Earlier this year, Brisbane made a triumphant return to the Starwood map with the opening of the Four Points by Sheraton hotel.
Packing in 246 guest rooms, it's the first new-build hotel to enter Brisbane's CBD in over a decade in fierce competition for business and leisure travellers alike.
With the city otherwise dominated by the likes of Accor and Hilton, ascend the elevators with us as we show you what the Four Points has to offer.
Location & Impressions
Housed around 900m from Central Station, the Four Points is close to the city centre and its surroundings.
Guests in town on business will find the Riverside Centre – Brisbane's financial hub – just 500m away, and a stone's throw from the renowned restaurants of Eagle Street Pier.
A relatively small lobby sets the scene for the hotel, which feels quite 'cosy' yet modern throughout.
Although a little smaller than one would find at the Hilton or the Stamford, the Deluxe River View King room was functional and had all of the essentials.
Above all, that ‘modern’ touch was abundant – from the iPhone-compatible dock at the bedside through to restaurant reservations via the television system.
The Four Points Signature Bed was more than comfortable...
... and if you'd prefer to get some rest throughout the day, simply lower the electronic blackout curtain.
The bathroom, while again relatively compact, uses a sliding glass pane to make the best use of the limited space – doubling as both a shower and toilet door.
Amenities were plentiful, from the expected shampoos and conditioners…
… through to shaving and vanity kits, along with a real hairdryer. Also for female business travellers, there’s bright lighting around the mirror, suitable for applying make-up.
That light is also enough for the morning grooming ritual, although a separate shaving mirror is absent.
The room's mini bar comes packed full of goodies...
... along with one well-considered item: a multi-country power adaptor.
Guests aren’t required to pay an exorbitant amount to remove it from its packaging – in fact, use of the adaptor is free, and is the ultimate convenience for the forgetful international traveller.
A welcome amenity is also offered to guests in Deluxe rooms. On our stay, it was a trio of scrumptious desserts:
Unfortunately lacking attention to detail, these nibbles were delivered without the requisite cutlery. Coffee spoons sufficed, but were taken by housekeeping and not replaced until requested.
Bathroom essentials also weren't restocked during the stay, and the 'complimentary' signs were surprisingly reattached to the already-opened bottles of water.
If these aren't a daily amenity, resetting them – rather than leaving them untouched – feels a little cheap.
Business travellers will find a working space in the room with an adjustable light and desk-level power points – immediately ticking two of this author’s five checkboxes for the makings of a great business hotel room.
Oddly, and despite staying in a ‘river view’ room, the table was positioned facing a blank, boring wall that lacked any artwork to bring both colour and style.
As you can see, we decided to redecorate to take in the view...
Fast wireless Internet was available throughout the hotel – including on the top floor near the beanbags and other seats.
It’s free in public areas, but is only comp’d for guests in Deluxe rooms and Gold and Platinum members of Starwood Preferred Guest.
Printing and photocopying services are available through the front desk, with no charge applying to the first twenty pages.
That’s not quite the ‘business centre’ as advertised on the hotel’s website – which would normally permit travellers to tend to these basic functions themselves.
It’s less than ideal for commercially sensitive information, although for something basic such as printing a flight itinerary, it’s more than fine.
In the lobby is Wrapped – a casual, deli-style café by day and a bar by night:
You’ll find the real action in The Eatery, the hotel’s all-day restaurant.
Platinum members of SPG can opt to receive breakfast as their complimentary benefit, and for all other guests, it’s $35.
With a good selection of hot items and pastries in the mornings, there’s also an omelette station for your own custom creation.
For that morning caffeine hit, the automated coffee machine is at the ready... but with all of the coffee cups the one size, we were befuddled as to why it hadn't been programmed correctly...
To make a full latte (or any other coffee, for that matter), one must run the coffee cycle a second time and grab the mug before it overflows.
That same coffee is available with the seafood buffet on Friday and Saturday evenings, which comes in addition to the daily la carte menu.
More family-friendly than a dedicated seafood feast, there are prawns, lamb and salt and pepper squid to keep every member of the family happy:
With an entire wing dedicated to dessert, that's also sure to include anyone with a sweet tooth!
Depending on various in-house promotions and a traveller's SPG status, the buffet dinner is priced betweem $55 and $75, excluding wine.
There’s no executive lounge, so we’d recommend grabbing a drink from the mini bar and heading to the top floor...
... as well as the beanbags, there are more sturdy chairs for taking in the river view.
Up there, you’ll also find a 24/7 gym with a good selection of equipment, albeit positioned awkwardly.
These bars on the cable pulley machine are designed for chin-ups, although if used as intended, one would find their head lodged squarely in the ceiling above…
We’re told that the gym is moving to level 2 later this year to make way for an improved bar and function area, at which time the machine will have a better home.
Back in the room, you’ll find more than just an ordinary HDTV.
On this set, HD-compatible channels were pleasingly available in full HD – and to our delight, that also included Fox Sports, Showcase and Discovery in addition to the free-to-air HD options.
Bonus points are awarded for having each channel set to the correct aspect ratio (that is, where the image fits the screen as intended without being stretched or cropped), and for having a full electronic program guide – including the Foxtel channels.
The TV also has an in-built video recorder which seamlessly functions on both free and pay TV channels – great for travellers who are hosting clients for dinner but don’t want to miss their favourite show.
We did experience a few playback issues on some of our test HD recordings, although everything pulled down in standard definition was flawless.
Travellers sporting their own devices can install the MyMedia app – which streams sound and picture from your gadget through to the screen via the hotel’s wireless network.
It’s a great concept, but unfortunately one that was still being fine-tuned during our visit.
The Four Points by Sheraton Brisbane isn’t a five-star hotel, and it doesn’t pretend to be.
While a little compact, the room rates are quite competitive against other hotels in the city – making the lack of opulence a fair compromise.
That said, without an executive lounge or a dedicated business centre, it's a harder sell for business travellers who often prefer to work outside of their room.
Speaking of rooms, we learned that all non-suites are quite similar... in fact, the Comfort and higher-priced Deluxe rooms are identical.
The latter comes with additional toiletries, free internet access and a welcome gift, but housed in nothing more than a Comfort room.
Also, not every room has an armchair, and some are less spacious than others...
That could see a guest paying more for a Deluxe room, yet winding up in something smaller than the cheapest room at the hotel.
To stay ahead of the game, we’d recommend asking for that free ‘chair’ upgrade – blagging a slightly larger room, along with a little extra space to relax in Brisbane's newest hotel on your next visit to the Sunshine State.
Chris Chamberlin was a guest of Four Points by Sheraton Brisbane.
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