HAVING eaten my lunch while flying up the motorway to Brisbane with my air conditioning struggling in the stifling 38-degree heat, I arrive at The Westin Brisbane feeling less than Zen.
Located on Mary Street in the heart of the CBD, the new $200 million hotel sits between Queen Street Mall, the Botanical Gardens and the plethora of bars and restaurants at Eagle Street Pier and is one of a slew of five-star properties that have opened in the river city in recent months.
A polite concierge takes my keys and parks by car while I check in and take in the open-plan lobby, home to jazz bar, The Charles, which stretches out to the street.
The check-in is seamless and it doesn’t take long before I feel very relaxed.
My king suite on the 12th floor boasts a spacious living area and separate bedroom, which has a large balcony and sweeping views of one of the prettiest parts of the city.
After a rest on my super-king Heavenly Bed – yes, they really are heavenly - I head down to Australia’s first Heavenly Spa by Westin. The service is first-class and I change into a warm robe and slippers and sip on a water in one of several contemporary relaxation pods.
After analysing my face, my therapist Alexandra, who has the most flawless skin I’ve seen in a long time, chooses a Brightening Vitamin C Peel [$180 for 60 minutes] for me using products by anti-ageing skin care brand, HydroPeptide.
Alexandria assures me I am in a safe space and would be nurtured and cared for during the 60-minute treatment. She wasn’t wrong. The products are hydrating and the treatment incorporates massage on my hands and arms, face and scalp.
After a tea and some complimentary treats, I practically float out of the spa and down to the pool deck for a mat Pilates class with the hotel’s resident instructor Morven, which is complimentary for Westin Brisbane guests.
Despite the humidity, a gentle breeze flows through the surrounding buildings and I really enjoy the outdoor class in an urban landscape, which is a refreshing change of scenery from my beach community at home.
After class, I take a look at the WestinWORKOUT Fitness Studio, however it’s so warm, I can’t resist a dip in Nautilus Pool.
While my suite is spacious and luxurious, it is very much what I would expect from an inner-city five-star hotel. The pool deck, however, is genuinely impressive.
The three-tier space boasts elevated day beds to relax on as well as deck chairs and a handful of loungers, which are slightly submerged in water. The poolside crowd is a mixture of couples, 20-somethings and business travellers all enjoying the balmy sub-tropical climate.
The infinity-style pool looks out over the city and has Brisbane’s only swim up pool bar, which serves both cocktails and mocktails and smoothies for the health-conscious, which is very much in line with the Westin brand ethos.
I shower and change for dinner and after a cocktail by the pool – it’s about balance, right? - I head to the hotel’s signature restaurant Eden’s Table, which has both a paddock and ocean-to-plate focus.
We enjoy a seafood platter piled with prawns, Morton Bay Bugs, mussels, oysters and lobster tails followed by an Atlantic salmon dish and an assortment of treats from the Pastry Chef's trolley. The wine list has old and new labels as well as vegan and biodynamic options.
After my meal, I head upstairs and sip on a cup on Tavalon chamomile tea, which has been left in my suite along with a cranberry Sleep Well Muffin. A bottle of lavender balm has been placed beside my bed, which is said to help ease tension and promote rest. Looking at my bed, I doubt I will need much help in the sleep department, but I roll the balm onto my wrists anyway.
After a blissful sleep, I decide to skip the morning jog with the Westin’s Run Concierge, Rebecca Lloyd, who takes guests on a 5km run through Brisbane’s CBD. Instead, I opt for a poolside yoga class with resident teacher Fiamma who takes us through a beautiful flow class.
After a dip in the pool and a rain shower - yes, really - in my oversized bathroom, I enjoy a leisurely buffet breakfast at Eden’s Table, dining on fruit, scrambled eggs and fresh juice from The Juicery.
Re-energised, I am now ready to head back into the city – and real life – a whole lot more relaxed than when I arrived.