The Brisbane Marriott Hotel Family Accommodation
The effort involved in packing the kids, suitcases, toys, books, travel games and activities, snacks, and all of their other holiday ‘must-haves’ (not to mention the kitchen sink!) into the car just to have a weekend out of town really can put a dampener on the excitement of a trip away. Let’s face it—some kids just don’t enjoy being in the car and this can make for a truly unenjoyable start to any holiday. If you’re one of those families, or you’re just looking for a short stay and a change of scenery for a night or two of relaxation, then a staycation in Brisbane might be just the thing for you! Equally if you are heading here for a stopover or holiday then this would be a wonderful place to make your base.
Checking in to the Brisbane Marriott Hotel
We were recently invited to spend a Saturday night at the Brisbane Marriott hotel to experience everything they have to offer and to determine just how suitable it is for families. And we were seriously impressed. To put it out there, driving and parking in the Brisbane CBD can be a type of cruel punishment for parents with kids in tow. This is where the Marriott scores its first point—valet parking! The entrance to the porte-cochère for valet parking is located in a quiet back street behind the hotel itself (Howard Street). This entry point, coupled with the hotel’s location at the northern end of the CBD, means there is no need to negotiate inner city traffic before checking in for your staycation.
Incredible Marriott Service
Throughout our entire stay at the Brisbane Marriott we were repeatedly impressed by the friendliness of each and every staff member we encountered. The genuine attentiveness from staff, from the Concierge who struck up a conversation with our Brisbane Kids as we checked in, to the hotel staff we passed by in the hallways who always smiled and said hello, made us feel welcome, relaxed and asked if we could ask for assistance at any time without a hassle. As a mum, this really was a big plus for me, as I often feel like the kids get to enjoy themselves on holidays, but I often don’t unwind quite enough. At the Brisbane Marriott, I really felt like the kids were welcome and therefore nobody would complain about them doing the things that kids do, like making a bit of noise or rushing to press the lift buttons before anyone else.
Accommodation at the Brisbane Marriott
The Marriott in Brisbane offers a range of rooms to suit all types of travellers. We checked into a deluxe room with two plush double beds, though rooms with one luxurious king-sized bed are also available. Interconnecting rooms can be reserved by families with larger sleeping requirements. When you book, you can also choose from a River View or City View room, each providing stunning views of Brisbane, particularly at night. All rooms have both a full sized bath and a sizable separate shower cubicle, which is a major win for families at bath time—there’s nothing worse than washing a squirming toddler in the shower when she just wants to watch Spongebob in a bathrobe from the comfort of her huge Marriott bed! Read on for a great discount family offer from the Brisbane Marriott.
Deluxe accommodation on the executive levels (floors 25 to 28) include access to the Executive Lounge on level 26. The lounge features complimentary computer access with free printers, serve-yourself automatic coffee and hot chocolate machine, fruit and soft drinks. In the evenings the lounge serves complimentary cocktails and canapes, and in the mornings a slightly scaled-down version of the Motions Bar & Grill buffet breakfast is also available. The Executive Lounge was another place where we felt welcome with kids, and they adored munching on their complimentary crunchy apples whilst taking in the river views.
Places to explore with kids in the Brisbane CBD when staying at the Brisbane Marriott
In general conversation the Brisbane CBD definitely wouldn’t necessarily rate highly on many people’s lists of kid-friendly destinations, but, surprisingly, we found SO many fun things to do. Our Brisbane Kids found it especially exciting because we don’t visit the city with them that often. Firstly, we jumped aboard a FREE City Hopper ferry at Eagle Street Pier ferry stop (NOT the City Cat stop, this one is further up the river when walking along Riverside from the Marriott). The City Hopper stops at several CBD ferry terminals, including North Quay and the Queensland Maritime Museum. We decided to disembark at the Southbank 3 stop and walk along the riverfront to the Cultural Centre, passing by the extremely popular Southbank Aquativity and Streets Beach. On a hot weekend in the school holidays, this area was buzzing with happy locals and tourists enjoying the sunshine and cool water.
A few of Brisbane’s best kid-friendly venues are located in the Cultural Centre precinct—the Queensland Performing Arts Centre, the Queensland Museum, The Sciencentre (great for toddlers too!), The State Library of Queensland, and The Queensland Art Gallery and GOMA. Each of these venues feature events aimed at kids of varying ages almost all year round many with free entry. We decided upon the Sciencentre for this visit (which does have a fee for entry), checking out the Humanoid Discovery exhibition, which runs until 12th July 2015. Our girls both loved the interactive exhibits and spent ages exploring the different activities to learn more about the workings of the human body.
We finished our city and South Bank expedition with a speedy ride on the CityCat back to Eagle Street Pier, where it was only a short walk back to the hotel for a relaxing dip in the 4th floor swimming pool while we took in the amazing city and Story Bridge views.
Brisbane Marriott High Tea
As an indulgent treat to celebrate the last weekend of the Summer school holidays, we booked high tea poolside on level 4 of the Brisbane Marriott on the afternoon of our stay. We were treated to so many goodies that we simply couldn’t finish—sparkling wine (orange juice for the kids), dainty sandwiches with lots of different fresh fillings, petit cakes and pastries, delicious just-baked scones with jam and cream, and of course tea and coffee. Our Brisbane Kids felt very fancy and tried almost everything, but didn’t even come close to finishing it all—it was truly decadent! For a more authentic experience, high tea is also available in the Motions Bar & Grill on the lobby level.
Dining at Motions Bar & Grill
Motions Bar & Grill covers all meal options for Brisbane Marriott guests (and non-guests too). We dined here for both dinner and breakfast during our stay. The restaurant was casual enough that we didn’t feel that our kids were disturbing anyone, whilst the food made us feel like we were being treated to a fine dining night out. For dinner there were plenty of high-quality and healthy meal options on the kids’ menu, such as Cheesy Macaroni, Mini Cheeseburgers or Pizza, or even a fresh Baby Cos Salad. The meals were some of the best we’ve tasted when dining out in Brisbane recently—perfectly cooked lamb and juicy eye fillet steak done to perfection. Unfortunately, after our mid-afternoon high tea indulgence, there was just no room for dessert, however these looked mouth-wateringly amazing also.
The Marriott Buffet Breakfast
After a great night’s sleep in our fluffy beds, we enjoyed the ultimate buffet breakfast, again in the Motions Bar & Grill. We helped ourselves to cereals, fresh fruits (you can make your own juice combo!), pastries, breads and scrumptious hot foods from the buffet. Coffee and tea was made to order, as was our choice of pancakes (banana, blueberry or plain, and with or without icecream), waffles (again plain or with fruit and icecream) and eggs. We were impressed by the breakfast options, particularly by the selection of gluten free breakfast items for those with gluten intolerances. Again, we left feeling very full!
We thoroughly enjoyed our stay at the Brisbane Marriott and have now got a couple of snobs on our hands—two little girls who keep asking “When are we going to stay at the Marriott again?”! As a family, we could not have been made to feel more welcome by all staff we passed or who served us. The kids were seemingly not perceived as an inconvenience to anyone and we all left with fond memories, feeling considerably more relaxed than when we arrived.
Brisbane Kids thanks the Brisbane Marriott for sponsoring our writer and her family on their weekend family staycation in Brisbane. Costs were covered. All the opinions stated in this review are true, honest and genuine with the sole aim of providing enough information for families to make an informed decision about future holidays to this wonderful local destination.
To book your next Brisbane family staycation, please phone the Brisbane Marriott on (07) 3303 8000 or visit www.brisbanemarriott.com.