The sun-soaked Australian city of Brisbane is a mouth-watering pick 'n' mix bag full of tempting restaurants, great shops, cultural treats and outdoor indulgences. Staying in Brisbane hotels also means you're close to some of the superior beaches that make the state of Queensland such a popular destination.
The laid-back lifestyle in Brisbane makes for a perfect city getaway, with cafés, parks, bars and glittering waterways positively begging visitors to sit a while and take it easy.
Sandwiched between the beaches of the Sunshine Coast in the north and the Gold Coast in the south, it's easy to understand why holidaymakers combine a stay in the great hotels in Brisbane with time spent on the sugar-white sands of the east coast of Australia.
Brisbane attracts a wide range of travellers: touring families, couples on a romantic getaway, business visitors, backpackers travelling on a shoestring... this means that there is plenty of accommodation on offer and a great choice of budget hotels, mid-range accommodation, and luxury hotels, including some top-notch five-star hotels.
Hotels in skyscrapers offer modern facilities and great city views, while hotels in some of the city's stunning Victorian buildings present a charming and unique place to stay. Look out for offerings from well-known names such as Hilton, Ibis, Best Western, Comfort, Mercure, Novotel, Pullman and even ultra-budget chain Formule 1. There are also many Aussie owned and run properties throughout the city.
As most of the major attractions are concentrated within the Central Business District (CBD), staying in hotels here is advised if you want to be close to everything. There are some great inner-city suburbs, such as Kangaroo Point and buzzing Fortitude Valley, which enable easy access to the city centre; the latter is a hotspot for music lovers thanks to a lively nightlife scene.
Families might prefer to stay in hotels around the South Bank area, which is home to child-friendly activities.
Top five attractions
Queensland Gallery of Modern Art
A surprisingly good option for families, there is much to see, do and touch at this exciting gallery.
Spanning the mighty Brisbane River, you can join a guide-led climb to get a unique view of the city.
Wheel of Brisbane
Wonderful city views are afforded from this London-Eye-style wheel, which can be found in the Parklands of the South Bank - you can't fail to spot the 60-metre structure.
The Science Centre at Queensland Museum
Another family-friendly and interactive attraction in Brisbane; the kids won't even notice that they're learning!
Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary
The short journey from the CBD to this charming sanctuary is well worth the effort. There are more than 130 koalas to see and cuddle.
Australia Day; January: The 26th of the month is when Australians celebrate their national day. January is the height of summer in the southern hemisphere, so a sunny party and a friendly atmosphere are guaranteed at city-wide celebrations. An annual festival is held in the South Bank's Parklands.
Ekka; August: It's easy to forget that Queensland is an agricultural state, given the modern beauty of Brisbane's city skyline. But you can celebrate the rural elements of Australia at this 10-day event, also known as the Royal Queensland Show.
Brisbane Festival; September: Arts and culture are put in the spotlight at this annual event. Performances take place at venues across Brisbane, with many free outdoor events on offer.