Expect a great dining experience at Catalina Restaurant.
Expect a great dining experience at Catalina Restaurant. Contributed

Novotel not just for high fliers

AS I walk into the foyer, a super jet thunders past just before the doors close behind me to create a sanctuary of silence.

The plane has just taken off from Brisbane’s domestic or international airport a few kilometres down the road.

It might seem a strange spot to retreat to for a relaxing weekend, but I am only minutes away from checking in at the Novotel Brisbane Airport. The hotel is a massive modern slab of a building in the airport precinct on the north side of the state capital.

Eyeing off the hotel’s downstairs Catalina Restaurant for later, I make a beeline for my room.

There is no time for a retail binge at the Direct Factory Outlet (DFO) stores, which I drove past about 200m from the hotel.

This is time for rest.

It is what the Novotel does best – and it makes sense why it caters to those tourists looking for a comfortable place to stay during a short stopover in Brisbane between flights.

I sink into the king-size bed and am just a few moments short of a dream.

But I must get organised because I have only have a few hours before tonight’s show: Cirque du Soleil’s Saltimbanco.

You see, I’m not one of those fly-in, fly-out visitors – my Novotel stay is to see the world-renowned Cirque du Soleil at the nearby Brisbane Entertainment Centre.

Flicking through the cable television channels, I consider joining in the 24-hour yoga station.

Then I remember I only have to dress for dinner and the show.

When I manage to drag myself out of bed and downstairs to Catalina, I meet my companions for a meal worthy to be served at any top Brisbane restaurant.

Once in the shuttle bus, our journey to the entertainment centre is an easy 13km. I cringe momentarily when thinking about the traffic that will be looking for parking spaces over the next few hours in the lead-up to the show.

If you saw the French acrobatic circus while it was in town, you would know how brilliant the performance is.

But it is just one of a long list of world-class acts coming to the entertainment centre. Elton John, Dolly Parton, Kings of Leon and Enrique Iglesias are all set to wow crowds before the end of the year.

Rock icon Meatloaf will be at the entertainment centre on October 6. The beauty of the 4.5- star Novotel is its convenience, especially for anyone headed to a concert or show at Boondall.

But it is a mighty relaxing stay in Brisbane, if that is all you are looking for, as well.


  • Novotel Brisbane Airport is in the Airport Village Precinct on Airport Dr
  • Twin-share rooms start from $249 a night (ask about coach transfers to and from the Brisbane Entertainment Centre and a full buffet breakfast in the Catalina Restaurant)
  • Facilities include a gymnasium and rooftop pool.

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