Marriott Hotel, Brisbane review

Read our writer's views on this property below

Marriott Brisbane is a building most locals see, but not too many visit. Simon Holt goes inside.

Marriott Brisbane is a building most locals see, but not too many visit. Simon Holt goes inside.

THE SETTING

Marriott Brisbane is neatly positioned by the Story Bridge, between the city and Fortitude Valley. It's also well within walking distance of Eagle St restaurants, cafes and bars which makes for a good night out.

THE SPACE

The pool area, although not overly large, is neatly decked out. The hotel is trying to appeal to locals by making the weekends a more festive environment. A few canapés and a drink cart isn't quite the same as full poolside service at a beach resort, but it's a nice way to spend an afternoon. There's an executive lounge for those who can upgrade, a beauty shop, and a small library. The lobby is classic architecture.

THE KIT

If you're staying in the city, it's not the room that you've come for. But cleanliness is important and that's usually one advantage of staying with a major chain. Beds are large, soft and have plenty of pillows. There's a chair in the corner, and regular size television. Bathrooms are a good size. The hotel is 28 storeys so if you can get one of the higher floors, the view is terrific – either of the Story Bridge and Brisbane River, or of the Sunshine Coast hinterland.

COMFORT FACTOR

The Marriott chain provides itself on service, and here is no exception. If you're on an executive level floor, it's nice to be able to overlook the city with a coffee at any time of day. As per most lounges, there are pre-dinner canapés and drinks. Alternatively, at street level, there's the restaurant and outdoor dining area which is equally handy for a reasonably-priced lunch. Locals seem to have embraced the Grab 'n Go breakfast concept of a morning.

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FOOD

Motion Bar and Grill has friendly service, and portions are extremely generous. Try the chilli crab which equates to a little over three crabs in a very large bowl – staff assure there aren't many guests who make their way through the whole thing. It's one of the few restaurants in town which has four vegan options. Unlike some other city hotel restaurants, it's not over-priced – mains from $20-$40. Those who don't order the crab might make their way to dessert, and there's an option of Lindt profiteroles or pecan Bavarian pie with Baileys cream. The open kitchen is always welcome, and there are indoor or outdoor table options. Breakfast is in the same restaurant, and is one of the better spreads in the city – a great choice of smoothies, yogurts and fruit from the fridge, and hot options from the buffet. It's $35 if not included in the room rate.

WORTH STEPPING OUT FOR

With the Valley 15 minutes' walk one way, and the city 15 minutes the other, there are options aplenty. However, perhaps for lunch or dinner, Eagle St Pier is a great way to spend some time. Find a riverfront bar, restaurant or café, and pull up a seat. It's where Brisbane's celebrities hang out, and for good reason. Matt Moran's Boathouse and Aria, George Gregan has stepped into One One One, and a high portion of the city's hatted restaurants are in this area, including Esquire and Sake. It's one part of town where foodies are spoilt for choice.

THE VERDICT

Create an excuse to get out of the house, and hunt down a weekend bargain. They're certainly out there. City hotels are constantly battling to find ways to attract locals on weekends. That means locals are in the box seat. With rates from $179, and packages with high tea or a bottle of Moet, it's worth keeping an eye on what's available and taking advantage of the one which suits. No special occasion required.

HOW TO GET THERE

At the Valley end of George St, if you're driving, head around the back and pull into the valet. If $50 parking is a bit steep, public transport heads into the city. Given that the city hospitality is the main attraction, a car isn't a great advantage.

ESSENTIALS

Marriott Brisbane, 515 Queen St, Brisbane. Given that the Marriott is primarily a business hotel, the real bargains are to be had at weekends. Regular rooms start at $199/night with a two-night minimum, and around $314 for an executive-level room. If driving, factor in a $50 parking fee. Phone 07 3303 8000, see marriott.com.au/hotels/travel/bnedt-brisbane-marriott-hotel/