On a busy strip of clubs, pubs and bars near the giant Suncorp Stadium sits this boutique (and soundproofed) jewel. By Alison Boleyn.
Caxton Street, Petrie Terrace, used to be a stretch of oversized nightspots and strip clubs splitting the inner city from more gentrified Paddington. It still is that but far more too, from The Caxton Hotel across the road (with, for the nostalgic, little Mr Fourex winking in neon) to the nearby Lefty’s Old Time Music Hall, where young rockabillies, hipsters and seasoned music lovers mingle among chandeliers and taxidermy in what used to be The Velvet Cigar gentlemen’s club. Gambaro Hotel sits chicly and proudly amongst all this and – it cannot be overemphasised – must have had its sound insulation developed by NASA.
The decor of the Paddington Room is masculine and restrained. There are no tricky design features, just a study in browns and woods with a low-lit ensuite bathroom (with shower cubicle) behind sliding, slatted wooden doors. A large desk sits next to the glass doors of the balcony so there’s plenty of natural light for working and an interesting view of the city when you’re not. And did we mention those balcony doors are double-glazed, to keep any hoots or caterwauls on Caxton Street from getting inside?
Location 33 Paxton Street, Petrie Terrace, Brisbane. From the hotel, it’s a five-minute walk to Suncorp Stadium, 15 minutes’ walk to the Paddington shops and a 19-minute walk to the Brisbane City Hall
Number of guestrooms 68 rooms, 49 with a private balcony
Check in/out 2pm/11am
Food and drink The Gambaro Seafood Restaurant is a Brisbane institution that opened in 1974 and was refurbished early in 2016; The Gambaro Group’s Black Hide Steakhouse Restaurant across the road is livelier with 12 different steaks on the menu and waitstaff who really understand meat. The MG Bar is a sports bar by night and the hotel’s breakfast venue, with excellent coffee, by morning.
Wellness Entry to the nearby Lang Park PCYC (and its group fitness classes) is complimentary. Guests can book in-room massages and beauty treatments (eyelash tint: $24).
Business facilities Six different meeting or function spaces within the hotel that cater for between 30 and 600 people, plus private dining rooms at Black Hide Steakhouse
Minibar 50ml bottle of Bundaberg Rum, $12; Herron Paracetamol, $4.50.
Water Two 600ml bottles of Peats Ridge still water are free
Pillow menu Six options, including the Luxury Goose Down Pillow and the Cervicalopedic Pillow
Bath There are tubs in the Suites and the Paddington Deluxe rooms
Bathrobe Two snow-white, terry-towelling standards; child-size on request
The housekeeping test Teabags, requested at 5am, were delivered by 5.05am
The concierge test Asked what time the boutiques in nearby Paddington typically opened on Sunday, the receptionist advised “9 or 10am”. More accurate would be 10am.
Amenities Appelles Black Label, which is made with organic essential oils
Room Service Available 24 hours
TV and movies Free to air, three Foxtel Sport channels and in-room movies from $14.95
Wi-fi Free throughout hotel
Price $144 - $1350. Prices can fluctuate depending on nearby events.
Ask for… Any room that overlooks Caxton Street; they offer an interesting view of Brisbane’s cityscape and eclectic nightlife.
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