Los Angeles, California
October 28, 2009
If given a choice, I would rather not spend the last night of a vacation at an airport motel, but sometimes, it is just logistically wiser to be on or near airport premises the night before a departing flight. This really serves to eliminate unexpected snafus, problems, delays, traffic, etc. and gives a traveler peace-of-mind. I welcomed that "comfort zone" when we concluded our Australia trip and faced a 10:15 a.m. departure from Brisbane. I had tried to select the airport motel carefully when arranging our travel plans and utilized as many resources online as I could. It is usually not an issue of too little information but merely what properties are available near a given airport. Some cities are better than others, as seasoned travelers well know.
It seemed to me that the logical pick distance-wise as well as comfort-wise, was to go with the Kingsford Smith Motel, a small but well-run facility, truly a short distance (as advertised) from Brisbane’s airport. The hotel takes its name after the famous Australian aviator, Sir Charles Edward Kingsford Smith, who in 1928 made the first trans-Pacific flight from the U.S. to Australia. We arrived around dinnertime, the evening prior to our departure and were a little tired from the day. The greeting we received when checking in was welcoming and helpful. We inquired where we could have dinner. The manager recommended a seafood restaurant around the corner. My husband and I looked at each other with a cautioned expression of "do we have a choice?" So, we proceeded to our room, settled in and freshened upfor dinner. I immediately noticed that our room was precisely as described in the motel’s website … that’s always a comforting realization. The rooms are simply decorated, clean and secure.
We decided to go with the Manager’s suggestion and try SeaGrill Cafe. As soon as we turned the corner, there it was – it couldn’t have been more convenient. We ended up having a lovely meal. They serve an array of fresh fish in a variety of preparations. Be aware though that they do not have a license to sell liquor but you can bring your own in if you wish. The service was quite friendly the atmosphere was casual and comfortable.
But the nicest impression we left with was the following day when we checked out. Everything was in order and we took our cab to the airport. As I stepped out of the cab, I noticed that my bracelet was not on my wrist, as usual. My heart sank, as it was a favorite of mine. I made a phone call to the manager at the Kingsford Smith Motel immediately and described the bracelet to him. He asked me to call back in 10 minutes so he could check the room. I did and he informed me that he had found my bracelet on the floor. I offered to pay for the return of my bracelet back to the U.S. But he said, "it can’t be that much". Still, I offered to reimburse him. After advising him of our address, he said he would forward it to me. Most travelers will tell you that this is not the norm. Not only was this like a "breath of fresh air", but the manager handled it in a professional and reassuring manner. I wish more establishments were run like this. It certainly was a very nice way to end our Australia vacation and nice impression with which to return home!
From journal Second Visit to Australia