from her combined Media and Law degree, she’s probably planning her next travel adventure, taking shots of everything she experiences (and eats) and blogging it all at sketchandrun.com. Feed her tapioca pearls in Asian bubble tea and she’ll love you forever.

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