Brisvegas for the weekend
FOR a couple with a seven-month-old daughter the prospect of going anywhere outside a 10km radius of home can seem pretty daunting most days.
It was with some trepidation we packed the car and headed 90km down the Bruce Highway to the river city that is Brisbane.
Brisvegas to some, home of the mighty brown snake (Brisbane River), we chose a sweltering weekend to venture into the Queensland capital.
Mid-January in the heart of Southeast Queensland can be an unforgiving place, but we sought refuge the only way many Queenslanders know how when the mercury is rising.
Despite the 38C temperatures there was no issue with the temperature of the beer flowing out of the taps at Teneriffe's Green Beacon Brewing Co. Located in the other hipster hub of Brisbane (outside of West End), nestled between Teneriffe, Fortitude Valley and Newstead, Green Beacon is a masterpiece of an ale house.
With delicious brews in a relaxed setting, it took the sting out of the oppressive conditions.
By mid-afternoon, with thirsts quenched, we made the short, 15-minute trip to our accommodation for the night, a room at the new Ibis Brisbane Airport.
Part of the Brisbane Airport Hotels Group, the three-star, 243-room motel is co-owned by Anthony and Scott Flynn and is a stablemate of the Pullman Brisbane Airport, Brisbane Airport Conference Centre and Novotel Brisbane Airport.
What greeted us was a welcome refuge. A surprisingly spacious, well-appointed room with plenty of space for the two of us and the little one.
After freshening up we headed downstairs to the Cribb Island Beach Club for a couple of drinks at the bar as the winds started whipping up and the tell-tale signs of a classic afternoon Brisbane thunderstorm began showing.
For a motel only 700m from the airport the bar prices were competitive with plenty of variety and not as much pain on the back pocket as expected.
Personable staff who had plenty of smiles and made a lot of effort meant the Beach Club was earning plenty of ticks in boxes early.
After a few drinks we were ushered across to the adjoining five-star Pullman Hotel for dinner at the Apron Restaurant and Bar.
The raviolo and Moreton Bay bug entrees, washed down with a crisp New Zealand sauvignon blanc and a chardonnay, were only surpassed in quality by the main meals of gnocchi and lamb.
Satisfied, we went off to bed in air-conditioned comfort.
A tour of the hotels the next day showed the stunning pool, gym and suites on offer at the Pullman, while the Ibis' Sky Lounge rooftop bar offered incredible views.
You could imagine yourself knocking back a few up there after a conference in the 600-capacity Brisbane Airport Conference Centre.
After our tour ended we made our way back into the city for an afternoon of mini golf at the visual smorgasbord that is Holey Moley at Fortitude Valley before a relaxed afternoon at Eleven Rooftop Bar sipping on some cool beverages as the sweltering weekend drew to a close.
The author was a guest of Ibis/Pullman.