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Next Hotel, Brisbane

If you had a hotel traveller's wish list you would find many of your boxes ticked at Next Hotel, Brisbane.

Rising from the carcass of several previous hotel incarnations, including the much-loved, long-standing Lennons, Next Hotel has been designed to offer what you're asking for in a hotel next.

Features include an easy check in app that's about to be released, a smart device to control your room lights, television and air conditioning, and four free mini bar items every day, yes, every day.

Downstairs there's sleep pods for early arrivals, a large lounge area and pool that invites you to stay and play and a restaurant that's sure to attract attention from locals as much as house guests.

This is a reno, but you'd never guess it. The rooms are compact but so well designed they feel spacious. Sliding doors reveal or conceal the bathroom and the street side wall is half window overlooking Queen Street, the river and South Bank.

I'm staying on the Queen Street Mall side which does get a little bit of noise from the mall.  If you want a quieter night, head to the Burnett Lane side of the building.

There was a moment of panic when I realised I'd forgotten to replace the phone-like device that controls lights, television, air conditioning and the universe (only joking about the universe) and the battery was dead.  Then I found the master switch beside the bed, just where you would expect to find it, and all was happy.

The Dello Mano brownie that greeted me on my turn down pillow on my queen sized bed was a nice local touch.

Apart from the four daily free items from the bar fridge, all run by an honour system, there's a refrigerated cabinet on level four for those who need more sustenance. You can take your pick and again it's an honour system where you tap your room key to charge.

Check in is quick and painless and you can check out with your room device. The wifi is free and works.  I'll say it again - the wifi is free and works. Not that pretend wifi that you can only really access in the lobby and only then if there are not too many people using it. As if.

On the fourth floor there's a large lounge area that looks more like an exclusive club area for top floors only.  It's open to all and overlooks the pool which streaks across the deck.  You can access this area straight from the mall and it's sure to be a popular spot for after 5 weekday drinks.

Perhaps the most fascinating hotel feature is the collection of sleep pods designed to allow jet lagged early arrivals to get some shut eye.  Equipped with music, soothing lighting and a massage function, I'd like one of these at home.

The hotel's restaurant, Lennon's is certainly worth a visit even if you are not staying.  My dining experiences have been marked by thoughtful food combinations, attractive presentation, wide use of local ingredients and flavours that pop in your mouth.

The other big plus is the location which is within spitting distance of Myer.  If you are planning a shopping assault, Next Hotel would make a very good base camp.

Room: 2013
Best for: Travellers who want to explore the city or business travellers with meetings.
Best tip: There's plenty of night time entertainment available in Burnett Lane - head to SuperWhatnot or Brew for a memorable drink.
Bottom line: Standard room is $189 per night (Jan 2015)

Kerry Heaney

Disclaimer:  Ed+bK stayed and ate as a guest of Next Hotel Brisbane.


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