If you live in the Northern Rivers chances are you’re going to fly into or out of Brisbane at some point. On behalf of our readers, Verandah Magazine’s Georgina Bible explores the Novotel Hotel – and finds it a perfect spot for preparation or recuperation…
Due to flight scheduling for a recent overseas trip, I needed to stay near the airport in Brisbane for two nights, one pre-flight and one post flight and decided to book a room at the Novotel Brisbane Airport for its location – it’s the only hotel located in the Brisbane Airport precinct. But I admit it was with certainly reservations – with sterile lobbies, generic furniture and underwhelming room service food still lingering in the memory, the last place I wanted to start or end a holiday was in another high turnover hotel room near an airport. I needn’t have worried.
The appeal of the Novotel begins in the lobby with its vast, light-filled space completed by a huge atrium style roof that extends six floors. Check-in is friendly and efficient and there is a screen above the reception desk showing live flight information. Opening onto the lobby is the Catalina Restaurant – a large space with an open kitchen – and a 24-hour business centre.
The Novotel features standard rooms, premier rooms and executive suites. I booked a standard king room – the décor is stylish with its warm blend of earth tones accentuated with bright coloured pillows and black and white photography. The bed is enormous and there’s a pillow menu for those who prefer a choice. The room features a large flat screen TV with cable channels, a couch, coffee table and desk, as well as complimentary tea and coffee. The bathroom feels sleek with its over-sized white tiles, marble topped vanity and timber finishes. I slept well on both stays – the double glazing on the windows keeping out noise from the airport and nearby road.
The only downside was the cost of the Wi-Fi, $12.50 for 2 hours or $24.95 per 24 hours. The room also lacks a bathtub, but the rooftop relaxation terrace was the perfect antidote for a tired body. The heated swimming pool is stunning, featuring deep glass windows and views across Brisbane. A gym and sauna is also located on the roof – the gym is open 24 hours, perfect for weary travellers arriving at all hours of the day and night.
For my pre-flight stay, I chose to eat at the Catalina Restaurant, which features modern Australian cuisine and a stylish bar with separate lounge area. The Atlantic salmon, pickled potato salad, wilted Asian greens ($33), did not disappoint. I followed it with the French apple tart, lavender ice cream, honeycomb, vanilla crème anglaise ($15), perfect for those with a super-sweet tooth.
My flight back to Brisbane arrived late but I was able to catch the hotel shuttle, available at limited times morning and evening with a $5 charge (cash only). Check-in was once again seamless but with jetlag creeping in, I decided to choose something from the room service menu for both dinner and breakfast the following morning. The entrée sized pan fried potato gnocchi with asparagus, walnuts, mushrooms and cherry tomatoes ($19) was just the right amount before going to bed. I woke up in a stupor of jetlag but knowing that breakfast was being delivered to my room was as much of a relief as the actual breakfast. I settled on field mushrooms with sourdough bread ($11.50) with freshly squeezed orange juice ($7.50), which turned out to be a bit of a jetlag cure.
The Novotel hits all the right notes – comfortable, clean rooms, decent food and enough distractions to while away the hours before a big flight, making it an ideal place for anyone needing to stay near Brisbane Airport.
Georgina Bible stayed at the hotel at her own expense.
The Novotel Brisbane Airport is located at 6-8 The Circuit, Brisbane Airport, Queensland. The hotel is 2.6km from Brisbane International and 4.8km from Brisbane Domestic. For more details, phone (07) 31753100 or visit novotelbrisbaneairport.com.au Standard Twin/King Room start from $259 per night but are subject to seasonal variation – check with the hotel.
Highlights: Don’t miss the stunning roof top swimming pool or the nearby Direct Factory Outlet, featuring more than 120 brands from Australia and around the world.