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Hotels vs. Apartments

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B.C. Canada
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147 posts
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Hotels vs. Apartments

Oh my there's so much to learn. I hope I don't sound silly asking this but this will be our first trip to Australia.

Would you recommend Hotels or Apartments?

We are coming from Canada and will stay in Sydney for 3-5 days and then fly to Brisbane for a stay of approx 3 weeks. (we plan on renting a car in Brisbane). there are three of us and we're learning as we go. Any advice would be welcome.

Thanks so much and Happy Thursday!

Brisbane, Australia
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13 posts
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1. Re: Hotels vs. Apartments

I'd go for the hotel in Sydney, and splurge a bit for a harbour glimpse or view. It's worth it. Try the hotels around Circular Quay and also around Darling Harbour.

Brisbane is pretty dead at night, except for the 10pm till 3am nightclub scene. City restaurants are expensive.

Why not go completely the other way and join the locals in a suburb like trendy Paddington. It's an inner city suburb with lots of boutiques and cosy restaurants and cafes (on the streets of Latrobe Terrace and Given Terrace). Perhaps think about B&B accommodation (some delightful ones around) so that you'll have the benefit of local knowledge.

Have a look at www.ferncottage.net and www.aynsley.com.au and www.lucerne.net.au

Brisbane
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2. Re: Hotels vs. Apartments

I agree with a hotel in Sydney.

We live in Brisbane and last year we had friends flying up for a 50th birthday celebration and we decided to stay with them in a two bedroom apartment in the city instead of them coming out to our suburb. We had a ball. We had a great apartment in Felix Street. There are some great bars in that area and quite a few restaurants but they are at the expensive end. There are great markets there on Sundays. You can catch the ferry or City Cat from there to anywhere on the river. We caught City Cat and went up to Southbank where there are more markets, a 'beach' and a great pub with beer garden for people watching. From Southbank it is easy access to Performing ARts Centre, museum, art gallery, library, maritime museum. Southbank and Little Stanley Street offer wide choice of eateries. You can also catch a small ferry across river to Kangaroo Point and the Storey Bridge Hotel. You get great views of the Bridge from the apartment we were in. YOu are also close to the Valley (Fortitude Valley) which is the Chinese area of Brisbane as well as many, many pubs, cafes, bars, restaurants and nightclubs.

Is there a particular reason you are spending three weeks in Brisbane? That is a long time in one place.

B.C. Canada
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3. Re: Hotels vs. Apartments

Thanks for the advice. We'll definately do a hotel in Sydney.

Nellie: I'm gonna check out those sites...b&b is always an option and would love the advice of locals.

We'll be travelling with our 7 year old son so not into the party scene but want to be able to relax, enjoy the different animals, tours etc.

A couple of questions. Terminology is so different. In Canada, a "suburb" is totally residential...and away from the sites etc. When you say to go to the suburb --isn't that just houses?

And...oh I feel so silly asking this -but--What is a "city cat"...is that a city bus?

You've been so helpful and we're so excited!

Oh...and as for staying in Brisbane for 3 weeks...I guess I should say that we'll be in that area. We're looking for the beach, the theme parks for our son and the warmth.

I look forward to hearing from you again. Gotta love these boards eh?! Thanks.

Brisbane
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4. Re: Hotels vs. Apartments

You could do a holiday rental. Check out this site

www.realholidays.com.au

City Cat is the ferry that runs up and down the river approx. every half hour or so.

As for things for your 7 year old. Unfortunately they will be too young for the Brisbane Bridge climb (12 years and over). My 10 year old is itching to do this and was too young for the Sydney one last time we were there.

The theme parks are great for that age as small child should be able to get on most of the rides. My 10 year old's order of preference is Dreamworld, Movieworld, Wet and Wild, Seaworld. We haven't been to the new White Water World yet. She loves Australia Zoo (if you are coming over school holiday time small child can become a zoo person for the day (they get to feed animals and go behind the scenes with a ranger).

Aussie World is up north coast and it's a much slower pace than the larger theme parks down south but we easily spend a whole day there. www.aussieworld.com.au

Lone Pine is also a good place to go. There is Thunderbird park at Mt Tambourine where you can dig for volcanic rocks.

http://www.thunderbirdpark.com/

They also have a new Adventure Parc which has rope courses and stuff like that. This is relatively new and we have not done this yet.

Lazerforce is popular with this age also

http://www.laserforce.com.au

Ok I admit it I still enjoy lazerforce too.

I haven't even mentioned the beach and bush walking but these are popular with my small child too. Hope that gives you some ideas there really is loads to do in Brisbane.

Brisbane
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5. Re: Hotels vs. Apartments

Hi CanuckMama

Not a silly question! A City Cat is a large, modern, fast catamaran ferry with seating inside & out. There are City Cat stops along the river from the University at St Lucia all the way along the river through the city to near the mouth of the river. A very pleasant and relaxing way to travel. You can reach Southbank, the city, New Farm Park and other great spots.

Ah, now that we now you will have a 7 year old with you that might change things. An apartment more Southbank way might be better. You will all enjoy Southbank - what time of the year are you coming? - and then you have easy access as I said to museum etc.

You might want to consider breaking up your stay in Queensland. Brisbane is not on a beach and is about a 40-60 minute drive from the theme parks. You might be better to have some time on the Gold Coast for the beach and the theme parks then move up to Brisbane. You could then either stay in Brisbane and just do day trips or have five or so days in Brisbane to explore the city and then move on up to Sunshine Coast say to Mooloolaba. Mooloolaba is right on the beach again. You will be close to Steve Irwin's Australia Zoo. It is a very family oriented place.

An alternative would be to go Gold Coast straight to Sunshine Coast which is an easy drive, about 2-3 hours, and then come to Brisbane for the last part of your stay presuming you are flying out of Brisbane Airport.

A suburb is mainly residental just with local shops and businesses, schools etc. as opposed to the CBD (Central Business District) where the high rise offices, apartment blocks and city shops are.

Love TA - my husband is in Vancouver this weekend and the wonderful Canadian TAs sent lots of advice about Grouse Mountain which I am sure he will enjoy. Then he is off to Calgary, Montreal, Toronto and Sudbury for business meetings but will manage to fit in a visit to Niagara Falls again.

Please let me know if I can be of any more help.

Kaz

Brisbane
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6. Re: Hotels vs. Apartments

hello,

You will find Brisbane feels very much like vancouver, I thought that, when I was there a few years ago. I wonder what time of year you will be here. Check out www.ourbrisbane.com.au for loads more info on what to do in my lovely city!

Brisbane, Australia
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13 posts
107 reviews
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7. Re: Hotels vs. Apartments

Auzkaz has some great ideas.

I like the suggestion of staying in South Bank whilst in Brisbane. It has a Train station, shops, restaurants, is near State Art Gallery, and Museum, walk across river to city, parkland walks, man-made beach, markets, etc. Perhaps ask other travellers on TripAdvisor what they thought of South Bank Parklands.

Have a look at this website on South Bank:

brisbanecitylife.com.au/bcl/…southbank.htm

Grey St is where it all happens. Rydge's and Saville are good hotels to say at in a great location, though check the rates. Check also Riverside Hotel further down the road and Edmonstone Motel A$95/pn twin, 3 blocks away or Southbank Heritage Motel in the same street.

Brisbane, Australia
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71 posts
28 reviews
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8. Re: Hotels vs. Apartments

Maybe you should consider staying down the Gold Coast for some of your stay then if you want beaches and theme parks. The Gold Coast is about an hours drive from Brisbane and is where you'll find the closest beaches to Brisbane and that's where the theme parks are located - Seaworld, Dreamworld, Movie World, Wet & Wild water park, R M Williams Outback Spectacular.

You can get a shuttle bus from Brisbane to the coast. There are lots of apartments and hotels so you shouldn't have a problem with accommodation. Wouldn't stay in Surfers Paradise - Broadbeach is a better alternative if you still want to be in the thick of things and very close to the beach and theme parks.

B.C. Canada
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147 posts
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9. Re: Hotels vs. Apartments

Wow...you guys ROCK! This is just getting me more excited. How in the world did we ever travel before having the internet and all the boards.

Since I last wrote we got ourselves a big map of Aussie and pinned it to the wall. Definately love the idea of going up to the Gold Coast and Great Barriar Reef.

Kaz: I live approx 4 hours East of Vancouver (grew up there tho)...I hope your hubby is having a good time. Sounds like quite the business trip.

The neat thing is that this trip to Aussie is also a business trip for us ...and a family vacation of course.

Thanks for letting me know what a city cat is...I bet my son will love going on those!

Thanks so much everyone! I have so much to learn but what a great way to do it with you all as my teachers.

Sydney, Australia
Destination Expert
for Sydney
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4,233 posts
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10. Re: Hotels vs. Apartments

we find that staying in an apartment is better than staying in a hotel. even for a three day short stay, we try for an apartment. with a young child, this option is even more appealing.

you get more space which is useful with a young child(a bedroom and living/dining area and kitchen). there are full kitchen and laundry facilities too. easy to buy some basics for breakfast and supper from nearby supermarkets.

i agree, head down to the gold coast(for the theme parks) or up to the sunshine coast instead of being in brisbane for 3 weeks. another option is to consider flying up to cairns for the great barrier reef.

happy planning.