The New Inchcolm Hotel & Suites Brisbane

I recently stayed at The New Inchcolm Hotel & Suites in Brisbane. It recently re-opened in November 2014 and still had that new hotel smell.

I loved everything about this hotel, and to the point that I’ll be hoping to stay here for all future trips to Brisbane. Unlike the Hilton or Sofitel in Brisbane, this is a very nice and modern hotel, yet the way they have renovated it, gives it a classic / New York loft style.

Check in was a breeze. As Accor gold I got upgraded to a deluxe room and one drink (odd, I normally get two but apparently M only do one – no big deal).

Really appreciated the extra touch of having the front desk escort me to my room and show me the essentials.

Our room was super hot – but it was also a horribly hot weekend in Brisbane (sitting around 40c) – and because I checked in at 9.30am – they moved me to a new room, so I can’t expect the AC to be on.

The room was sensational – lovely big open room. Heaps of light. Power points next to both sides of the bed. USB points. All things I love. Remote-controlled curtains and shade also a big plus.

Things I liked:

Wifi was only $10/24hrs which is great value – compared to Hilton or Sofitel – around $30-$50.

Vallet (though I didn’t use it) was only $40 – again, Hilton or Sofitel are $50-$55 per night.

Can’t wait to come back.

 

Nice room keys.

Nice room keys.

Bedside table - everything a business traveller loves. iPad, Power points, USB power and remote for the curtains.

Bedside table – everything a business traveller loves. iPad, Power points, USB power and remote for the curtains.

Complimentary G&T with Accor Gold status.

Complimentary G&T with Accor Gold status.

Outside The New Inchcolm Hotel & Suites Brisbane at night.

Outside The New Inchcolm Hotel & Suites Brisbane at night.

What’s in my bag

I saw a post on Matt Mullenweg’s blog outlining what he has in his backpack, and found it somewhat interesting since I travel a bit and always keen to see what other travellers do to make life easier.

I clearly don’t travel with as many gadgets or things as Matt does, but I thought I’d share a few of the items I do carry.

I’m a pretty simple traveller, I have my key items that I always like to take with me and have slowly perfected that should and shouldn’t go.

Firstly, things not pictured that I always take include a charger (sometimes I put this in my wheely carry-on bag), a full-sized USB mouse (there are no batteries to go flat and I can use it all day without getting sore fingers). I also have a pretty decent collection of drugs for various situations, should I need them. Hayfever to cold, headache to heart attack, I think I have a decent collection.

Now, things pictured:

  1. iPhone 6 (64GB) – My favourite iPhone…. since the last one.
  2. Bright orange, heavy duty cable – VERY easy to lose / not notice white leads, orange has been great at not being left behind.
  3. Thunderbolt to VGA – projectors, most LCD/LED/Plasma TVs have a VGA input, and a lot of hotels also have VGA inputs.
  4. Generic iPhone headphones – handy for making calls on with the mic & adjusters.
  5. Mediocre in-ear headphones. I go through these often, either lose, break or forget to bring them. Around $100~ buys a decent pair of headphones that I can use on a plane for sleeping. Most airlines give out respectable noise cancelling headphones in business class anyway.
  6. Notebook  – always take this or an A4 notebook with me. Big fan of scribbling notes / thoughts down. Also better than using conferences notebooks as you then have 5 different sources of notes for a trip.
  7. Montblanc Meisterstück 1 Pen Pouch – Where my StarWalker Platinum Resin Pen lives.
  8. Montblanc Wallet
  9. Montblanc Passport Pouch
  10. 15″ Retina Macbook Pro

What can or can’t you live without when you travel?

Flying to Los Angeles in Business Class with Fiji Airways

On my most recent trip to the US, I flew with Fiji Airways (Formerly Air Pacific) from Sydney to LAX via Nadi (Fiji) in business class. I wanted share a couple of nice pics from the flight and the pros and cons of flying this way, rather than direct from Australia to the United States with Qantas or Virgin, etc.

Positives

The planes that operate the Sydney – Nadi – Los Angeles flights are essentially brand new Airbus A330s – the old Air Pacific B747s are well an truly retired.

The evening flight from Nadi to LAX is really pleasant. The Australian based flights all leave mid morning and arrive into LAX first thing in the morning. Leaving Fiji at 10pm, and arriving into LAX at 1pm was incredibly pleasant. Sleeping 8 hours on the flight over, being able to check into a hotel straight away, and only having the afternoon to fill in – compared to a full day  was nice.

The Fiji Airways crew were very good. I know some frequent fliers would not appreciate the more casual or laid back service, compared to Qantas or Virgin, but I personally didn’t mind the more casual yet incredibly friendly crew.

The cost was approximately half of what flying Qantas or Virgin would be considering the only real trade-off was a 3 hour layover, I think it was sensational value.

Being a Qantas Frequent flyer, I was happy to receive all the status credits from NAN – LAX as Business Class and 50% standard Business Class status credits from Sydney to Nadi.

Negatives

The layover in Nadi isn’t great, but it does break the trip up a bit, and a shower after waking up on the flight home is a nice treat.

Nadi Airport isn’t the most efficient airports going around – so manage your expectations.

Weather into Nadi can be troublesome, so while I had no delays, I would factor it in – especially in cyclone and storm seasons.

To mix things up, I sat in 4A from Nadi to Sydney, and realised that the legroom and space isn’t as great in those 3 three rows, compared to my regular seat for SYD-NAN-LAX-NAN in 1A, although there were more storage bins in rows other than Row 1.

… 

CaboPress 2014

Earlier this year Chris Lema announced a Mastermind group / event in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, called “CaboPress” which got my attention.

For those who don’t know what a Mastermind is:

Mastermind groups offer a combination of brainstorming, education, peer accountability and support in a group setting to sharpen your business and personal skills. A mastermind group helps you and your mastermind group members achieve success.

(Source)

I pretty quickly made my mind up and organised my flights around the world to hang out for 4 nights with a bunch of Chris’ friends. Now, these weren’t just a bunch of random friends, they were all people who’ve accomplished something or had some insight to share.They’re all known in various circles within the WordPress community / eco system. …