You don’t have to be a contestant on the Amazing Race to get stuck at the airport overnight - all you need is a flight delay or clunky connection and you might find yourself checking into Hotel Brisbane Airport for the night.
So what do you do if you find yourself at Brisbane Airport during night-owl hours, when the terminals get quiet, security is closed, and the sound of airport announcements is replaced by the hum of the floor cleaner maneuvering across each level of the terminal?
No need to cry into the stub of your boarding pass. We’ve got you covered with where to catch some z’s until security fires-up their scanners and gets you through to the departure lounge.
For the traveller who likes all the comforts
With three airport hotels within a pillow’s throw of the terminals, take the opportunity to get a full energy recharge and book a room at the Ibis Brisbane Airport, Pullman Brisbane Airport or Novotel Brisbane Airport.
Ibis Brisbane Airport
If you didn’t get to fly flat, make sure you lie flat and book into Ibis Brisbane Airport.
With 243 queen and twin rooms, completely soundproofed with block-out curtains, you will be sure to get an uninterrupted slumber.
Once you’ve wheeled your luggage into your room, make tracks to the onsite restaurant, Cribb Island Beach Club (open 5.30am to 9.45pm) and grab yourself a wood-fired pizza and Cribb Island Iced Tea. Because, #holidays.
Day rates are also available between 9am to 5am if you are looking to refresh yourself before a meeting or your onward journey.
No car, no problem - jump on the hotel's shuttle bus back to the terminal. Operating every 40 minutes from 4am to 10am, you don’t need to worry about airport traffic on this 15-minute commute to the terminals.
Pullman Brisbane Airport
Recently voted Australia/Pacific’s best airport hotel (in 2019 and 2022) by Skytrax, Pullman Brisbane Airport will ensure a five-star sleep less than five minutes from both terminals.
With 132 rooms that range in comfort levels from suites to superior queen rooms, Pullman Brisbane Airport brings a touch of luxury to the airport precinct.
To get there, catch their hotel shuttle from either terminal, or take a stroll from the Domestic Terminal, and follow the same steps back to the terminal the next day after a nights’ hibernation.
If you don’t have to race back to the terminal for a morning departure, swap your king bed for a daybed and catch some rays at the rooftop resort-style pool.
Don’t go hungry, Apron Restaurant and Bar serves from 6am to 9pm and room service is available to keep your belly full all night.
Day rates are also available with full use of the hotel's facilities if you are after a quick swim and workout in the fitness centre to beat jet lag.
Novotel Brisbane Airport
Book your stay at Novotel Brisbane Airport and make the most of Brisbane’s subtropical climate before your flight. Catch the elevator straight to the rooftop pool terrace to unwind, before retiring to your sleeping quarters.
Located near Brisbane Airport at the Skygate precinct, next to Brisbane’s outlet shopping Mecca (DFO), you’ll be wishing you’d booked a late checkout to squeeze in a lap around the shops.
With five different room types, from standard to executive, Novotel Brisbane Airport has you covered less than five kilometres from the Domestic Terminal.
No need to suffer from the midnight munchies, with 24-hour room service and a 24-hours Woolworths only 200 metres away.
For the adventurous International Terminal airport sleeper
If there was a Skytrax Award for the most comfortable place to sleep at the International Terminal, Level 2 would take out the trophy, with Level 4 coming in a close second.
These couches have no annoying metal armrests, allowing anyone bigger than a child to stretch out from head to toe, it’s the closest you’ll come to a Posturepedic mattress at the airport.
With security only closed between 01:30am and 04:45am at the International Terminal, you won’t have long to wait until you can venture through to the other side. Tip: make sure you check in first before heading through security (check in opens three hours prior to international flights).
If you've found yourself checked in, through security and passport control on Level 3 Departures with hours to spare, catch up on some z's on the sun lounges before you head down the concourse to Gate 82 - 87.
For the adventurous Domestic Terminal airport sleeper
Don’t despair if you’re travelling from the Domestic Terminal. If you find yourself at the terminal when security is closed (approximately last flight to 03:30am depending on flights), you can still enjoy the comforts of the International Terminal – just jump on the free terminal transfer bus back in the morning to catch your flight.
Want to feel fresh? Make sure you pack a small towel and make use of the showers on Level 2 in the Arrivals Hall before switching back to the Domestic Terminal.
Terminal sleep-over tips
- Although the lounge area allows you to get horizontal, unless you carry a memory-foam pillow in your carry-on, you’ll need to improvise to give your head and neck a slither of support while you count sheep. Enter, the hoodie aka the makeshift pillow. Just roll the sleeves and body of the jumper into the hood and voila! Keep in mind, if you’re going to turn your jumper into a pillow (you’re welcome, by the way), remember airports tend to be air-conditioned, so you’ll need another layer or two for warmth.
- Don’t despair if you get an attack of the midnight munchies, either. You won’t need to travel far, with a 24-hour Woolworths and Service Centre on the doorstep of both terminals (read: five-minute Uber trip), or if you want wait it out, The Coffee Club on Level 2 of the International Terminal is open until 12:00am and reopens at 5:00am. You'll also find vending machines nearby if you're really in a pickle for a snack.
- When you’ve counted enough sheep and you’re still wide awake, log onto the free WiFi – you’ll need to log on every 30 minutes, but that’s enough time to download the next season of your favourite Netflix show or podcast.