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The appeal of the family ‘staycation’ is strong. It’s the easy peasy family holiday that’ll have your batteries recharged in just one weekend.

For me, Brisbane CBD is mostly a place of business meetings, over-priced car parking and traffic nightmares. But have you ever looked at Queensland’s capital city through rose-coloured holidaymaker glasses?

img_3932On a recent staycation at Rydges South Bank Brisbane, what our family discovered was a beautiful gem of a city, packed with adventures and more family fun than four people could squeeze into two days. Our accommodation couldn’t have been situated more perfectly for this two-night staycation. With all the options of South Bank right at our front door and then the CBD just a short stroll across Victoria Bridge, it was generally the winner of paper-scissors-rock who would decide which way our next walking adventure would take us – left (to the CBD) or right (to South Bank).

As well as position, Rydges oozes comfort. My tween-aged kids love nothing more than a hotel holiday and they’ve been on many around the world. If you gave them the choice of a theme park or a hotel, they’d choose cute mini toiletries, hotel slippers and room service any day of the week. While Rydges provided us with a staycation mindset and newly redesigned rooms (part of a $30 million revamp) filled with modern furnishings and fittings, our staycation location was still homely and welcoming – just like ‘home’ should be (even if just for two days!). With a balcony overlooking the city skyline and river, as well as the Wheel of Brisbane, we watched two glorious sunsets and even caught one sunrise, thus was our enthusiasm for cramming everything we could into the time we had!

img_3912When city shopping and CBD sightseeing tired our feet, we headed back to Rydges so the kids could enjoy a game of Marco Polo with their new-found friends in the hotel pool – and hubby and I could enjoy a quiet cider and hunger-busting gourmet snacks from the Soleil Pool Bar. In fact, food is another thing that Rydges does really well. Room service is a treat for mums on any staycation. Being able to simply pick up the phone and minutes later have restaurant-quality food delivered to your pyjama-clad tribe is a blissful night in. But what’s more blissful is getting the kids babysat for a few hours while you and your partner indulge in Rydges’ own Bacchus Restaurant down on the Podium level. Award winning and widely regarded as one of the city’s best, the Bacchus experience is hard to describe in just a few words. Exquisite food, passionate staff and an exciting, yet relaxing ambience make Bacchus a must-do on your Brisbane staycation bucket list. Actually, right at the top of that bucket should be a Baccus dessert – strawberry pannacotta, to be exact. Holy mother of magazine-picture-too-good-to-eat desserts. I’m not one to ever social media my food (we’ve all got enough of those friends, right?!) but this plate was more than social media worthy. I’d go so far as to say that it was one of the best dessert plates I’d ever smashed, In. My. Life. #bigcall

Between visits to the Queensland Museum, Queensland Art Gallery, GOMA (and its Children’s Art Centre), South Bank’s myriad of shops, restaurants and weekend markets as well as everything in the CBD – all walking distance from the hotel lobby – our staycation at Rydges was filled to the absolute brim. It was the perfect choice for our family and we look forward to enjoying more regular holidays in our own backyard now that we’ve all been bitten by the staycation bug.

Visit www.rydges.com

Staycation (noun): a vacation spent in one’s home country, rather than abroad, or one spent at home and involving day trips to local attractions.

Belinda Glindemann

Belinda Glindemann  

Belinda knew she was destined for a career in communications and publishing from the age of 11 when her Year 6 teacher introduced her to poster projects and glitter pens. She completed her journalism cadetship in the Whitsundays and went on to hold various newspaper and magazine editor roles across Brisbane in a media career spanning more than a decade. When Belinda's not writing for haven, she runs her own PR agency, kid-wrangles two young daughters and drinks way too much sweet tea.