October 2005 Archives
In my five months spent working in Brisbane, I've stayed in a number of different establishments. Many of these were chosen by my client for their cheapness. In general, I found that Hotels in Brisbane were of far lower quality than hotels in Melbourne, and some were worse than hotels I've stayed in Thailand and mainland China.
Queenslanders have a reputation in Australia for being very Rednecked and mean, and I found this to be true in a very small number of cases. By and large, the vast majority of people I met in Brisbane were warm and friendly and perfectly fine.
- Summit Central - ok, but not close to CBD.
- Sedgebrook on Leichhardt - dirty
- Metro Tower Mill - unfit for human habitation
- Willahra Towwer - completely unsuitable for business travellers
- Carlton Crest - acceptable.
- Royal Albert Hotel - very nice.
The first place I stayed was the Summit Centralserviced apartments on Leichhardt Road. These were reasonably clean, reasonably well equipped, with adequate cooking, laundry and telephone facilities.
This was actually an ok place to stay for a long term, but the walk from the city centre involved lots of dark streets and parks with lurking muggers. There were a few occasions when one or two guys would loom out of shadows at me, only to find me looming back. (I'm not that tall, but I'm quite wide, and my tailor has made me look quite menacing in a suit.)
The Sedgebrook on Leichhardt is close to the Summit and more modern. The equipment is more up to date, and there's a better bathroom with a properly forceful shower and a spa bath. The apartment is only serviced once per week, though, and the whole place just didn't feel clean to me. Television reception was very poor too.
I asked to stay in the Metro Tower Mill as it was very close to the client office. I lasted one day. I left the office and went back to the hotel to find that the doors were locked and I had to wait for security to let me in! In addition, the rooms are tiny, the bathroom is primitive, and the TV is a tiny unit on a bracket high up on the wall. The balcony they brag about is a thin strip about two feet wide outside the room. It is, however, very cheap.
Still, it's unfit for human habitation. You do not lock your guests out of your hotel!
When I checked in, the towels and sheets hadn't been cleaned from the last resident. The equipment in the apartment was fine, but there was a lack of basic amenities such as toilet paper, or soap (there were some used bars of soap).
When you go looking for accommodation in Brisbane, you can get many reminders why Australians from other states look down on Queenslanders. The Willahra is a perfect example of this. The complete lack of toilet paper and clean soap really brought to mind the "bastard thinks its Christmas" mindset of the much lampooned excessively thrifty Queensland Landlord.
I have to say that the Willahra towers was possibly the worst place I have ever stayed in in my life - even hotels which charge by the hour in Bangkok feel cleaner than this. And this is all depite a fantastic location. It's right by the Storey Bridge, with river views and great equipment. It could be great, if the owner wasn't so stingy with cleaning. And jeez, how much does toilet paper cost? Put some in when a new tenant moves in.
Avoid, avoid, avoid. Run away screaming from this place.
I stayed in the Carlton Crest for one night. As a standard sort of hotel, it's perfectly acceptable. Good location, clean rooms and decent facilities. Could have been any perfectly acceptable hotel anywhere in the world.
Eventually, after much pushing on my part, I got myself put in the Royal Albert Hotel. This is an apartment hotel in the centre of Brisbane CBD. It's close to the client office and convenient for the shops and restaurants in Brisbane. It's AUD 115 per night for a large room with separate bedroom, bathroom, laundry room and kitchenette. It's clean and pleasant, although some of the furniture skates along the thing line between 'Antique' and 'Just Plain Old'. It's fine to stay in, though.
It has decent wireless internet available for AUD 40 per week, which is extremely cheap for Australia. The Sofitel charges almost that much per day! It's also got cable TV, which is Foxtel in .AU, so you can have right-wing news all day, if you want.
Note that you'll probably get a better price if you walk in and bargain. which is what I did, so be prepared to book one night in the Carlton Crest, then stroll over to the Royal Albert Hotel and haggle a little, if you're going to be in Brisbane for a while.
*tap*, *tap*, is this thing still on?
I'm back from the depths of Queensland for a flying visit home, so the updates have been even sparser than normal.
I've noticed that some of my links on the left are out of date or I don't bother visiting them anymore, so I've tidied up that a little bit. Please note that, for all those who throw hissy-fits at being removed from someone's blog, I've only done it because you smell bad and your mother dresses you funny.
Notice that I've also left the South China Morning Post in the 'telling it like it is' section out of a sense of deep sarcasm.
This gentleman plays the Didgeridoo in the Queen Street Mall most Saturdays.
You know, for a place a sunny and bright as Northern Australia, there's a lot of Goths around. I wonder how you keep looking pale and interesting when the sun splits the stones every day.
Does anyone know what sort of bird this is? They're everywhere in Brisbane. This one was eating bread from someone's hand in Anzac Square.
Hoom! Let us not be hasty, young hobbits. Let's just sit in the shade of my old friend here.
It looks like a barren landscape - perhaps from Tunguska, Siberia. It's really a close look at the open-air root systems of the Mangrove swamps which front on the river in Brisbane's Botanic Gardens River Stage.
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