Long island iced teas and an infinity pool with sweeping views across our capital – Sarah Blinco shares where you can live the high life for a night in Fortitude Valley
I’m struggling to write this piece – my brain has switched off. It’s not because I’m uninspired, but rather, relaxed, for once. Unwinding doesn’t come so naturally to me, and I’m sure you get it. There’s always a lot to do and deal with and very little time to catch up. Self-care though, they say, is critical in 2020. I’ve found inspiration to pursue it, unexpectedly, surrounded by big city busy-ness. As I sit in the sunshine overlooking Brisbane, traffic on the highways and river is in full flight. Everyone is rushing about on their day. But, for me here on the 31st floor rooftop with a pool all to myself and watching the world go by, it’s bliss. And we only need a little bliss to propel positive change in our lives.
I’d been encouraged to explore FV by Peppers in Brisbane – in particular, the third tower (Forester Hall and No. 1 Apartments) of the residential and hotel development that was opened late last year, signing-off the completion of the $600 million three tower development on Alfred Street. The building encompasses Brisbane’s heritage-listed Forester’s Hall, and the clever combination of old and new really is striking. The place has character, it’s not sterile. From the contemporary suites housing the business club (great if you need to fit in a spot of work or meetings), to Foresters chic restaurant and rooftop bar, the public gardens and areas designed to nurture peace of mind, it’s a place you’ll want to call home.
On that note, if the exclusive outdoor areas weren’t so inviting, it is very tempting to stay inside. Our smartly designed one-bedroom apartment was inviting, stylish and homely in equal measure. If there’s more of you than just two, larger apartments are on offer, and they feature the same excellent amenities as our room. The kitchen is stocked with everything shiny and new that you need to cook delicious meals if you do choose to stay in, and a dishwasher to save your precious time. The bedroom can be closed off to unwanted light spilling in at any time of day, and the separate lounge boasts a large flat screen tele with a great selection of free movies. A laundry was tucked in there too, and nice bathroom. I particularly loved the layout of our room on floor P2, and the brick feature wall with large windows looking out to the city. We did begin to imagine what it might be like to settle in for much longer than a weekend!
FV by Peppers is positioned within an easy stroll of the Fortitude Valley train station, should you be tempted to pop into the Queen Street Mall for retail therapy (a mere few minutes on the train); and right in the middle of all the multicultural foodie temptations that the Valley has to offer, especially in Chinatown. A special mention on the dining options here though – breakfast was delicious, served in Foresters Restaurant, and just what we needed after indulging in some very good cocktails in the same spot the night before.
Back to my point on self-care though – you can choose to make a thing of it here. Luxury and comfort details in your room, the feel of sophistication and everything smelling new and pretty, means you can unwind quickly without even trying. There’s a Yoga studio here too! Numerous pool spaces like the rooftop mentioned, and another indulgent 65-metre U-shaped outdoor heated pool on level six of the neighbouring Flatiron Building, BBQ areas and a variety of views all help to keep the senses curious. You can even hire the 20-person cinema. The gym, well, it’s state of the art – not just a couple of treadmills and small selection of weights – this is big, bold, with plenty of options. It’s the type of gym even non-gym people (me) are inspired to spend some time in.
If I’m entirely honest though, my partner spent more time there than I did. Rather, I was drawn to the VIP spa lounges available to hire for up to four hours. Don’t like sharing? No problem – laze about in these large private rooms that include day beds, bar and dining area, television and a big spa with city views. Invite whoever you like, but I’d suggest keeping it intimate. Other people make too much noise anyway. Find out more, peppers.com.au.