The Ultimate Guide to Brisbane Hotels

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With gigantic regeneration projects underway, change is underway in Queensland’s capital – and an elegant crop of new hotels, restaurants and cultural spaces means it has never looked better.

Posted August 28, 2021, 12:15 AM BST

With Brisbane’s warm, subtropical climate and incredible river views, visitors should hop aboard one of the many cruises to explore the city from a different perspective.

Photograph by GETTY pictures

Always the bridesmaid, but never the bride – travelers looking for a city break often overlooked Brisbane in favor of Melbourne or Sydney, while those who took the tour often only stayed for time necessary to escape to the beaches of the Sunshine Coast. . But this is history. With a goal of hosting the 2032 Olympics, Brisbane is looking to the future, with a wave of new hotels, restaurants, bars and cultural venues turning Australia’s third largest city into a destination that rivals its brethren. and sisters from the south. There’s the Galley of Modern Art, the jaw-dropping street art on Fish Lane and the nightlife of Howard Smith Wharves, plus the heady mix of rock, queer, glam and pub culture in Fortitude Valley. As for hotels, the choice has never been greater, ranging from New Age dazzling to the calmer charm of renovated historic stays. But the city’s reasonably compact size means that no matter where you rest your head, you’ll never be far from the action.

One of the chic and boutique rooms at the Calile hotel. Every detail – from pink granite to geometric lamps – has been carefully selected, creating warm and elegant rooms.

Photograph by Sean fennessy

1. The Calile hotel

Ideal for the stylish ensemble

The lack of beaches in Brisbane has not ceased Hotel Calilé to introduce its own subtropical vibes to the city. Every detail – from pink granite to geometric lamps – has been carefully selected, creating warm and elegant rooms. Step out of the poolside cabana and you’ll find Ada Lane, where global fashion brands are squeezed between local boutiques and ice cream parlors. Reserve a table for Greek-inspired dishes at the hotel’s restaurant, Hellenika. Rooms: From AUD 329 (£ 180).

2. W Brisbane

Ideal for design enthusiasts

The rhinestone encrusted pineapple in the lobby tells you all about Brisbane. It’s flamboyant and fun, with the interior design a visual love letter to the serpentine of the Brisbane River: rugs inspired by light-speckled water, flood marks etched on the walls and no straight lines to to find. The 312 rooms are outfitted with wacky Australiana, from boomerang-shaped coffee tables to golden crocodile skulls shaped like pendant lights. The hotel’s prime location on North Quay means the Queensland Art Gallery and the Gallery of Modern Art are within easy walking distance, and the three on-site restaurants will keep visitors well-fed. But the highlight? The swimming pool and the bar with zebra patterns, which transform into a floating cinema. Rooms: From AUD 369 (£ 201).

3. AJ from Brisbane City

Ideal for sports enthusiasts

With Suncorp Stadium just across the road, Gabba’s cricket ground a short drive away, and breweries and distilleries scattered all around, AJ from Brisbane City is a hub for Australian cricket, rugby and football fans. Rooms come with a choice of shared bathrooms or private suites, while reduced occupancy during the pandemic means guests can maintain safe social distancing. Families or groups can stay together in private rooms. Eye-catching murals by Drapl, one of the artists who painted Victoria’s famous regional art silos, add a splash of color to the pool and rooftop bar, which offer five-star views of the CBD, the Brisbane River and Mount Coot-tha. Rooms: Private rooms from A $ 70 (£ 38).

The Away Spa at the W Hotel, Brisbane offers guests a beverage menu, which can be enjoyed in bespoke relaxation pods while you gaze out over the Brisbane River, or back in the Vitality Pools.

Photograph by W Brisbane Hotel

4. Hyatt Regency Brisbane

Ideal for the location

The elegant, newly renovated Hyatt Regency Brisbane boasts an enviable central location, leading directly to the bustle of Queen Street Shopping Center. While the big names in the mall can be irresistible to shopaholics, a sneaky back entrance on Brisbane’s oldest lane reveals a world of street art, hidden cafes, and heritage-listed cocktail bars inspired by underground bars in London and Paris. After a day of shuffling the sidewalks, the infinity pool on the mezzanine level and the hotel bar await you. You can also retreat to the comfort of your room with a comfy bed, large TV, and walk-in shower. Rooms: From AUD 259 (£ 141).

5. Ovolo La Vallée

Ideal for rock’n’rollers

Mix two whimsical parts with a nostalgic part, add a pinch of Ziggy Stardust and you end up with Ovolo The Valley. Located on the edge of Brisbane’s concert district, the hotel frequently hosts musicians and their entourage. An obsession with David Bowie means he has references to the icon at every turn. The rooftop pool is the perfect place to cure a hangover after a night out at nearby The Zoo, and foodies will feast on the on-site vegetarian restaurant Za Za Ta. Unleash your inner Ziggy with a stay in the Rockstar Suite, featuring 70s-inspired decor and artwork. Rooms: From A $ 253 (£ 138), B&B.

6. Adina Apartment Hotel, Brisbane

Ideal for history buffs

Built in 1922, and having served as a state bank, tax office and national broadcaster, this lady classified as heritage Brisbane’s hotel scene looks awe-inspiring for its age. You’ll find plenty of nods to its past, from the mosaic of the Queensland coat of arms at the front desk to giant musical notes hanging over the pool. Each of the 170 rooms feels both stately and modern, with kitchens, in-room laundry facilities, and separate living areas making them ideal for families as well. The nearby Queen Street Mall is perfect for exploring on foot, but return in time for an evening cocktail in the Boom Boom Room, housed in the building’s original safes. Rooms: From 215 AUD (£ 117).

The tropical lobby of Ovolo The Valley. Located on the edge of Brisbane’s concert district, the hotel frequently hosts musicians and their entourage.

Photograph by Ovolo The Valley

7. Hotel Sauge

Ideal for night owls

Alongside the historic pub of the QA hotel, Hotel Sauge is a gateway to Fortitude Valley’s bohemian cafes and restaurants, fashion boutiques and art galleries. Guests are greeted by a huge vertical interior garden, with black-and-white streetscapes adding a tinge of urban grunge. A free driver is available to you, but the hotel’s prime location on James Street means walking is a great way to explore. Step into Gnocchi Gnocchi Brothers, enjoy a pint at Sixes and Sevens, or take part in a wine tasting at City Winery. Rooms: From 140 AUD (76 £).

8. The Johnson

Ideal for art lovers

Located in the heart of the Spring Hill Heritage District and named in honor of Australian artist Michael Johnson, the Johnson Hotel is full of colorful creations by the abstract artist. Aesthetes can join the in-house art tour, browse the art library, watch the art TV channel, or use the hotel’s bikes to travel to the South Brisbane Arts District. Each of the 97 Family Suites comes with a kitchen and neighborhood views, while the expansive three-bedroom penthouses offer spectacular 180-degree skyline views. Rooms: From AUD 179 (£ 98).

9. Sanctuary of Sirromet

Ideal for naturalists

Wake up to the sounds of cockatoos and whistling ducks before stepping onto the deck of your private tented lodge to watch the wallabies pass by. Located in Mount Cotton, a 30 minute drive from Brisbane Airport, Sirromet Sanctuary is a glamping experience in a winery set on 560 acres of natural bush. Visitors can taste wines at the Cellar Door, take a behind-the-scenes tour of the vineyards, dine al fresco at its Tuscan-inspired terrace restaurant, or book a tour of the nearby islands of North Stradbroke and Moreton. Rooms: From A $ 237 (£ 129), B&B.

10. Hotel X

Ideal for fashionistas

It seems fitting that there is a little black book of quotes from Karl Lagerfeld on the bedside table at Hotel X. Brisbane’s newest hotel – the architectural embodiment of the late master of couture – has landed on the stage decked out head to toe in relaxed glamor, from the marble and gold adorned opulence of the foyer to the photograph of scandalous and scintillating fashion in every room. Guests are encouraged to be just as daring: savor caviar at the hotel’s French bistro, sip curious gem elixirs (positively charged sparkling water in moonlight) by the rooftop pool, or take a stroll into the nearby hubbub of Howard Smith Wharves for a seafood banquet by the river. Rooms: from A $ 214 (£ 117).

Published in the September 2021 issue of National Geographic Traveler (UK)

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