Lachlan Furnell, General Manager, Hotel Urban

Learn to be positive to the people around you ...

Observing the foyer of Hotel Urban on a busy weekday morning, you can tell Lachlan Furnell is a man on a mission. The self-confessed entertainer is completely at home amongst his staff and guests, juggling multiple tasks with ease. For a man who loves to socialise, the role of hotel general manager couldn’t be more perfect. Although Lachlan says it was a challenge learning to hold back and take one step at a time when he took up the role four years ago, the changes he’s brought to the venue are impressive. From the art on the walls to the music on the speakers, Lachlan’s had a hand in it all. He’s even set about creating what he calls his Alice in Wonderland spaces – themed nooks and rooms that offer hotel guests a fleeting escape from reality. After stints working in hotels in Vietnam, North Queensland and Sydney, Lachlan and his wife made the move to Brisbane ten years ago. The Weekend Edition chatted with Lachlan to discover his weekend rituals.

How do you like to start your weekend?
Early! If I can get a good start on Saturday morning, punch out a number of chores and pop in to work briefly, then I have time on Sunday to relax with the kids.

What’s your favourite thing to do on a Saturday morning?
Saturdays are generally busy with the kids’ sport, chores and my work schedule, so it’s important for me to get up early and get started.

How do you like to unwind?
Exercise always helps me clear my head and the ocean is the most ideal place for me to relax.

What are your essentials for a well-spent weekend?
Time with the family, a bit of gardening, leisure time on the boat or a trip to the beach, a relaxing coffee and preparing a nice meal with a glass of wine.

What’s something you’ve been meaning to do on the weekend but haven’t got around to yet?
I’d like to take a trip out to the country. I feel relaxed in the Australian countryside.

What’s your favourite thing to do on a Sunday evening?
Definitely preparing a barbecue, swimming with the kids and enjoying a nice glass of vino.

What are you looking forward to next weekend?
My sister will be visiting from Sydney, so we’ll be catching up. We’re planning to head down to the Palazzo Versace hotel on the Gold Coast for a night.

What are you reading at the moment?
Richard Branson’s second book and The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle.

What inspires you?
Other people who share a natural optimism for life.

What was your childhood dream?
Just to be happy. I never really looked too far ahead. I tend to live each day as it comes and look on the positive side of things. I always wanted children though.

What have been your greatest achievements?
I think marriage, three beautiful boys and learning to accept adversity as it arises.

What is success to you?
To enjoy each day and have the ability to make decisions without feeling you have little choice.

What are your words of wisdom?
Learn to understand and enjoy the down times. You learn so much about yourself during this period and learn to be positive to the people around you – no one likes to hang out with a negative influence.

Only a local would know that … Brisbane is the best city in Australia to raise a family.

Perk up … Laps at Centenary Pool.
Relax … Cabarita Beach, New South Wales.
Dine … There are so many great restaurants in Brisbane these days.
Indulge … On the boat with my kids and a mate.
Shop … Any Brisbane markets. I love plodding through, trialling homegrown produce.
Catch-up … Anywhere with friends.
Be inspired … Talking with my wife – she is amazing.


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