Families Magazine – Editor, Janine and her family stayed as guests at Rydges Hotel South Bank, Brisbane in May 2023. As always, our review is a genuine description of our experience to help you make a choice that is right for your family.
Over the weekend of Mother’s Day, we were lucky enough to be invited to stay at Rydges Hotel South Bank to get a feel for the rooms and facilities and report back to you. And when I say ‘we’, you know I mean my weirdly configured family. ‘We’ are 3 adults and 3 children – and this often causes consternation when booking accommodation, so it is always refreshing to find a place that caters for our family with their room configuration. And Rydges definitely did that!
Rydges is very family friendly, but it isn’t just the rooms that cater for large and small families alike. Everything from their location, to their facilities and their dining options are suitable for families. Oh, and that view….
Ready for our take on the hotel? Let’s get stuck in!
Where is Rydges South Bank?
Located on Glenelg St in South Brisbane, you cannot get a hotel closer to the South Bank Parklands. It is literally a 3 minute walk!
The Brisbane CBD is a 15-minute walk away across the Victoria Bridge and the hotel is connected to Brisbane’s transport network (trains, buses and ferries) so you can explore even further afield if you want to look around our beautiful city!
Address: 9 Glenelg St, South Brisbane, 4101 Brisbane
Tel: (07) 3364 0800
Why is this a great hotel for families in South Bank?
Immediately upon entering the room, we knew we were going to enjoy our stay. We entered into the ‘sitting room’ that adjoined the master bedroom. That is us playing Bears Vs Babies in the photo in the sitting room above. It had a huge sofa(bed) and divan as well as a large flat screen TV and a balcony.
The master bedroom was huge and my sister and her husband had dibs on that room within seconds. There was a large flat screen TV in their room too.
Then adjoining the siting room, with an interconnecting door, was the kids room with 2 x Queens beds and another fold out sofa bed and another flat screen TV! If you want to see exactly how the rooms are configured, I did a walk through with my family on Facebook live – you can watch that video here.
As well as being spacious, comfortable and full of televisions, what always makes me love a hotel room is how dark and quiet it is. Our rooms were so dark and so quiet overnight that the kids slept from 9.00pm to 8am the next morning. We had to wake them up to take them down to breakfast! If having your kids sleep for 11 hours straight isn’t winning at life, I don’t know what is!
If you want to replicate our booking to get this room configuration, you will need to book the Two Bedroom Family Suite. It features dual key access, dual access to a private balcony and two ensuite bathrooms.
Tell us about the family friendly facilities
Yes! Let me tell you what I found out!
Full disclosure, it was the middle of May and it was too cool for us to try their outdoor pool. We did however, walk around to check it out for you and can say, that it looked like a fab place to cool down on a warmer day. It is surrounded by a bar and may get busy in the summer, so if you stay on a hot day, feel free to let me know what it is like for kids over that time and I will add it to our review with a little update.
Gym, spa and sauna
Pack your swimmers families! Even if you don’t fancy the pool, the spa is warm all year round and can be found inside the gym. It was divine and right next to the sauna.
Get Out with Kids Tip: Kids must be supervised in the gym, spa and sauna.
Dining options at the hotel
We had both breakfast and dinner at the hotel.
Buffet breakfast in Bacchus
What is a hotel stay without a buffet breakfast? There is a reason why this one makes our list of best buffet breakfasts in Brisbane. Bacchus is an elegant dining room that makes you feel like you are dining somewhere special!
The buffet offered a wide range of hot and cold choices, enough options to suit every member of our family. Both adults and kids loved the fluffy scrambled eggs, crispy bacon, and pancakes. But we also enjoyed the freshly cut fruits and sweet pastries as well as the juice. There is filter coffee available but if you would like to have a barista made coffee, this is extra.
The attentive staff ensured a seamless experience. We sat in the ‘bar’ section of the restaurant and had a large table with other families nearby. I noticed babies were comfortable in their high chairs. We had our Mother’s Day breakfast here and it was lovely! 5 stars – highly recommend.
Al la carte dinner in CBD Restaurant
CBD stands for Cafe, Bar, Dining. This restaurant, located on the ground floor of the hotel, is more casual than Bacchus and offers a la carte dining from 7am to 10pm daily.
We booked our table for 6pm and were pleased to sit down after a full day of sight-seeing around South Bank and the CBD (yes! we really do go sightseeing in our own city!)
The restaurant offers burgers, pizzas and beers with a bar in the restaurant and a wood fired pizza oven in the kitchen. We were there on a Saturday night and it was quiet. I suspect that a 6pm dinner meant we were quite early. So if you like a restaurant that isn’t so noisy you have to shout at each other to be heard, try CBD.
I took photos of our meals, but they didn’t turn out very well, so instead I will give you the kids verdicts:
Master 16 – CBD Burger – loved it, but decided to share half with Miss 12 for some of her pizza.
Master 14 – Veggie Bowl – unfortunately this wasn’t to his liking so he swapped it for Caesar salad which he enjoyed.
Miss 12 – Primavera Pizza – she shared this with Master 16 as it was huge!
The adults also enjoyed their meals – another pizza and 2 x chicken schnitzels. Whilst we didn’t order from the kids menu, they have the things you would expect to see on the menu, pizza, pasta, fish and chips and a burger. Overall CBD is a good casual dining experience worth checking out as an option when you are next in South Bank.
Kids high teas at Bacchus
I also wanted to tell you about the high tea weekend offerings. The elegant dining room also serves children’s high teas on Saturdays and Sundays from 1pm. The menu offers delicious food like egg, watercress & tuna sandwiches, ruby chocolate & raspberry Madeleines, scones with jam & cream, and so much more, all for $35. This is on our ‘to do list’ and we will report back once we have so we can tell you what it was like!
Get Out with Kids update: We did it! It was delicious!! Highly recommend! See our video here.
Valet parking and EV charging
For those of you that are following our EV journey, the hotel has Tesla chargers, but unfortunately they were not working this weekend. As I drive a MG EV, that didn’t matter to me. The valet offered to ‘trickle charge’ my car whilst it was parked with them from mains power. It was 100% charged by the time we were ready to leave on Sunday morning. So that was another win!
The nitty gritty
The facilities and amenities are vast – so, from their website:
- Twenty-four-hour Reception and Concierge service
- Valet parking (available at $55 per car per night)
- Complimentary, high-speed wireless internet access
- In-room dining
- Hotel gym, complete with spa and sauna
- Business Centre
- Limousine service (booked through their Concierge)
- Fully-stocked mini bar
- Contracted dry cleaning service
- Self-service laundry
- Wheelchair accessibility
- On-demand movies, Google Chromecast, and external media support in every room
- In-room massage services (booked through our Concierge)
- Iron and ironing board
- In-room safe and central safety deposit boxes
- Controlled air conditioning at your fingertips
- Australian-owned thank you bathroom amenities
- VS Sassoon hairdryers
- RFID locks on all guest doors
- Intelligent LED lighting throughout the rooms, with all non-essential lighting, power and air conditioning controlled via in-room sensors
- Microwaves and Nespresso coffee machines in every suite
What’s on near Rydges South Bank?
This hotel is ideally located near the following Brisbane attractions suitable for families:
- Queensland Museum
- State Library
- Riverside Green Playground
- Streets Beach
We’ve written a detailed article about 21 fun things to do in South Bank with kids here.
- City Hall & Clock Tower
- Museum of Brisbane
- Brisbane Botanical Gardens and Playground
- QUT Gardens Theatre
- Fairy Lights at Goodwill Bridge
- Roma Street Parklands & much more
Rydges Hotel South Bank
This is a great choice for families looking to stay at a gorgeous, family friendly hotel right in South Bank. The rooms are large, fully equipped and clean and we love the interconnected doors! The staff are super friendly and the location is ideal for exploring South Bank and the city.
When doing your research on the best hotel for families in Brisbane, I guarantee you this hotel will come up over and over again! It is a fantastic place to stay to create some wonderful memories with your family!
If you stay, let us know your thoughts too!
If you are looking for things to do over the school break, check out these school holiday activities in Brisbane, outlining all the best things to do with kids over the break.