Marriott Hotel, Brisbane

by Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Niall Charles has worked at the Brisbane Marriott for three years. He started with the Stamford Plaza Brisbane as a porter so that he could move closer to the city but never thought he would pursue a career in hotels.  Five years later he is Assistant Manager – Concierge Department, and still happily parking cars, lifting bags, and helping people experience Brisbane. Here, Niall advises us to take note of the small details and enjoy the adventure…

Your most popular request…

There are many different standard tasks that we will be asked to perform in a given day but one question stands out: “How do I get to Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary?”. Everyone has heard of Lone Pine. Sometimes it seems like people know more about Lone Pine than Brisbane itself but I completely understand the popularity: It’s flexible. Take a taxi and keep your afternoon open. Make a day of it with the Mirimar Cruise or Koala Transfers. The instructions are probably the most uniformly understood non-hotel details among my team.

Your favourite locale when enjoying a day off…

My wife and I would spend most of our free time and money at the cinemas in Brisbane. The 11 different cinemas in Brisbane all have their own details, timings and issues so I have a good chuckle whenever a guest “just wants to see a movie”. Casual dinner, good movie and then a cool walk back is still my favourite kind of simple evening. Our daughter is still too young for the movies so these days we visit The Corner – the children’s area in the State Library. Frew Park in Milton is incredible for kids and I’m trying to work it in to our plans more.

Best coffee…

You really can get a good coffee at the Brisbane Marriott. Combine that with one of our made-in-house pastries and you’ll want to skip work to go exploring. If I’m out I’ll look for beans from Campos or Toby’s Estate. Pourboy is close to the hotel and is a favourite among enthusiasts. Brendan’s Cafe on the (Goodwill) Bridge offers great service, coffee and views. Anywhere that doesn’t treat me like a philistine for getting an icy, milky coffee in the peak of Summer is OK by me.

Where must we go for lunch?

Somewhere with shade. If you’re in town for business then I love Gresham Lane for being quick, close and varied. Red Hook and Coppa Spuntino are the standouts there. The Eagle St Pier is close to the Hotel and offers a variety of formalities, cuisines and views.

It’s a rainy day outside but we want to explore, what we should do…

Take an umbrella and keep walking – the rain won’t ruin your day here. Jump on board the Brisbane Explorer bus so you can take cover inside or enjoy the open top between showers. The Story Bridge Climb operates in rain or shine so challenge yourself in the wet and get a beautiful view of the storm. 

What is an absolute must-do or must-see before leaving Brisbane...

I’m often asked this but there’s no simple answer. Food? Architecture? Navigating the maze of one-way streets? I have found that the only way to truly experience Brisbane is to walk. Take note of the small details. Our city is very clean and the people are quite friendly. You can walk anywhere in half an hour and you’ll stumble upon countless little places and oddities. Brisbane is a small city but it has an enormous heart.

What do you love about the Marriott Brisbane Hotel…

It sounds a bit put-on but the guests at our hotel keep me coming back. This is a tough job and your hours and requirements are often fluid. On particularly trying days I find that my guests are the ones to really lift me up and make me smile. If you are sincere, polite and friendly to your guests then they will return the gesture and it can turn your entire day around. It can be a regular guest you’ve known for years, a new guest on their way to check in or even someone just passing on the footpath. People are excited to visit this beautiful city, stay in our great hotel and make the most of their time.

Anything else you’d like to share with our readers to encourage them to visit Brisbane…

Rent a car or a motorcycle and explore the region. I could spend hours talking about my favourite places to ride and the scenery on the way. Lots of families begin or end their Australian road trip here and I am always interested in talking about their travels. Explore the mountains, rainforests, beaches or rural areas and enjoy the adventure.

To find out more about the Marriott Hotel, Brisbane or to book, click here.

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