The Grand Chancellor Hotel, affectionately known as ‘The Sugar Shaker’, is a great value for money hotel in just the right location, but don’t bother spending the extra for a 1-bedroom apartment.
You’ll find the location is awesome, right on the happening Flinders Street, directly opposite the Cowboys Leagues Club and just a hop, skip and a jump across the foot bridge to Palmer Street lined with restaurants and bars. On Sunday mornings Flinders Street transforms into a market and The Sugar Shaker is right in the middle of the action.
The hotel restaurant and bar are also worth patronising. The bar offers happy hours and does a good line in bar food to nibble on while sitting in the comfy lounges and sipping your wine. The restaurant is open for dinner and breakfast. The evening menu has recently reduced, but the quality was still good. The buffet breakfast is excellent with the full range that you’d expect, including house made baked beans and gorgeous pastries, still warm from the oven.
I’ve stayed here several times and found the hotel rooms above decent with a mini bar and robes, but most recently I splashed out and tried a 1-bedroom apartment and was disappointed. Overall it was good, clean and comfortable, but for some reason there was no mini bar in the kitchenette and no robes. These are only minor gripes, but worth mentioning given that you pay extra for this type of room. The other thing that irked me was the shower door. In a flaw of engineering the shower door opened inwards through the stream of water. Once you’re in you then have to manoeuvre around the door to close it, ricocheting water haphazardly as it hits the closing door. Obviously, they should have selected a sliding door, but whoever oversaw these decisions didn’t think it through.
Had I not had the 1-bedroom apartment experience I would not hesitate to recommend this hotel. I still do recommend it, but suggest you stick to the hotel room type.
Townsville is a short ferry ride to Magnetic Island, definitely worth a day trip, or if you’ve got time, stay for a month. Check out this article