With borders to Queensland about to reopen to interstate travellers, this month the H4U Travel team are checking out Brisbane's collection of five Star hotels perfect for your next business trip or getaway to the Sunshine State's capital. We start with the unique Ovolo The Valley.
The Location & Welcome - 9/10
Located at the classy Bowen Hills end of Fortitude Valley, just a few minutes walk to the Gasworks precinct & James Street, the Ovolo is the perfect location to enjoy the areas vibrant shopping, foodie & bar scene. The hotel itself is positioned within a large complex including a range of higher end dining, takeaway and shopping options.
We're greeted by a friendly team member as soon as we enter the chic lobby and check-in is a breeze. Ovolo does things differently we're told, with a range of extra complimentary inclusions for our stay including continental breakfast (more on that later), minibar, wifi and our first happy hour drink. Unfortunately valet parking, while an incredibly efficient service here, isn't one of the inclusions adding $45 per night to the bill (ouch!). For those thinking of parking elsewhere in the complex, be aware it's a two hour parking zone.
The Room - 9/10
We booked a Large Room for our mid-week stay, one category up from the entry level Medium Room. Our room is located on the third floor and while being on the corner of the hotel siding onto the busy Wickham Street, was surprisingly quiet for the stay with no traffic noise heard.
The spacious room includes a comfortable King Bed, two seat couch and side chair. The lobby's colourful look and feel continues into the room design.
If you're needing to get some work done, there's a side desk with good access to power outlets along with high speed Wifi & smart TV that we found easy to connect our laptop onto.
Into the ultra modern bathroom we find a large shower along with twin basins. Kudos to the Ovolo for doing away with less environmentally friendly small bathroom amenities, instead providing a range of larger pump style options of a high quality.
Back in the room, we find tea & coffee marking facilities including a pod style coffee machine along with our complimentary minibar with a small range of beer, wine, water & soft drinks. There's also a complimentary snack pack that we took with us to keep us going during our back to back meetings the following day.
Overall the room has a bright open feel, excellent air conditioning (perfect for the hot/humid summer nights) and was very quiet given our location above the bar and next to one of Brisbane's busiest roads.
Facilities - 7.5/10
If you have some time to relax, take the time to visit the hotels rooftop pool. With a pleasant outlook over the surrounding area, some comfortable recliners to chill out on and a decent size pool for a quick dip. We also loved the quirky extras with a range of floaties. The onsite gym on the other hand leaves a bit to be desired however we were told it was possible to visit a larger, local offsite gym if needed. There's also a self serve laundry or as you'd expect for a property of this class you can also send your clothing items out with the hotels dry cleaning service.
Dining - 8/10
We visited the onsite Kazba Bar for our happy hour drink. Kazba has a upmarket, cozy feel to it and the bar staff were professionally friendly. Our complimentary wine was decent quality and came with a small tapas selection which was unexpected.
The only downside we felt was that both Kazba and onsite restaurant ZA ZA TA are 100% vegetarian which may not be to the taste of some. The redeeming factor is that the hotel is surrounded by some of Brisbane's best foodie experiences so if like us vegetarian food isn't your preferred cuisine, it's only a short walk to find something more to your taste.
Breakfast - 8/10
In the morning we headed down to ZA ZA TA for our included breakfast which consisted of a small European inspired buffet with a selection of pastries, salad / fruit / cheese, gourmet bread and breakfast cereals. The hot selection consisted of a Middle Eastern bean dish or hash browns.
Up market tea selection, self serve pod style coffee and a range of juices and water were also included. There is ala-carte menu and barista made coffee available at an additional cost.
The selection, while being somewhat limited was appreciated given the complimentary offer and while we road tested the buffet for you this time, a number of the ala-carte selections had us excited to try next time around.
Overall - 8.5/10
While maybe not the hotel for everyone given it's unique nature, we found you can't go wrong with a night or two at the Ovolo The Valley. Great location, unique ambiance and lots of little extras that really add value to your stay. Setting the hotel aside was the service that was more personalised then you get at larger properties - for example we mentioned to the staff member who checked us in the following morning we needed our car and by the time we returned to the lobby a few minutes later it was there - no room number or name needed. There was also no checkout process, just a friendly goodbye and we'll send the account to your email which somewhat summarises our stay - personalised, engaging and comfortable.
More about our reviews
The H4U Travel team care about ensuring we provide independent reviews. Our reviewer stayed at Ovolo The Valley during November 2021 at their own cost of AUD$208 per night. As always, the property was unaware we were conducting a review. All images were taken onsite, during the stay.