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ACCOR HOTELS, BRISBANE

Brisbane is quickly emerging as a hub that is on the rise. Hip chefs, international acts and modern art are all making their way to the sunny city and along with them comes a diverse range of travellers. So we checked out what the AccorHotels group has on offer for the capital of the Sunshine State.

PULLMAN, KING GEORGE SQUARE

Nestled in a corporate hub, the Pullman is an understated oasis in the thick of the action. A quick stroll and you're at the main street mall. Take a few steps the other way and you're at the bridge heading to the Queensland Gallery of Modern Art.

Service at the Pullman is top notch and runs like a well oiled machine. Staff are impeccably mannered and generously helpful, which seems to go down well with the younger generation corporate travellers and asian visitors.

Rooms are clean and modern without being fussy and the Spa Suites have separate lounge and dining areas with a luxe, oversized bathroom if you're looking to do an extended stay.

Dining has been revamped by Sydney Chef Justin North (Becasse, Hotel Centennial) to include a signature "Tapastry" menu in addition to the regular offerings. Locally sourced produce is highlighted in small dishes designed for sharing, such as high country pork croquettes and melt in your mouth spiced lamb ribs. Paired with matching wines, it's gives travellers a taste of the region without having to leave the hotel.

The Pullman hotel has really revamped business traveller accommodation. With 210 designer appointed rooms, a sophisticated restaurant and a prime location, it's extending itself beyond the corporate guest.

Recommended for: Discerning business travellers, extended stay tourists.
Room pick: Spa Suite.
Rates from: $180 p/n.


THE NEW INCHCOLM HOTEL AND SUITES, BRISBANE

Part of AccorHotels M Gallery collection, The New Inchcolm occupies a historic building in the heart of Brisbane. Formerly a grand private home, The New Inchcolm has retained much of it's heritage with its design. High ceilings and vintage elevators are finished with modern elegant touches, offering boutique luxury for the discerning guest.

Rooms, in particular the loft suites, are spacious and plush. Sinking in to the king beds, with ceiling to floor windows, it's tough to think about leaving the room. Padded armoires are filled with nespresso machines and gourmet snacks, which don't go astray when lounging downstairs in the loft.

Award winning restaurant Thomson's Reserve is located at the entrance within The New Inchcolm and it is fully booked, even on a Tuesday night. Two and Three course menu options are available and each dish is stunning. Duck breast is tea smoked to perfection and a side of truffled potato mousseline is lighter than whipped cream. A milk chocolate cremeaux with salted caramel and malt finishes the night on a sweet high.

If you're looking for something unique in Brisbane city, The New Inchcolm has it covered. From a gorgeous historic building, to light filled rooms and stand out dining it's an intimate escape for the fussy traveller.

Recommended for: Couples, designers, foodies. Those looking to get away from large scale hotels.
Room pick: Loft suite.
Rates from: $210 p/n.


NOVOTEL, BRISBANE

Most travellers would have stayed at a Novotel at some point during their journeys and are probably familiar with it's offerings. Reliably clean and comfortable, it's great to see a hotel like Novotel shaking things up for it's loyal guest base.

Checking in to Novotel Brisbane, located on the edge of the city's CBD, the lobby is a busy hub for it's guests. An open lounge serving drinks and snacks flows on to a slick work station with new Apple desktop computers. Connected is a play area for kids which is kitted out with endless hours of entertainment.

Rooms are fresh and functional, accented with contemporary touches. Minimal without being sterile, the beds are comfy and the layout works well throughout the lounging area, workstation and outdoor space if you're in a Premier Balcony Room.

What's really interesting is Novotel's commitment to health and fitness. There's a state of the art gym and pool centre or if you're feeling lazy you can get your inner yogi flowing with on demand videos available on your TV. Pro surfer Sally Fitzgibbons has also been brought on to create a unique menu of health conscious meals. Grilled chicken with guacamole and baby corn was unbelievably fresh and delicious - almost too good to feel healthy.

Novotel Brisbane has really upped their game. Their unique healthy balance approach and facilities to cater to a variety of guests needs means it's continues to be a solid choice for both business and family travellers alike.

Recommended for: Families, low fuss business travellers.
Room pick: Premier Balcony Room
Rates from: $159 p/n.

 

I travelled and stayed courtesy of AccorHotels.
http://accorhotels.com.au

THE PLAYFORD, ADELAIDE

It's been some time since I've been to Adelaide and I had heard it was no longer the sleepy town of days gone by but a rapidly changing cosmopolitan hub for food and sport.

So, what's happening in the hotel scene? I was looking for something different from the same old regulars and stumbled upon AccorHotel's boutique outlet, M Gallery. Their Adelaide property, The Playford, sits right in the hub of Adelaide's tourism centre and is a short stroll to the casino, river and restaurants.

Checking in to a grand entrance, the decor is warm and classic, with sweeping staircases and chandeliers dotted around the lobby.

My room, on the first floor, has direct access to a private courtyard. Sitting in the sun with the water fountain trickling in the background and sampling local wine from the Barossa Valley, it was the perfect place to spend an afternoon.

The rooms are classic, with plush furniture and heavy curtains. It's comfortable and the tiled floors provide some cold respite from Adelaide's heat. The bathroom, which has a shower over bath, is decked out in granite and stocked with Appelles amenities.

The downstairs restaurant is the heartbeat of the hotel. Adjoining the lounge, it serves up one of the better buffet breakfasts going around. Artisinal yoghurt, interesting varieties of fruit and coconut water is on hand for the fussiest of health freaks. Those with traditional taste buds will be pleased to find bacon, mushrooms and eggs that are fresh and full of flavour.

Dinner is a top notch affair, with The Playford restaurant being renowned for its elegant modern cuisine. Kingfish sashimi is delicately balanced with a citrus dressing and fennel. Less successful is the gnocchi gorgonzola with shards of brittle that cuts the mouth and is overpoweringly sweet.

The standout comes at the end with a traditional line of desserts and a chocolate experience plate. Milk, white and dark chocolate is tempered perfectly and various casings are filled with mousse and coulis, bursting with indulgence. I'd visit again just for that dish.

A few minutes walk and I could be at the cricket or the Elton John concert, without the hassle of traffic or finding a taxi. And on a weekend away to South Australia, The Playford seems the right spot to shack up.

CHECKING-OUT DEBRIEF
FEEL: Classically grand.
WIFI: Yes, complimentary.
RATES: Starting from $155 AUD. Breakfast packages available.
CHILDREN: Yes.
IN-ROOM: Shower over bath tub, TV, writing desk, arm chairs, king bed.
 

I stayed as a guest of AccorHotels and The Playford.