The brand new Westin Brisbane bills itself as a great hotel for families. We sent Janeece Keller to see how this hotel stacks up.
The Westin Brisbane is at 111 Mary Street, Brisbane – that’s right in the centre of the city. It’s an easy 10-minute stroll to the lively Eagle Street Pier restaurant precinct and a five-minute walk to Queen Street Mall. Families can also walk from the hotel to the City Botanic Gardens which has plenty of space for the kids to run around. To get to South Bank Parklands entertainment quarter (and the man-made beach), it’s about a 20-minute walk.
Why we stayed
I have spent a lot of time in Brisbane over the last five years and generally, I have been underwhelmed with the city’s luxury hotel offerings. I was keen to check out the brand new, $200-million property. Could it finally be Brisbane’s luxury, family-friendly hotel?
I have never stayed in a hotel room with as many thoughtful small touches.
All guest rooms have a small vial of lavender balm next to the legendary (for good reason) Heavenly beds. The family suite, where I stayed, had a teepee with a teddy bear and activity books set up in the living room for the kids to play. In the mini bar, in addition to the drinks and snacks, I found a puzzle kit – to keep super-active minds busy.
We spent one night in a suite, which had a king-size bedroom and separate living area with kitchenette.
For our second night, we transferred to a Westin room which has a more traditional hotel layout. The Westin rooms still have a Heavenly king-size bed and more than enough room for a roll-away trundle plus a small sitting area with a sofa.
The rooftop pool is guaranteed to be a hit with the kids (and for the adults, it’s got a swim-up bar). For the ultimate relaxation, Heavenly by Westin Day Spa offers a full spa service where family members of all ages can indulge in a little pampering.
As the Westin Brisbane is right in the centre of the city, it’s only a five-minute walk to all the shops on Queen Street Mall and a flat, 1.5km walk across the Victoria Bridge to South Bank. For families wishing to venture further afield in Brisbane, it’s an easy, five-minute walk to Eagle Street Pier, which is full of restaurants and where you can get on a CityHopper or CityCat ferry to destinations up and down the Brisbane River.
Head to the culture precinct at South Bank. This is where you’ll find the Queensland Performing Arts Centre, the Queensland Art Gallery, the State Library of Queensland, the Queensland Science Centre and the Queensland Exhibition Centre – all of which have programs for kids of all ages. Also in South Bank are Streets Beach, the Wheel of Brisbane and a large restaurant precinct. If you’re looking for family fun further on, then day trips to Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary or Tangalooma Island for wild dolphin feeding or snorkelling shipwrecks are firm favourites.
Food & beverage
Great food is at the heart of the Westin Brisbane experience. Kids will love the buffet breakfast served at Eden’s Table restaurant. Our personal favourite was the freshly squeezed orange juice and made-to-order waffles.
For dinner, we chose to eat again at Eden’s Table where this time the kids were entertained by watching the chefs in action at the open kitchen, while we were impressed by the paddock-to-plate approach to the menu. My favourite dish was the barramundi. Delicious.
The Westin has a pool hoist for people who need assistance to get in and out of the rooftop pool.
Janeece Keller is the founder and editor of Family Travel. She mostly travels with her husband and two young kids. She has a large blended family that lives in Australia and Europe. She has visited 52 countries and lived on 3 continents. From camping to luxury resorts Janeece tries to make sure her family has diverse holiday experiences each year. She is an avid hiker and ocean swimmer who loves good food, margaritas and heading off the beaten path.