Wouldn’t it be nice to stay in a hotel that surpasses all expectations? Could Quentin Long have found one? In a world of hype – where we are so used to being over-sold and over-promised, only to receive a shrug of the shoulders on check-out – it’s nice to find a hotel that goes the other way, delivering above expectations.

To be blunt, The Miro’s website is uninspiring at best compared to the pleasant reality that awaits you in these serviced apartments. Part of the problem is that I’ve become cynical after staying in many hotels that looked better online than they did when I got there. So I have very low expectations before I arrive at The Miro.

I only visited The Miro’s site after I made a bid on the UBid4Rooms website at a rate that was less than Wotif’s. I was able to negotiate directly with the managers through UBid because I was booking multiple rooms for multiple nights. Score, if you ask me. But like I say, I wasn’t expecting much.

A stone’s throw from the heart of Fortitude Valley, The Miro draws visually from its namesake, surrealist Spanish artist Joan Miró. You can’t miss the apartments on Robertson St. Miró’s signature primary colours, outlined dramatically in black, swirl across the building’s façade.

Check-in is during office hours unless you call ahead. This is not an ‘apartment hotel’, where you’re treated to some hotel services. Rather, The Miro comprises serviced apartments that cater primarily to the long-term corporate market. But it’s a great find for the leisure market and for short-term business travellers.

After collecting the keys to my room, I head to the courtyard in the centre of the complex, where a Meccano-like set of steel platforms and walkways scale the building to give you access to the rooms. A number of palms in square cement planter boxes create the feeling of a steel-sided oasis. Surreal, almost. An incredibly slow lift means it is always more efficient to walk.

Entering the apartment, I stop and take stock. I am standing in the middle of a bedroom-cum-hallway, being assaulted by the stark white of what feels like a scene from A Clockwork Orange, so I suppose they really do have that whole surrealism thing going on.

The bedroom has only three walls, though no melting clock. A white curtain can be drawn to form a fourth ‘wall’, blocking a view of the bedroom from the front door. I assume it is a practical solution to offer privacy if you have guests. It’s an interesting compromise that works. The minimalist interiors and all that white are an extreme contrast to the building’s vibrant public face.

Past the bedroom is a fully stocked kitchen and combined living space. Splashes of colour relieve the overwhelming white palette here: a turquoise kitchen bench and bright red plastic stools. Red cushions on the white lounge and a red rug stand out.

The bathroom is easily accessed from both the living room and bedroom. It follows the white and minimalist theme. There’s a shower – no bath – and laundry facilites.

The apartment is simple, stylish, comfortable and incredibly affordable considering its proximity to The Valley – perfect for exploring the increasingly interesting heart of Brisbane.

THE AT Verdict

Quentin Long, who paid his own way and visited anonymously, says:

The pick of Brisbane serviced apartments for a leisure weekend. Not much in terms of service, but at this price an exceptional option.
The Details
Where  The Miro Apartments,
41 Robertson St, Fortitude Valley.
Notes  We paid $145 per night for a two-night stay. It’s billed as a self-catering apartment hotel for business travellers, so you can get great deals on weekends when the business folk are all back home.
Contact  (07) 3634 6900; themiro.com.au
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