Novotel Brisbane Family Staycation

Sometimes all you need is a short break to recharge the batteries.  We stayed at the Novotel Brisbane on a Saturday night during the school holidays with nothing but relaxation and fun on our to do list. This was also my first stay at a Novotel with the boys. I was pretty excited because from everything i’d read, this hotel in particular seemed very kid friendly.


The Novotel Brisbane over-delivered on this expectation and here’s why: 


From the minute we checked-in it was clear to us that we were in a place where the kids were welcome. Visible from both the lobby, cafe and bar and waiting area was an over-sized kids room… someone was really thinking about families when they created this design. #offtoagoodstart

While you check-in or have a welcome drink you can relax because your kids will be busy drawing, building, reading, practicing their balancing skills or even just chilling out to their favourite TV show.  The Brisbane Roar were playing on the day that we arrived, so our boys were happy.

They were also drawn to a touch-screen games console. The console looked like something between an iPad and an old school arcade machine.  It was fully loaded with apps including Angry Birds Star Wars and a very therapeutic game of bubble pop. The boys iPads broke about 2 years ago and we haven’t bothered to replace them, so they were in heaven! “We are never leaving” I hear them mutter! 😉

What I got up to while the boys played happily in the Kids Room. #MummyMoment


Our fun-o-metre hit overdrive when entered our hotel room… waiting for us was a most welcome surprise! On the bench looking back at us were two pet fish for the boys to name and care for throughout our stay. Can I just say, that this was a BIG deal for our boys. Despite lots and lots of nagging…we don’t have any pets at home. Rocco and Lex as they were named, really made our stay and this lovely bit of detail made us feel very welcome.

Half the battle when travelling with kids is helping them to transition into their new environment, so little touches like this really do help to make them feel a bit more comfortable. In our room we also noted a huge LCD TV screen, twin beds, a day lounge and a well appointed bathroom.  The separate bathroom also included a bathtub –  always good to know when you have little ones in tow.



One of the big draw cards for us in visiting the Novotel Brisbane was the pool!  We’re putting the finishing touches on our new pool at home which has basically been a concrete hole in the ground all holidays, so being able to spend the afternoon in the cool of someone else’s sparkling retreat was sensational.

The Novotel’s oversized pool is partially in the shade which is ideal for spending more than 5 minutes swimming and was the perfect size and temperature. We spent a good part of the afternoon here and felt completely refreshed after our lovely swim.

TIP: Pool service is also available, helping to extend your relaxation time.  Also remember to bring some pool toys for the kids, this helped to keep our boys occupied and not trying to drown each other for fun. #motherofdragons


Other facilities included a pretty decent sized gym and I made sure I went in… well for a minute anyway. Basically, you access the pool by walking through the gym. #fitness

Food and Beverage 

We also ate in the newly refurbished restaurant ‘The Pantry’ for both dinner and breakfast. We made an early reservation and found that we were eating at the same time as other families and probably all for the same reason – the kids had worked up big appetites after their ‘splashathon’ in the pool.

Dinner in the restaurant has a ‘Pantry to Table’ offering which basically means, simple but tasty meals using ingredients that many families are already used to.  For mains we enjoyed grilled lamb skewers and a fresh take on surf and turf which was finished off with some tasty desserts. Bread and butter pudding and a deconstructed banoffee pie that I won’t forget anytime soon. It was fabulous!


The ‘GourmetBar’ by Novotel is brand new and also pretty impressive. It’s a lovely space to hang out for coffee or an after dinner drink. Again the kids are happily occupied in the Kids Room which is all within your line of vision.

A pretty extensive buffet breakfast was also included in our hotel deal.  Our boys are getting to the age where we trust them to make good food choices and so they happily carried their plates and walked alongside us in the buffet picking and choosing what they wanted to eat.

Tip for parents: They also have take away coffee cups in the buffet which is good for if you just want to grab a coffee and go.


During our stay we road tested the Novotel Brisbane’s School Holiday Saver which included a buffet breakfast, carpark and late checkout.  Please note: This saver is valid for 2 adults and 2 kids.

We also tested out their Family Meal Deal in the restaurant for dinner. Basically the kids ate free and we enjoyed a 2 course dinner with glass of beer / wine for $65 which we thought was excellent value. Note: This deal is only available during the school holidays.

If you’re considering a stay, be sure to check out the Novotel Brisbane’s website before you book. Current specials include kids stay and eat free! This is valid for two children under the age of 16 staying in their parents’ room and eating in the Pantry Restaurant.  Adding to this, is a late check-out leaving you plenty of time to enjoy the hotel and explore local Brisbane.


We decided to make the most of our CBD location and catch the train to Southbank Parklands to do some exploring.  Being locals we’d usually just drive into South Bank but because Central Station was an easy two minute walk from the hotel, we decided that the train would be a great way to go.

Two minutes walking with kids usually turns into ten minutes; but this was still an easy way to get to South Bank which was only two stops on the train. We explored South Bank for the day, and made the easy journey home to the hotel.

Tip: Kids aged between 5 and 14 inclusive can travel free on the Brisbane Translink network on weekends when they touch on and off with an orange kids ‘Go Card’!

Waiting for us in the lobby was a cool drink from their complimentary water station where we took a last look around before saying goodbye to this fabulous family friendly hotel.


The Novotel Brisbane is excellent value for a Brisbane hotel stay.  Check their website regularly for more great deals like the one we experienced for your family.




We were media guests of Novotel Brisbane. All opinions are our own and correct at time of publication.