Hotel pools can be a deal maker or breaker. A water baby at heart, whether staying at an uber luxe tropical resort, a city hotel or bedding down temporarily at a convenient airport hotel the first thing I ask is ‘is there a pool?’ Immersing myself in water is an instant reviver regardless of how far I’ve travelled prior to checking in.
So when I saw the outdoor heated rooftop pool at the end of the corridor after checking into Novotel Brisbane Airport I was sold. Lit up at night with cobalt blue lights it’s a major feature on the fifth floor overlooking the airport precinct, taking full advantage of Brisbane’s balmy climate. Glass underwater panels add a touch of cool. During my visit a mother was battling to entice her kids out of the pool who kept duck diving, teasing her with their underwater antics.
Adjacent there’s a gym with glass walls allowing in plenty of natural light equipped with quality treadmill, bike, rowing machine and stepper plus free weights. There’s also a sauna with ample supply of clean fluffy towels. Dotted around between pool and gym are seats that make the whole area a pleasant place to chill out and enjoy a non-air-conditioned space.
But what I like most about this hotel is its convenient airport location. You wouldn’t stay here if you weren’t coming to or from Brisbane Airport. But if you do find yourself in transit, Novotel Brisbane Airport is a fabulous overnight option to refresh and recharge before travelling onwards. The splendid pool plays a big part in easing weary travellers – make sure you pack your swimmers (and a sealable plastic bag to stash them in during your ownward journey).
Rooms: 157 rooms starting with Standard Twin and Standard King, Premier Room, Executive Suite and Accessible Room (wheelchair friendly).
My room: (Standard King Room) Block out curtains and double glazing are a given at any self-respecting airport hotel and Novotel doesn’t disappoint. The curtains are so effective darkness is absolute when drawn. There’s an electronic safe, minibar with all the usual suspects, Dilmah tea and decent sized coffee mugs. I really don’t like those silly teacup that are so tiny the tea is cold before the bag has had time to infuse.
I was a little spoilt with a cute little box of fine chocolates on arrival. But it was Easter Sunday when I checked in (any excuse for chocolate indulgence, right?).
Rooms are modern and uncluttered with plenty of space for a couple of suitcases and carry-on bags to be strewn about (I’d like to say I’m super tidy when travelling but there is usually little time for such niceties, particularly when in transit). Feature walls in dark colours hung with modern art prints create a subdued comfortable vibe that’s not quite luxurious, rather more comfortable, but is beyond ordinary.
Splendid: Twin reading lights on flexible arms mounted on bedhead. Huge work desk with power points sensibly located at desk top (not on floor!). Crisp linen and fluffy doona
Adequate: Air-conditioning temperature was hard to get right
Could do Better: additional fee for in room Wi-Fi
Splendid: Large step-through shower. Spacious with good lighting and fluffy towels
Adequate: Natural light thanks to frosted glass corner panels
Could do Better: Hairdryer was not quite up to speed
Downstairs adjacent to the lobby Catalina Bar and Restaurant provides sustenance with snacks on offer all day if you arrive ravenous in between main meals. Or you could always opt for the 24 hour room service menu.
Seven meeting rooms with all business services are available. Plus for families there’s a kids play area and babysitting available on request, as well as the aforementioned pool gym and sauna.
IF YOU GO
Nearby: DFO Shopping Centre is next door with supermarket and retail outlets. Brisbane CBD is approx. 20 – 30 mins away by taxi (depending on traffic). Doomben and Eagle Farm Racecourses are approx 5km away.
Getting there: Brisbane Airport is five minutes away to the international terminal and ten minutes to domestic terminal. Get there by hotel shuttle for $5 each way, Airport TBus or almost $20 in a taxi.
Couples will love: King beds and showers big enough for two. Ask for a room with a bathtub if you’re the soaking type.
Families will love: Standard rooms can sleep up to two adults and two children. In house movie channels. Babysitting on request.
Thumbs up: Rooftop lap pool
Thumbs down: in room Wi-Fi charges (Australia is way behind the rest of the world – even developing countries include complimentary in room Wi-fi)
Rates: Starting from AUD249 room only or AUD293 B&B
Web: Novotel Brisbane Airport
Address: 6 – 8 The Circuit Brisbane Airport
Verdict: Highly recommended
Fiona Harper was a guest of Novotel Brisbane Airport