When you’re on an educational (or famil) of a destination and already done half a dozen hotel site inspections it’s a refreshing change when someone does something a little bit different, as was the case with the Sofitel Gold Coast recently. GM Amery Burleigh and her team decided that rather than have the visiting corporate group look at the variety of room types at the property they could chill out on the pool deck with champagne and nibbles. Ms Burleigh was already waiting for the group when they arrived, reading the newspaper in bed. Certainly something different a welcome change to the norm. Ms Burleigh features in our influential women feature this edition too. Turn to page 47 to read how she became the first five-star GM in Australia.

Now before all you WA folk get on your high horse and tell us that we didn’t include anybody from your state in our influential women feature which concludes this edition we have to tell you that we wanted to. We found someone who we thought was worthy of inclusion but unfortunately they told us they were too busy to contribute. Sorry folks.

We’re not sure what all the fuss is about Brisbane being selected to host the 2014 G20 summit over Sydney. As we predicted earlier this year Sydney would lose business with the full closure of the Sydney Convention & Exhibition Centre during its rebuild. And of course it has. But be that as it may, Brisbane is a world city in its own right. All the talk of not having enough rooms is bunkum, as is that of delegates being disappointed that Brisbane is the host city. Brisbane is now a stunning city, has a high-quality convention centre, excellent hotels, and great restaurants. Our tip for delegates would be to stay in town and catch a CityCat to the convention centre. And while they’re at it why not throw in the togs for a midday swim at Southbank. It doesn’t get much better.

What did get our goat with talk of the G20 going to Brisbane was that there was no mention of Melbourne being the host city for the 2014 meeting. This is one city that is tailor-made for the large-scale conference market. Delegates could have been provided pushbikes or skateboards and cruised to the convention centre along the Southbank promenade allowing them to work off their breakfast and helping to cut down on their carbon footprint. Let’s call the PM…

Isn’t it nice when a hotel does something a little bit different with its refurbishment? The Gold Coast’s QT resort has done just that, creating a property with a real difference courtesy of some forward-thinking design elements. The funky property has a real retro feel to it giving it an edgy difference to current offerings. The group has done something similar at its property in Port Douglas although with a little more subtlety to the Gold Coast venue. We can’t wait to see what they do in Sydney!