Recently I found myself visiting Brisbane for the second time in a month. Although in town for a conference, I was keen to take the opportunity to review a hotel with accessible accommodation in a good location. Swiss-Belhotel Brisbane immediately stood out as a great pick for our readers. Not only is it located on the edge of the popular South Bank Parklands, but it’s also opposite Lady Cilento Childrens Hospital, Ronald McDonald House and the Mater Hospital. I think the location makes it perfect for people needing accessible accommodation while attending the hospitals for appointments, as well as for leisure travellers.
The Swiss-Belhotel has easy access from the street and throughout all areas within the hotel.
The hotel has a modern elegant vibe and boasts 7 accessible rooms, one on every floor.
Walking into the accessible room, which was my home for one night, I was immediately struck by the light streaming in through the floor to ceiling windows.
I’m always thrilled to find an accessible room with a view and I happily took a minute to watch the sunset colour the sky over the Brisbane River from my room. The room offers a side view but it’s so lovely to be able to watch the city from the quiet of a hotel room with a cup of tea in hand. It’s funny how much I appreciate these little moments when I travel solo.
My room was generously sized with plenty of wheelchair circulation space and room for luggage. I like nothing more than having room to spare so happily embraced the large bed but the bed can be made up as a twin-bedded room if you prefer.
Free WiFi is available to guests.
Swiss-Belhotel’s accessible rooms have roll-in showers, height adjustable shower heads, lever taps and a shower bench.
Grab Rails surround the toilet which is fitted with a back-rest. The bathroom sink is accessible with room underneath for wheelchair access. All amenities are lowered, including the towel hangers and light switches.
Taking a photo of this lever nearly landed me in hot water. You see, I hadn’t noticed it when I first took photos of the bathroom. I only noticed it when I popped in to have a shower. As I was only staying in the hotel for one night I didn’t want to risk forgetting to take a photo of the lever so did the naked streak to the lounge room, grabbed my camera and clicked away. Fortunately, I noticed after taking a photo that I could see my naked reflection in both the tiles and the lever. Those photos were promptly deleted and I remembered to take photos after I got dressed. I’ll never be so diligent as to do that again. I told a friend and she said, “well that’s one way for a review to go viral!”
Anyway, the lever pictured is included with the shower head to lower it for use by someone using the shower bench.
Knowing our readers have varying needs, I always like to take a look at the non-accessible rooms in a hotel.
The main difference between the accessible rooms and the non-accessible rooms is the space and the bathroom.
The indoor pool was inviting but as with most trips I had no time for a dip.
I stepped out onto the outdoor terrace which adjoins the pool to find more fabulous views of Brisbane at night.
And just to prove exactly how close the hotel is to the hospital that’s Lady Cilento Hospital in the photo below.
Beside the gym and pool facility there’s an accessible bathroom which Chris, the staff member taking me on a tour, commented is handy for guests if they’ve checked out of their room but have a later flight.`
I’m really pleased to see more hotels in Australia providing a guest laundry. When we travel for longer periods of time we appreciate having facilities in the hotel so once the kids are sorted at night we can catch up on the washing.
Café 63 is independently operated but located within the hotel. I was totally overwhelmed by the options for breakfast including 76 side options. I settled for the Post & Rail (scrambled eggs) which was among the healthy list. I’m not sure what Elle McPherson, Cathy Freeman and Mark Webber think about breakfast items being named after them on the Café 63 menu, but given I was dining alone, I appreciated the humourous read while I waited for my breakfast to arrive. Café 63 offers all day dining.
Parking is available at Swiss-Belhotel and the height restriction on the car park is 2.3metres.
I’m often asked by disability organisations about hotels with a good number of accessible rooms and conference facilities. Swiss-Belhotel has a conference room and 7 accessible rooms so it may fit the bill for a small conference.
My stay was all too brief but I found the hotel’s location excellent for accessing South Bank Parklands and the staff were extremely knowledgeable about the accessible features of the hotel. Chris deserves a special mention for his understanding of disability and the hotel’s accessible facilities.
You can read more about Swiss-Belhotel Brisbane here.
I was hosted at Swiss-Belhotel Brisbane, but, as always, my enthusiastic review is the result of the excellent accessible facilities on offer.
The Swiss-Belhotel Brisbane is on the edge of the South Bank Parklands. It’s an easy few minutes walk or wheel away but please note there’s a small incline on the return to the hotel. It won’t bother power chair users but it may be a bit of a push for manual users.
The South Bank Parklands has many wheelchair accessible activities to enjoy. You can read my full list here.
Just over the Goodwill Bridge, or a short ferry ride away, is the Brisbane City Botanic Gardens’ All Abilities Playground. You can read my full review here.