The Humble Beginnings
Robertson is an outer suburb in the south of Brisbane, Australia. It is 13 kilometres (8 miles) south of the Central Business District. It was once part of Coopers Plains, which was a convict outpost from the colony of Brisbane, and later a major base for the Royal Australian Army. It was separated and officially named in July 1967 in memory of Doctor William Nathaniel Robertson who was a member of the University of Queensland.
The suburb of Nathan was also named in July 1967 after Sir Matthew Nathan, Governor of Queensland from 1920 to 1926. Kessels Road provides a visual boundary, dividing Robertson and Nathan. From the mid-19th Century, it developed into a farming area with prosperous fruit and poultry farms, as well as gardens of every kind.
Mr. Ken Duncombe, a successful developer – well known for his acquisitions on the north side of Brisbane, made his first footprint on the Southside in 1982. He was considered a visionary, with a keen eye for reading the growth of suburbs, and believed Robertson was the next obvious area for suburban growth.
1988 was a significant turning point for Brisbane. Having enjoyed a taste of global exposure in 1982, the people of Brisbane were hungry to not only show off our magnificent city again, but to party and enjoy our perfect, mild sub-tropical weather. Brisbane came alive with the 6 month long celebration of the ‘World Expo’.
The other significant event in 1988 was the opening of Robertson Gardens Motel. Little did the Duncombe family realise that this magnificent achievement was only stage one. Completing the road side of the block with the natural council easement behind provided 4 blocks, housing the 80 en-suited motel rooms to a solid 4 star standard.
The property also included a fully working commercial kitchen and restaurant, a meeting room to accommodate up to 100 people, and a reception area. Maintaining the feel of the natural landscape and the natural flora of the area, beautiful gardens and extensive parking were included in the design. Lush tropical gardens between each block and a cool crisp swimming pool under the trees gave a resort feeling to the property, creating refreshing open spaces necessary in a sub tropical climate like that of Brisbane.
It wasn’t long before it was obvious to the Duncombes that there was a growing demand for a Conference Centre, as well as a series of fully self-contained apartments. This culminated in the proud addition of 60 – 1, 2 and 3 bedroom fully self-contained villas, a laundry block and storage area, and the Musgrave Conference Centre, which opened in 1992.
The property opened as Robertson Gardens Motel and progressed to Robertson Gardens Plaza Hotel. Joining Flag Hotels in 2000 they became Choice Hotels and rebranded the property Comfort Inn & Suites Robertson Gardens. Continuing our strong affiliation with Choice Hotels globally, we are very proud to have won again in 2012 Comfort Inn of the Year – Australasia, followed with the Global Award, giving us our 4th major award in 12 years.
One of the philosophies of the property is to listen to our guests’ needs. Therefore, it is no surprise that since 1989 to the present day, adapting to the guests’ needs continues to be of paramount importance. Renovations and refurbishments have become an ongoing occurrence, with the level of guest satisfaction reflected in the numerous awards bestowed upon Mrs. Coral Duncombe and the team at Comfort Inn & Suites Robertson Gardens.