A serviced apartment is a furnished apartment that is available for short-term or long-term stays. More often than not, serviced apartments are a cheaper alternative than hotel rooms plus they come with the added bonus of more space and privacy. For this reason, interest in serviced apartments is growing steadily.
Types of serviced apartments
There are several types of serviced apartments available, with the most common being the extended stay hotel, sometimes known as an ‘aparthotel’. Extended stay hotels tend to have great locations in the heart of a city and come equipped with a kitchen and laundry facilities. The size of apartments vary, with studio apartments through to four bedroom apartments being a popular choice. Most two and three bedroom apartments come equipped with a second bathroom and, unlike a hotel room, apartments come with a separate living area. The idea is to offer a ‘home away from home’ feel, but still keep the conveniences that come with a hotel.
Finding a great cup of coffee can be tricky when you’re travelling, particularly if you don’t know the area you’re in. So, if you’re headed for Brisbane on business and fancy a pick-me-up, here’s a guide to five of the best coffee spots in town.
(Photo By: Brew)
Not only does this place have seriously good, well-priced coffee, but it has bags of atmosphere as well. Hidden away in an inner city building’s underground storage area (down the end of an alley), Brew is fast becoming THE place to go for coffee in Brisbane.
With moody lighting, milk crate seating, fake grass and video projections, Brew is a café by day and a wine bar by night, with an excellent light menu.
Their coffee is made using beans between four to ten days after roast and has a rich, full-bodied flavour. And if you don’t have time to sit and enjoy it, they even have an express coffee counter.
Brew is reminiscent of those quirky laneway cafés you find in Melbourne and caters for a wide mix of people. Their slogan is ‘because coffee doesn’t drink itself’.
You’ll find Brew hidden away down Burnett Lane in the heart of Brisbane, where it’s open from 7am on weekdays and 8am on Saturdays and kicks on till late every night except Sunday.
(Photo By: The Three Monkeys)
This is another Brisbane mainstay, where you can enjoy a great coffee in an interesting and relaxing environment. The Three Monkeys has been part of the West End scene in Brisbane for the past two decades and it’s not hard to see the attraction.
The atmosphere is cosy and friendly, with a kind of east meets west décor and lots of unusual memorabilia, including Persian carpets on the walls. The building has plenty of little nooks and crannies where you can retreat and play chess or one of the other board games provided, or read a magazine from their extensive collection.
There’s a good breakfast menu, lots of toasted and grilled choices for lunch, including sandwiches and pizza and a selection of delicious sweet cakes, for which they are renowned.
The Three Monkeys Coffee and Tea House is located in Mollison Street, in Brisbane’s West End and is open every day from 9.30am till 12am.
This is one of the Valley’s most popular haunts for Brisbanites of all ages and boasts a nightclub, a beer garden, several bars and right next door, Ric’s famous Fatboy Cafe.
If you’re after coffee and a meal, this is the place to head because it is not only good, it’s cheap as well. Ric’s Fatboy Café serves up a great breakfast of bacon, eggs, sausage, tomato and toast all for just $4 and nothing else on the menu is over $15, including burgers, steak, nachos, pizza and pasta.
Ric’s has a grunge-chic décor and there’s always music happening, whether it’s on the dance floor upstairs or from a local band in the main bar. There are also plenty of places to escape if you just want to talk, including a ‘backyard’ beer garden, complete with plastic grass and hills-hoist.
Ric’s is situated in Brunswick Street, Fortitude Valley and is open from 10am to 5am seven days a week.
Aromas is a coffee shop with a real difference. Situated inside Brisbane’s historic Regent Theatre in Queen Street, Aromas Regent serves up sensational brews in truly amazing surroundings.
Built in 1929, the Regent was Queensland’s first lavish picture-palace and its awesome interiors make the perfect backdrop to enjoy a coffee and a bite to eat.
As well as a cafe, there’s also a shop where the legendary Aromas brand is sold in the form of exotic tea and coffee products. With over 30 years in the industry, Aromas uses only ethically sourced coffee beans and specialises in local small-batch roasting of speciality grade coffees.
They offer 18 different original coffee blends, 12 single origins and a Rainforest Alliance Certified range, as well as more than 80 varieties of loose leaf tea.
Where will you go?
Some people like coffee, some love it and many of us couldn’t live without it, so if you’re in Brisbane and you’re craving a really good brew, make sure you check out some of the coffee spots mentioned here. They will not only give you the caffeine-hit you need, but will give you a glimpse into Brisbane’s more eclectic side as well.
Whether you are travelling with your family or by yourself, Queensland’s Gold Coast has something to offer everyone. From incredible beaches and various theme parks, to trendy shops and a sparkling nightlife, spending some quality time on the Gold Coast is Australia’s ultimate vacation.
The Gold Coast has so much to offer that it’s a good idea when planning a trip to make an itinerary before you depart, guaranteeing that you will get the most out of a week in this amazing holiday destination.
Here is a breakdown to help you get the most out of a week spent on the Gold Coast:
Day One – Theme Parks
The Gold Coast offers lots of family fun, with the choice of four energy-packed theme parks: Sea World, Wet N Wild, Movie World and Dreamworld.
For marine lovers, Seaworld offers a thrilling experience, including fascinating animal shows, adrenaline pumping roller coasters and fun-filled family entertainment.
Make friends with seals, penguins, sharks and polar bears and be sure to take in the dolphin show. Ray Reef is the perfect place for the little ones to play with stingrays, starfish and corals, and the underwater observatory is packed full of Australia’s most colourful marine creatures. You can also come face-to-face with colossal sharks.
The new Dinosaur Island allows families to step back in time more than 65 million years, a time when dinosaurs ruled the earth. The interactive attraction features a massive 18m long T.Rex and life size dinosaurs that move and roar.
The SpongeBob ParadePants will get the kids up bopping and marvelling at the incredibly colourful show and the Jet Stunt Extreme will have adrenaline junkies’ hearts pounding.
On a hot summers day, the perfect place to be is the Gold Coast’s Wet N Wild, where you’ll find water slides such as the Blackhole, Kamikaze and the Tornado. For the ultimate adrenaline rush, the new Aqualoop will see you anxiously waiting in a trap door before being plummeted down a 12m free fall drop, leading up to a full loop at insane speeds of 60 km/h.
For young children, the pirate themed Buccaneer Bay will see kids screaming for joy at the multi-level attraction complete with giant tipping bucket.
For those looking to relax, Calypso Beach is the greatest way to spend a lazy sunny afternoon.
Movie World is described as “Hollywood on the Gold Coast” and you’ll soon know why as you step through the Warner Brothers gates. Packed full of thrilling rides such as the Green Lantern and home to stunt driver entertainment and toe-tapping parades, Movie World is fun for the entire family.
Known as Australia’s largest theme park it offers countless activities for everyone, with animal presentations, the Big 8 Thrill Rides and the kid-friendly Wiggles World. For those looking to escape the heat, the adjacent WhiteWater World is definitely worth a visit.
Day Two: The beach
After all the fun and excitement provided by day one, you’ll need some time to recover and what better way to do that then to catch some rays on Surfers Paradise Beach.
The three-kilometer stretch of sand welcomes swimmers, joggers, surfers and sunbathers, looking to enjoy the warm waters the Gold Coast has to offer.
Families can rest assured that they are in safe hands, with the lifeguard tower being patrolled 365 days a year.
Day Three: Day trip to Byron Bay
If you have access to a vehicle, why not head out of town and drive south to the beautiful shores of Byron Bay, where you will find an array of boutique stores, great food and an eccentric energy. Home to hippies and backpackers, the rich and the famous, Byron Bay is a must visit.
The picturesque Cape Byron Lighthouse is situated on Australia’s most easterly point and offers magnificent views over the Pacific Ocean. Enjoy a nature walk, sit back and watch the hundreds of surfers or take in the stunning hinterland by hot air balloon.
Byron Bay is located about one hour south of the Gold Coast.
Day Four: Head to the Mountains
The Tamborine Mountains are the adult form of a theme park, offering decadent wineries, pubs on cliffs, gallery walks and beautiful rainforests. The adventurous can take a four-wheel driving tour and try hang gliding. For those looking to unwind, there are plenty of day spas and pretty bushwalks.
The Tamborine Mountain Rainforest Skywalk is a great way to explore the rainforest canopy and offers sensational views over the Gold Coast.
Day Five: Back to the beach or a day of shopping
Chances are you have headed to the Gold Coast for a bit of R&R, so why not head back to the beach with a good book or a bucket and spade for the kids. If you find that Surfers Paradise is too crowded, check out one of the quieter nearby beaches such as Nobby Beach or Currumbin.
After a morning of dipping your toes in the ocean, why not slip your toes into a new pair of shoes from one of the many boutique shops in Main Beach or shop up a storm at Pacific Fair or Robina Town Centre – home to more than 350 retail outlets.
Day Six: Day trip to Brisbane
For those seeking a bit of culture, the Brisbane Arts sector is outstanding, home to the Queensland Art Gallery, the State Library and the Queensland Museum.
Food lovers can enjoy a meal at any one of Brisbane’s exciting restaurants and the CBD also presents you with another shopping opportunity.
South Bank sits on the Brisbane River and is a perfect spot to watch the kayaks and boats making their way up and down the city. South Bank is Brisbane’s thriving cultural heart, offering international art exhibitions and large-scale musicals. If you’ve brought the kids along for the ride, they won’t be able to wipe the smile off their faces once they discover Australia’s only man made beach located in heart of the suburb.
Day Seven: The Marina
Start your final day with a relaxing breakfast in one of the friendly cafés and then make your way over to the Gold Coast Marina, where you’ll find Marina Mirage, Queensland’s finest waterfront shopping and dining resort, as well as hundreds of luxurious yachts and boats.
Located on the Southport Spit, the Marina is a perfect place to hop on a boat, which can take you through the dazzling canals that make the Gold Coast so famous. Imagine life on the coast in one of the elaborate mansions that line the banks or marvel at the inquisitive dolphins that love to frequent the warm waters.
Those looking for a thrill can enjoy an extreme jet boat ride or for those seeking a bit of opulence you can check out the luxurious six star Palazzo Versace hotel.
Whatever you decide to do on the Gold Coast, you can be assured that a memorable holiday will be had by all.
Queensland tourism is finally on the up, according to the Brisbane Times.
Tourism has slumped over the last five years in the Sunshine State, says the Brisbane Times. This has been due to competition from Asia, which has been offering cheaper holidays.
Whether you’re just after a quick cuppa or you want to indulge in high tea with all the trimmings, Sydney has an abundance of exceptional tea houses and this article looks at six of the very best.
Best Tea – The Tea Centre
With over 180 different varieties of tea, the Tea Centre truly is the centre of the known tea universe in Sydney. As well as all the classic blends, they have a huge range of unusual flavours, sporting equally unusual names such as Arctic Fire, Snow Dragon, Black Adder, Blue Lagoon and Hair of the Dog.
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The two ends of a commercial plane could hardly be more different in aim and design. Economy passengers must sit in close proximity in order to fit more people in the plane. Business and first class passengers, however, are given room to lie down and may not even see their travelling neighbour from their luxurious spot.
First class and business travel comes at a price, of course. But it also costs a lot to make the seat in the first place, according to the Sydney Morning Herald. A New York Times report puts the cost of building a business class seat at around $32,500 to $87,000. In first class, that figure skyrockets to more than half a million dollars.
An airline’s decision to offer adult-only seats in economy class has ignited a debate around whether children should also be kept out of business class areas in planes.
Scoot, a budget carrier based in Singapore, has announced it will sell tickets for five rows at the front of economy class cabins to passengers over 12 years of age only.
Whether it’s a chance encounter with a dugong, or a run-in with a giant mud crab in a Chinese street market, Queensland is full of unexpected experiences.
The Gold Coast’s stunning string of squeaky-clean white sand beaches needs no introduction. From the family-friendly Rainbow Bay at the state’s border to Main Beach further north, the Gold Coast offers some of the best beaches in the world.
Sunshine Beach can be found at the far end of the koala-stuffed Noosa National Park. Natural and unpretentious, this is a great spot for sunbathing and is away from the crowds that can be found at the more touristy Main Beach.
Arguably Australia’s most picturesque beach is Whitehaven on the Whitsundays. The fine white sand and turquoise water make Whitehaven a desirable place to sit and soak up the sun. However, the best time to visit this stunning locale is the Aussie winter, when the venomous box jellyfish are not in the waters.
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Sydney is a beautiful city with so much to see and do. To stretch the holiday dollars a bit further, Sydney.com shared five things you can do in the city for free:
- The Sydney Harbour Bridge is free to walk across. From this prime position, you’ll have spectacular views of the city; use the opportunity to get your camera out and capture the harbour, Opera House and other Sydney landmarks forever.
- For a glimpse of Australia’s unique plant life, visit the Royal Botanical Gardens. The Gardens bring together many of the country’s plants and trees. It’s also a perfect picnic spot and the paths can be explored for hours.
- The Art Gallery of NSW is packed with international and indigenous works, whilst the building itself is spacious and offers magnificent views of the city.
- There’s always something going on in Darling Harbour, so head over there for guaranteed entertainment.
- Darling Harbour is also the location of the Australian National Maritime Museum. Free to enter, the museum explores ocean life and there are activities and experiences here that the whole family will enjoy.
Given the popularity of last minute deals, it may be tempting to delay booking accommodation until as late as possible, perhaps even leaving it until the plane lands at your chosen destination. But then you are faced with hunting for a bargain without the luxury of time, so what’s the best approach to uncovering a last minute deal?
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, having a couple of relevant apps preloaded on your smartphone can help. Searching dozens of sites can take up a lot of time without a guarantee of success, so pick your favourite booking sites and get their apps onto your phone or tablet before you depart so that you can make a quick search if you need to.