Well, I must say that I really enjoyed this trip to Brisbane – staying at the Sheraton was a grand choice.
Unlike the Sheraton Towers in Melbourne or the Sheraton Perth, the Sheraton Brisbane has been recently refurbished in what I like to call “IKEA” style. Minimalistic furniture that is simple yet functional and a clean, spartan look that works very very well.
This would have to be one of the best hotels I’ve stayed at in Australia as far as the complete package goes.
I’ll describe more in the rating…
Room: 8.5/10 – functional, clean, stylish, fairly spacious … very comfortable all round. The thing I must say that I like the best is the blinds. A simple thing, yet makes so much difference. They have fitted the windows at the Sheraton with black-out blinds, which means that when you put them down, you cannot really tell whether it is day or night. This is a great thing for those times when you really need to catch up on some desperately needed sleep and find that sunlight streaming in past the curtains in a normal hotel room just tends to wake you up before you are ready. I really like this touch – and if you don’t like it so dark, just leave the blind up (even slightly) to let the light stream in come morning. Great feature that I wish more hotels would make use of. The other nice thing was the desk – a pleasure to have a spacious and functional desk to work at. It was huge – I’d say well over 2.5m long – with the large TV at one end and still plenty of room to work at and spread out on. The fact that you can sit at the desk, and still watch TV reasonably was quite impressive I thought given the arrangement of the furniture.
Bed: 8/10 – The king sized bed was firm, but quite comfortable. They did offer a selection of pillows of differing sizes and feels, but it still wasn’t quite right for me. That being said, I did generally sleep well, which was the important bit.
TV: 9/10 – nice big TV, sitting on the (very big) desk, but on an easily rotatable pedestal which made viewing from anywhere in the room easy. Good channel selection, including Discovery Channel (yay), but it would have been nice to have a couple more movie channels as well. Still one of the best TV setups I’ve seen in a hotel.
Connectivity: 8/10 – I didn’t try the dialup, so I can’t comment on the connection speeds (if I recall my last stay correctly, they suffer from the same low connection speed problems that most hotels suffer from). Two phones, one on desk and one by bed, didn’t check for data ports, but I assumed they were there. However, the Sheraton Brisbane has Intertouch broadband ! Yay. Being able to connect in to a high speed link (seems like 512kbps from the download speeds I was getting) is so good for productivity – made the stay enjoyable and I achieved a lot too.
Breakfast: 8.5/10 – very good breakfast, well set up, great selection of nicely cooked food and good cereal and non-cooked food as well. For those lash-out weekend breakfasts, they also do nice waffles and pancakes ! My only complaint would be why they charge 20% more for weekend breakfasts than weekday breakfasts when the only thing I can see different is that they also put out champagne on the weekends (yech !).
Room Service: 7.5/10 – Reasonable selection, food pretty good quality, service reasonable.
Location: 8/10 – very close to IBM (about 2 mins walk), right above Central railway station, an easy 5-7 min walk to Post Office square (food court) or about 10 mins to Queen Street Mall. Can’t really complain at all. Then again, about the only thing I would say is given it is on a one way street which can be quite awkward to get to by car, it does take a bit of brain power when driving around Brisbane – but that applies pretty much equally to all the other CBD hotels given the nature of the CBD traffic flows.
Total: 57.5/70 = 82%
Yes, Intertouch’s standard rates are 55c per minute up to a maximum of $29 in any 24 hour period.
It’s expensive, but then so is an AT&T gloabal dialup account. The productivity gains more than justify the cost at the moment – especially since work is footing the bill !
Now that most of the hotels I typically stay at are beginning to get broadband, the next thing I will have to start nagging about is how much they charge for it and why aren’t they providing it for free :D
Did they charge for the broadband access?