Review: The Pullman, Brisbane Airport Hotel
TRIP Report: Christchurch/Auckland Points Run
- Status Credits Run: Sydney – Brisbane – Christchurch
- Introduction: Sydney-Brisbane-Christchurch – The best laid plans . . .
- Review: The Pullman, Brisbane Airport Hotel
This hotel stay was meant to be the first step in a longer Qantas status points run but got turned into a day trip to Brisbane for a business meeting and to catch up with family.
Brisbane has a bunch of new hotels, including a W, The Calile, The Emporium South Bank, an Ovolo, an Art Series hotel and a Westin. So much choice!
I eschewed all these temptations, and chose the Pullman because I would be overnighting between flights and it was:
- at the airport (I had an early flight back to Sydney)
- fairly new
- part of the Accor group
Booking and price
I booked the hotel via hotels.com, which is my preferred booking vehicle. They are part of the Expedia group which includes Orbitz, Wotif, and Trivago amongst others. Their prices are good, and you effectively get your 11th night free with their Hotels.com Rewards program.
Given the way hotels work their algorithm to maximise hotel room revenue against a range of criteria, its important to know how far in advance I booked, as well as the price. I booked in mid-August for a stay in late October 2018.
Location and Arrival
The hotel is a long walk from the domestic terminal, especially if you don’t quite know where it is, and take a slight detour. Let’s just say it took me a lot less time on the return journey from the hotel back to the terminal.
Essentially there is a different way of getting to the hotel entrance on foot from the airport than if you are driving there.
From the Airport, there is good signage to the hotel, and you take a series of walkways that first head you towards the carpark, and then take a left to the hotel. However, sometimes the signage is a little ambiguous, and so, trusting my eyes, rather than the signage, I took a wrong turn and gave myself a fascinating tour of the short term carpark. I then had to come back around to the hotel entrance.
I went straight (via a detour) to the hotel after my 1:30 pm flight arrived in Brisbane from Sydney. I had meetings in the city, so I just dumped my bags, freshened up, and was on my way.
The hotel is part of the development of Brisbane airport which in a few years time will include an additional runway. Two hotels were built adjacent to the domestic terminal, a Pullman (5 Star) and an Ibis (3.5 stars) both run by the Accor group.
The Pullman, opening in October 2017 is a 132 room hotel including 2 presidential suites and a bunch of junior suites and executive rooms. For what it’s worth it won Best Airport Hotel – Australia/Pacific 2019 from Skytrax.
This was fast and efficient, which given I was heading out again immediately, was a boon. Assistance later with checking the Uber meeting point for my transport was efficient, accurate, and engaging.
After check-in, I turned right to the lift foyer, and caught a lift to the 4th floor and on exit, turned slightly to my left to head towards Room 401.
The foyer overlooked the carpark – that by now, I was quite familiar with.
My room was at the car park end of the hotel, with an outlook towards the airport, but mainly occupied by the Ibis Hotel.
The room had two things I don’t like: a connecting door, and a bathroom with a window.
Fortunately, the window in this hotel bathroom was frosted.
Despite my dislike of windows into bathrooms, they do serve their purpose in providing natural light. Unfortunately, they also allow artificial light back into the bedroom, so you can happily disturb your partners sleep when you wake up and go for a piss in the middle of the night. Not a problem for me on this visit, as I had left the husband at home.
The bedroom was a good size, with correct height bedside tables, a comfortable sitting area (although another two throw cushions would have been nice), and the whole thing was decorated in what I have come to think of as contemporary hotel conservative modern. It’s modern, but on the conservative end of the spectrum, with a combination of dark wood punctuating the otherwise muted neutral tones, with some gold highlights. Oh, and a feature throw cushion!
Even though the outlook was not particularly distinctive, I loved the floor to ceiling windows, with white net and gold blackout curtains.
The palette was very neutral, despite the carpet having some blue highlights.
My preference for desks in hotel is ‘utilitarian’ – so a good adjustable swivel chair, and a desk, where an optical mouse works on the surface without a mouse mat.
I also like minimal marketing materials, a good light, phone and writing pad. I would have said ‘notepad’ but that sounds like a digital device these days.
Well, I got most of these, but not the adjustable swivel chair and the dark cloudy glass of the desk was only just adequate for an optical mouse.
Drawers are nice to dispose of the marketing materials, but this was not an option with this desk.
The bed had accessible powerpoints sufficient for most devices placed at a convenient level above both bedside tables. Hallelujah! This should be standard in every contemporary hotel built or refurbished since 2007 when the first iPhone came out, or certainly since 2010 – when iPad #1 was born – but it is in fact a rarity.
As I entered the room, the wardrobe was on the right, with the bathroom on the left.
The wardrobe had doors, and the usual hangers (propper ones, not theif proof), safe, bathrobes, ironing board (in separate compartment – there on the right) and iron.
Next to the wardrobe was the minibar, coffee machine and tea making facilities.
Coffee machine by DeLonghi, and coffee by Nespresso. Like with accessories, you can mix coffee and coffee equipment brands apparently.
Normally, I enjoy spending a little time in a hotel room – viewing it as a little haven, but this time, the room was very utilitarian. I spent about 10 minutes in it on arrival and then returned to it after my business meetings, and early dinner with family. I don’t think I even opened the minibar. In fact my only use of the facilities was to make a quick coffee the next morning. So no interior fridge shots.
The bathroom had a bath to the right of the entrance, single basin directly opposite to the door, with a shower and toilet to the left.
Hand towels were a little thin and past their prime, while larger towels were clean and fluffy. The room also had a shaving mirror, which I appreciate. None of us wants to see our pores at x10 size, but it does help with a thorough shave.
The side-by-side shower and toilet had frosted glass doors for privacy.
The shower consisted of a mounted handheld shower-head. No rain making shower fitting above. The door also came with its own sign about activating the exhaust. I am presuming those windows between the bedroom and the bathroom provide so much light, that some patrons find it unnecessary to turn on the overhead lights, and subsequently the exhaust fan – hence the hanging sign?
The toilet was compact. Very tall people may have a challenge between their knees and the glass door. It’s kinda tight.
I must admit that I am partial to a bath. I find it a refreshing way to unwind at the end of a long day. So if a hotel bathroom has a bath – as well as a shower, it is already punching above its weight in my opinion.
This bathroom had an actual bath. But with a spout and tap (faucet) located at the ‘foot’ end of the bath, which requires an amount of body contortion to access.
Having said that, the bath was nice and deep, and just long enough for me to have a quite enjoyable bath. Also, the bath was oriented correctly so that you could open the frosted glass doors into the bedroom, and see the TV screen. This is not always the case – believe me. Majestic Roof Garden Hotel take notice.
Although my preference is for double sinks and copious bench space, neither of which were present in this bathroom, the facilities were pleasant to use for this single guest. If there were two, it would have felt a bit cramped and inadequate.
Amenities are by C.O Bigelow – the oldest Apothecary in America. Pleasant, but apparently unmemorable – since I don’t remember the scent at all. Still they have been around since 1838, and they get food write-ups by people who profess to know about these things.
Public Areas – Bars, Restaurants & Gym
I have absolutely nothing to report here, as other than the entrance and lift foyer, I had no time to explore any other area.
It does have one. Its called ‘The Apron Restaurant & Bar’. Congrat’s on the airport themed naming.
It has a ‘fitness centre’ and a pool – but again I didn’t visit either on my one-night minimal stay.
This is a serviceable Pullman/Accor product. It is brand standard with comfortable decore that would offend no-one, but neither will it be winning any interior design awards.
Built in 2017, it retains its newness, and from my brief visit is well run with good facilities.
Oh dear, that summary sounds a little harsh and I don’t mean it to be. This is an above-average Airport hotel when I think of some of the ones I stayed at in South America, which had cleanliness, sound and plumbing issues.
If you were in Brisbane for a day and wanted to remain close to the airport but in comfort, this is a perfect choice. If proximity to the airport is not important, there are better choices in Brisbane. Especially given the crop of new hotel offerings.
Summary I often dread an Airport hotel – not this one – it's a hotel in the style of contemporary-hotel conservative modern.