I am a marketing and communications consultant and freelance writer. Living on the Gold Coast in Australia. Check out my website www.sarahsays.com.au or follow on Twitter @WENGoldCoast
Published October 8th 2014
More Than Just A Hotel?
I have just come back from a one night stay at Hotel Urban Brisbane and I have to say I was massively impressed - I believe it is the best place I have stayed in Brisbane so far. Their tag line is "more than a hotel", so what does that mean, and how do they do it?
Where is it?
Located on Wickham Terrace, the hotel is directly across the road from the beautiful Roma Street Parklands and just 5 minutes walk to Queen Street Mall and the Brisbane CBD which offers loads of dining, entertainment and shopping. You are looking at around 20 minutes walk across the Victoria Bridge, to enjoy the cultural and entertainment district of South Bank. Transport wise you are well connected also, with it being just 10-minutes walk to Central Station and Roma Street Station, which has direct links to Brisbane Airport and the Gold Coast. Plus, the free Brisbane City Loop Bus stops right outside the hotel. So, whether sport, socialising or shopping, you are right in the heart of the action.
Arrival and check-in was simple and took just a few minutes - no forms, waiting or deposits, just a swipe of a card and that was pretty much it. We were given a pass for the private car park ($15 for 24 hours) and given the keys for the room. The lady checking us in was professional, yet casual and chatty, which I really liked, plus she upgraded us to a king room and gave me a free bottle of wine - a very good start.
Lobby and Reception
What are the rooms like?
We were upgraded to a king room which was excellent, each room, although not huge, comes with everything you need, complete with a few extra touches of things you would like. Every room has a private balcony or terrace, ours looked out onto the Brisbane skyline, which was very impressive. They all have air conditioning, cable TV, a minibar, bathroom with shower, tea and coffee making, free toiletries, hairdryer, desk, reclining chair and table, balcony seating, ironing board and lovely fluffy robes and slippers.
They have room service which is available from 6am to 10pm daily - which we sampled after a few drinks, just before 10 and the food was great and well presented, even though it was just before they were due to finish. Plus the beds, which are their signature Urban Snorer beds, are extremely comfy, with crisp white clean sheets and full pillows.
We paid $139 for the room, but it varies based on when you book and what night. You can see their package deals here. Plus they have lots of promotions and deals, so it's worth checking their website.
What facilities do they have?
They have a large outdoor Pool and Spa surrounded by a funky colourful sun deck with relaxing gazebos and sun lounges. If you are fitness inclined then they have a 24-hour gymnasium, affectionally known as "jim" and a business centre in reception with free computer and printer access. The lobby has loads of comfy seating areas where you can sit with a coffee and relax, and take in the buzz of the reception area - an excellent place for people watching.
Amazing pool and decking
Relax in one of the gazebos
They have a private car park but it's is possibly the worst aspect of the hotel, as there are pillars galore, which even for a small car, like what we have, it was really tough to navigate around. I'm not sure how large cars would cope.
What is the restaurant and bar like?
The restaurant and bar area with lots of indoor seating, and a large terrace overlooking Roma Street Parklands, is for both hotel guests and the public. It is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner and takes its culinary influences from Asia and Europe. Apparently a local favourite, and I can see why, as you have a great menu, loads of different seating, high and low, where you can take in the Brisbane City air. I loved the chic subtle decor, and the comfy seats and friendly staff. We didn't eat there but we had a few drinks in the bar, and although only 6pm, there was already a great atmosphere.
Restaurant and Bar area
What makes it "more than a hotel"?
I guess when you really like somewhere, it isn't just one thing that makes it stand out. For me, the little touches are what makes it "more" than a hotel. The humorous, but true, message on the slippers, the free wine and upgrade, the friendly staff, the extra benefits like the robes and free perfumes on reception, and that you can buy the bedding, so you can take a little bit of the comfort home with you.
Very wise slippers
Free perfume on reception
What else makes it "more" - well it offers a full restaurant and bar, it caters for weddings and parties, plus business meetings and corporate events. But what I really like is that although it is extremely professional and everything is done to a high standard, it doesn't take it's self too seriously. It has fun cheeky messages on things around the rooms and hotel, one of my favourites was the self deprecating "award" they have given themselves for "worst car-park".