Shandelle Battersby checks in to the Sofitel Central Brisbane.


As the name suggests, this five-star hotel is slap-bang in the middle of Brissy, and connected to Central Station. If you take the Airtrain from the airport you'll be in the lobby in just under 25 minutes.

Check-in experience: I arrived on a Thursday night and the in-house Cuvee Lounge Bar and lobby were heaving with various members of the world cricketing fraternity in town for an Australia v New Zealand test match at the Gabba. Sir Richard Hadlee was at brekkie the next morning.

What's in the neighbourhood? There's a lot within walking distance and that train station will get you most other places. Within coo-ee are Eagle Street Pier, the city centre, the fantastic Gallery of Modern Art, Suncorp Stadium, South Bank, the Convention Centre, and the most interesting part of Brisbane, Fortitude Valley.


My room: A spacious Luxury Club Room on the 26th floor which gave me access to the Sofitel Club Lounge on Level 30 where you can enjoy breakfast and evening cocktails and canapes. The breakfast is pretty incredible - there was even a honeycomb dripping freshly made honey. My room was elegantly furnished, with a comfortable lounge chair, desk, black and white photos of Paris street scenes; and small entertainment system for your MP3 player.

The bed: A Sofitel MyBed which was large and hard to tear myself out of. There were five types of pillow to choose from and lovely linen.


A generous vanity, and a bath/shower combo.

Toiletries: (Malin+Goetz).

Free wifi? Complimentary for Le Club members and in the public areas.

Exercise: A large SoFit Gym, also on Level 30, with great views of the city and its surrounds. There's also an attractive outdoor heated pool on the 3rd floor next to Stephanies Spa Retreat.

Noise: The phone alarm of the person in the room next door woke me up, but luckily it happened just before mine started trilling.

Price: Rates start from A$210 per night.

Food: There are three excellent on-site restaurants - Thyme2 (contemporary, with an open-plan, interactive kitchen), Prive 249 (French-inspired Australian cuisine), and Harlequin Jack (a bistro with gaming facilities). As well as Cuvee, there's also a pub, the Whistlestop, if you fancy wetting yours.

What's so good about this place? It's in a great location, and very easy to get to and from the airport, a relief when toting maximum amounts of luggage.

Would I return? Having to pay for wi-fi these days is a bit off-putting, but it's a lovely hotel in an ideal spot to explore the city.