Brisbane welcomes with open arms

Brisbane has casually emerged as one of the most desirable places to visit in Australia. Locals have always known that it offers the perfect lifestyle and it doesn’t take long for visitors to come to the same conclusion.

Brisbane has been transformed from a sleepy Queensland country town into sleek cosmopolitan city, complete with world-class art galleries, a booming live music scene and a fabulous café culture. But it magically retains that laid-back country-town attitude. Its lazy subtropical climate, gently curving Brisbane River and the rich cultural flavours also have something to do with its appeal. But mostly, people love Brisbane for the down-to-earth attitude of its friendly locals and accommodation managers.

Sitting on banks of the Brisbane River, the lifeblood of the city, is the iconic Brisbane Riverview Hotel. It is ideally located, just 10 minutes from the hubbub of the CBD and 10 minutes to Brisbane international and domestic airports. It is an older, well known and especially well-loved Brisbane hotel that resides next door to the historic Breakfast Creek Hotel.

The extraordinary personal service that’s always been offered here is now superbly matched by the excellence of the environment. This iconic Brisbane beauty had become a little tired but now it takes its visitors breath away after a recent 12 month long, $6 million refurbishment.

The recent relaunch of this hotel and its re-branding as one of View Hotels has unveiled a stylish and contemporary design that makes a profound statement. The owner, working alongside the architect and interior designer, has played with the original olde world style of the hotel to create a magnificent feast of traditional comfort and modern Australian style.
The architects were tasked to create a more boutique feel, which they achieved using rich hand drawn tapestries and an eclectic collection of new and antique furnishings, refreshing colour palette, stunning selection of paintings as well as floral arrangements. The attention to detail is incredible and the overall impression is one of warmth, comfort and a hint of Australian heritage saluting the tropics.

Brett Whicker has been the general manager here at Brisbane Riverview Hotel for over 13 years. With a 32 year history in the industry he is certainly very experienced and was attracted to this hotel due to the company culture and the friendly owners. He says that the main focus of his role is to “ensure the day to day operation of the hotel meets the owner’s expectations as well as adhering to government regulations”. Subsequently, his primary goal is to ensure that Brisbane Riverview Hotel remains one of the most successful properties in Brisbane.

Brett started out in a very different career – dentistry! He completed a four-year apprenticeship straight out of school and qualified as a dental technician. He said, “I still have the certificate on my wall to remind me and prove to people that I did it.”

After a job as a hotel porter in the Adelaide Hilton, when it opened in 1982, he was drawn to the industry and here we are 32 years later at the Brisbane Riverview Hotel. It seems that Brett is just as enthusiastic as ever. Every day, he says, “We should not be content with where are at and should always looking to introduce new ideas that are innovative”.

It is clear that the whole culture and charm of Brisbane Riverview Hotel is due, not only to its stunning views but also to its long history of quality service. There are many glowing testimonies recorded by the hotel itself and supported by many on TripAdvisor, acknowledging the service provided here.

Julie H on TripAdvisor said, “Just beautiful, from the moment we entered the foyer we were made to feel very welcome by the reception staff and were shown to our room. As we entered our room we were welcomed with stunning views across Brisbane River.”

According to Brett, the secret to their history of good service is that “most of our employees are long term which shows they are good at what they do, have great customer service skills and are loyal”. In fact two of their employees have been there since the hotel opened some 25 years ago! This is a testament to why people love this hotel.

Brett said, “The main drawcard of the property is the personal ‘home away from home’ touch, with exceptional staff service where nothing is too much trouble.”

In a tough time for the Queensland tourism industry, the owners and management team at Brisbane Riverview Hotel have chosen to embrace their past and invest in their future. The story of who they are is told in their new $6 million refurbishment. They have managed to enhance the building’s warm welcome with loyal staff and plush, comforting surroundings. They have cleverly taken the rich Australian history of the locale, mixed in the colours of the tropics and transformed it into a quirky new boutique hotel that aligns itself with the area’s fashion houses and art galleries.

Ultimately though, if guests are not blown away by the new refurbishment of this new “View Hotel” they will still be blown away by the one thing that remains unchanged here at Brisbane Riverview: Brett and his team’s amazing dedication to customer service.

Rest assured this hotel is everything it has always been, a wonderful Brisbane gem whose friendliness and service puts some Brisbane hotels to shame.

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