Brisbane isn’t known for its exotic selection of accommodation…
The past few times I’ve visited I’ve generally put myself up at the various Oaks properties that dot the city. Unfortunately I’ve had a couple of average Oaks experiences recently and the properties are starting to look a bit run down, so a change was in order. Wanting to escape the confines of the CBD, which can end up a bit of a ghost-town in the weekends, I decided on the one bedroom apartment at the South Bank Mantra.
Arriving off a late night flight from Sydney, the drive to the hotel took roughly 20 minutes. The reception at the hotel was quiet and I was promptly seen to by a chirpy staff member who immediately said “Hi, are you Hayden?” – we were off to a good start. The check-in formalities were over in a flash of an eye.
I made my way to the lift and up to the very top level that the Mantra occupies – there are more floors but these are privately owned. The room looked OK from first impressions though one suspiciously wonders if the whole place was put together by an Ikea designer. But for the price I paid, I wasn’t complaining.
The lounge had a couch, coffee table, small TV and the dining / kitchen area had a floating bench with bar stools, a small kitchenette and a full sized fridge. So far so good.
Now it’s time to check out the bedroom – nothing exciting to write home about, but still acceptable. A tiny flat screen TV was attached to the wall. The balcony was just off the bedroom which had a small table with two metallic chairs.
The rain was bad this weekend but it didn’t come in to the balcony, which was great. Many bottles of wine were drunken on the balcony overlooking South bank and the city skyline – this property has a beautiful view.
The bathroom was big and even had a washing machine and dryer. The bath looked narrow but had adequate depth, and the toiletries were standard fare.
I never used the hotel restaurant during the stay opting for a café just up the road (of which there are many to choose from). The pricing was more competitive at the café than the $30 the hotel was asking for.
Location-wise, the hotel sits a street back from all the South Bank sights and attractions which is right on Brisbane river. There are shops dotted around the area and restaurants are everywhere – take your pick. The city is short 10 minute walk away.
So there we have it. The Mantra was good quality for a decent price, even though it looked a bit basic and lacking in bling. I even got a balcony, which is rare in this city. It felt more like a normal hotel rather than a stock-standard serviced apartment hotel.
A word of caution from the various Tripadvisor review: apparently the back of the hotel sits on the railway tracks which can get quite loud. Make sure you pay that modest extra charge to get a city view and avoid this potentially irritating outcome.