Pullman Brisbane Airport review: High-end hotel option for those stopping off in Brisbane

Our rating

4.5 out of 5

THE LOCATION

Just a 10-minute walk from the domestic terminal, the new five-star Pullman is a handy high-end option before heading off on another flight. A hotel shuttle is also available to the international airport. Being 20-minutes from Brisbane city, the hotel also serves as a convenient option for a Brisbane weekend stay. The area was formerly known as Cribb Island, where the Bee Gees come from (yes, Barry walked this hallowed turf).

THE SPACE

Opened in October last year, this is the first five-star option for an airport stay in Brisbane. The design is sleek, the lobby seamlessly leads to the bar featuring bartop wireless charging for phones, a handy invention; enabling a busy traveller to multitask while grabbing a drink. There are 132 rooms affording views of the airport, though currently the Ibis next door blocks views of take-offs and landings. Plane spotters should book a suite here when the new runway opens. And the good news is it's insulated so you can't hear the big birds above. There's a gym and an executive lounge onsite. The outdoor pool is a highlight, as is the poolside cabana with a remote-controlled sunroof.

THE ROOM

The colour palette in the rooms is muted (grey, olive and black); no splashes of bright colour here, it's strictly business. Rest was assured with an extremely comfortable king bed. The bathroom can be unshuttered to allow open plan but thankfully the toilet is in its own smoked glass cubicle. Bigelow products in the bathroom as well as Lindt balls at turndown are welcome treats, as is the Nespresso machine when the alarm goes off at 5am for a flight.

While there's no spa on site, a company called Rejuvenators can set up in your room. This reviewer booked a half-hour foot massage, a perfect spruce post flight.

THE FOOD

This is definitely not a bog standard airport hotel restaurant. Under executive chef Justin Zammit – who has worked in Michelin-starred restaurants and was most recently executive chef at QT Gold Coast – the 90-seat Apron (named for obvious reasons as well as the fact the hotel is on the apron of the airport) is a destination in itself.

"You sort of forget you're at an airport," says the relaxed chef, who serves up locally microfarm-sourced Moreton Bay bugs and oysters, and Schultz Farm suckling pig. He's right. Zammit wants Apron to be a restaurant that locals come to dine at, and the quality of the food definitely warrants this. He's fanatical about his produce. After dessert he offers up his latest concoction– camel milk ice-cream sourced from a local farm (creamy!).

Hotel manager Simon Schlegel is a wine buff who has personally chosen each bottle for the cellar, including some local drops from Sirromet Wines.

A la carte breakfast is served from 5.30am at Apron and in the Executive Lounge to ensure early morning commuters are fed.

STEPPING OUT

The obvious appeal is the proximity to the domestic terminal. It's likely the only stepping out will be into the outdoor 20-metre lap pool. Relatively close by, though, is a DFO factory outlet shopping centre. Next door at the Ibis, the Cribb Island Beach Club offers a nice atmosphere for a bite or drink. Brisbane city is a close 20-minute drive away.

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THE VERDICT

The Pullman Brisbane Airport is a handy high-end option for those stopping off in Brisbane, and a destination in itself with the cuisine and wine offerings at Apron restaurant.

ESSENTIALS

Rooms at Pullman Brisbane Airport start from $247 a night. Day rooms for those on extended layovers are also available. See pullmanhotels.com/pullman-brisbane-airport

HIGHLIGHT

After a refreshing dip in the pool, walking across the Skywalk to check in to your flight takes just 10 minutes.

LOWLIGHT

A splash of colour in soft furnishings, floral displays or artworks would be welcome to soften the corporate feel.

The writer stayed as a guest of Pullman Brisbane Airport.