An easy airport stay in Brisbane

Photo of Gemma Nisbet

A direct flight from Perth, Brisbane is a staging post on the way to the US west coast, a busy cruise port and a destination in its own right – and The Kingsford hotel suits for all three.

Arriving at the ferry stop a couple of minutes’ walk from my room at The Kingsford Brisbane Airport Hotel, I’m met by a sight quite unexpected for 10am on a Tuesday: lots and lots of people. So many, in fact, that when the ferry arrives, some latecomers are told they’ll have to wait for the next service.

As it turns out, the crowd are cruise passengers from the cruise terminal at neighbouring Portside Wharf, where Sea Princess is docked today. They’re headed to the city centre, where most will disembark at South Bank to visit the museums and art galleries in Brisbane’s riverside cultural precinct.

The encounter is a good illustration of The Kingsford’s convenience. In the inner- northern suburb of Hamilton, it’s a 10-minute drive from the airport (a shuttle is available from the hotel) and pretty much across the street from the cruise terminal, so it would be ideal if you were flying into Brisbane one day and embarking on a cruise the next. 

Portside Wharf also has restaurants, shops, a supermarket and a cinema, and the waterfront area hosts the Eat Street markets on weekends. The city centre is a 15-minute drive away — or, like me, you can catch the ferry if you’re not in a rush.

The hotel itself is pleasantly small, with 36 rooms and a warm welcome from the very friendly staff. It’s a locally owned franchise of Choice Hotels’ Ascend Collection, which covers boutique and historic properties, and it feels fresh and new, having opened in late 2014.

My queen room is modern and well designed to take advantage of the space. The usual wardrobe, for example, is replaced by a low shelf for your shoes with hooks and hangers above it on the wall, while there’s a long bench beneath the window incorporating a spot for my suitcase, a desk, bar fridge and tea and coffee-making facilities. 

The bathroom is enclosed in frosted glass and equipped with a rain showerhead and amenities by Appelles Apothecary — the only hotel toiletries I’ve ever liked enough actually to buy them for home afterwards. 

Other in-room amenities are free wi-fi, an iPhone dock, iron and ironing board and a hairdryer. The rooms also feature paintings by Melbourne artist Gabrielle Savrone, and come with two free bottles of water by Thankyou, which donates all of its profits to providing safe water for people in need around the world.

There are also twin rooms, corner suites with a bath and a balcony, a 40sqm Kingsford Suite with a lounge area, and accessible suites suitable for wheelchair access.

Downstairs, there’s a cafe where I have breakfast each morning of my stay — muesli one day, smashed avocado on toast the next. Room service is available for lunch and dinner.

The hotel also has green features such as solar panels, rainwater harvesting for the gardens and insulating window glazing, which also means I’m not bothered by traffic noise at night, despite the hotel’s location on busy Kingsford Smith Drive. 

And so I wake refreshed and well-rested each morning of my stay, ready to explore the city. 

Fact File


Gemma Nisbet was a guest of Choice Hotels.


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