WE had just been wowed by the performance of country music legend Tim McGraw.
But as we made the trek down the Brisbane Entertainment Centre stairs with 10,000 other buzzing fans, something was very different about this night.
We brushed past the long taxi rank line and watched as frantic fans rushed to catch the last train to the city.
There wasn't any torturous late night drive up the Bruce Highway or congested scramble to get back to the city, either.
We sat back, relaxed and reminisced about the spectacle we'd just experienced.
The Brisbane Entertainment Centre has long been a headache for concert goers.
While the venue is first- rate, its location is far from ideal.
But there's a solution nestled just minutes away from Queensland's premier musical attraction: Novotel Brisbane Airport.
Novotel hotels need no introduction and the latest addition to the south-east Queensland family combines luxury and convenience.
The 4.5-star modern hotel opened late last year and is quickly gaining a reputation as a hub for businesspeople and leisure-goers.
My partner and I experienced one of the hotel's entertainment packages for the recent Tim McGraw concert.
The package included concert tickets, accommodation, transfers and breakfast in the contemporary Catalina restaurant.
I was expecting the room to be more suited to businesspeople on a quick trip to Brisbane.
But I was surprised with how big and modern it was.
The espresso machine was a nice addition and the large plasma television screened the airport's departure and arrival times to let you know if your flight out of Brisbane had been delayed.
The hotel also has a stunning rooftop pool.
As a lover of contemporary food, I was impressed by the creativity and presentation of Catalina's food.
We decided to eat before heading to the concert and the lunch menu was elegant.
The duck and shallot pancakes were a terrific starter while the roast pumpkin gnocchi and panko crumbed barramundi were very satisfying.
After a couple of quiet drinks at the well-stocked bar, we were transferred to the entertainment centre in an exquisite car.
Despite the traffic of a Friday afternoon before the first day of school holidays, it was a quick trip to the gig and the driver was waiting for us when we came out afterwards.
There was no waiting for a taxi, jamming on to a packed train to head back into the city or waiting in the car park queue.
After a perfect night's sleep in the king bed, we recovered with the sumptuous buffet breakfast and chatted about the concert.
The days of making the long trek from Brisbane Airport to your city accommodation and back out to Boondall are over.
Novotel Brisbane Airport is just 12km from the entertainment centre and less than 2km from the airport.
And it's only 10 minutes from the city.
Free bus shuttles run between the DFO shopping centre, which is opposite the hotel, and the airport while the hotel is also easy to access by air train.
If you're thinking about attending one of the upcoming Brisbane concerts then a Novotel Brisbane Airport entertainment package might be just what you need. The Eagles, Metallica and Leonard Cohen are just a few examples of the quality acts hitting the entertainment centre in the coming months.
The friendly staff have taken the hassle out and will make your weekend a memorable experience.
Book on 3175 3100.
The writer was a guest of Novotel Brisbane Airport.
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