The Westin Brisbane review: An urban retreat

Our rating

3.5 out of 5

THE PLACE

Renowned for its appeal to business travellers, The Westin Brisbane opened late in 2018 insists this hotel's more of an urban retreat than your everyday city hotel. Health and wellness is the focus; there's Westin's first Heavenly Spa in Australia, Brisbane's only swim-up bar; even a run concierge – a resident running buddy for guests keen to jog the best parts of the city.

THE LOCATION

There's really no better spot to be in Brisbane's CBD. Centrally positioned between the Queen Street Mall, the Botanical Gardens and the city's best offering of bars and restaurants at Eagle Street Pier, you're a five minute walk from everything.

THE SPACE

Design undertaken by Australian architectural firm Woods Bagot focuses on merging the outdoor surroundings with the interior décor by using floor-to-ceiling windows throughout. An open-plan lobby bar – (jazz bar, The Charles') which stretches out to the street – epitomises this overall feeling of openness.

THE ROOM

Loyal Westin guests won't feel estranged – there's a constraint to room design which won't offend even the most conservative business traveller. While there's an impressive collection of Brisbane-themed photographs and prints (Moreton Bay, Brisbane River, Kangaroo Point cliffs), sense and sensibility rules supreme.

THE FOOD

Don't miss out on locally sourced seafood at signature dining venue, Eden's Table. Watch your Hervey Bay scallops being seared, or your Moreton Bay Bugs boiled, in a live interactive kitchen. The burgers – which use Toowoomba's finest beef cattle – are worth a taste at the swim-up Nautilus Pool Bar.

STEPPING OUT

It's just five minutes walk to Brisbane CBD's swankiest night-life area, Eagle Street Pier. Get here at dusk as the city's movers and shakers gather for sundowners in bars and restaurants on top of the Brisbane River. It's a quick walk along the riverbank from here to the new Howard Smith Wharves – the city's newest riverside entertainment destination.

THE VERDICT

While its resort-style offerings impress, The Westin Brisbane still feels like a business traveller's hotel. Sure, there's stretch classes by the pool and a swim-up bar, but leisure travellers may feel hemmed in being surrounded by inner-city apartment buildings.

ESSENTIALS

Rooms from $249. 111 Mary Street, Brisbane. See www.westinbrisbane.com 

HIGHLIGHT

On a balmy summer evening, cocktails on the street at The Charles' Bar make you feel like you're an integral part of the Brisbane street scene.

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LOWLIGHT

Hotel rooms are spacious – but they feel formulaic. While guests aren't necessarily expecting the design quirks of W Brisbane across town, it'd be nice to break the mould… just a little.

Craig Tansley travelled courtesy of The Westin, Brisbane