It’s Brisbane’s time for a turn in the spotlight, with a welter of stylish new hotel openings that play with Queensland’s past and deliver a gentle dig in BrisVegas’ ribs – all in the best taste.
BrisVegas is bling, and bling is good. Upmarket, free-spirited hotel brand W returns to Australia with a bang, on the banks of the Brisbane River. The river lent its indigenous story to the design, with Brisbane’s river serpent snaking through the hotel, which successfully mixes sultry and saucy. Gold pineapples, budgies and cockatoos abound, but they’re wrought in super-sheen fabrics, sequins, and metallic mesh: it’s layered and lush and total Queensland. Take a dip in the black-and-white chevron pool, toast sunset and the DJs at its WET Deck terrace and book a date for dinner in Three Blue Ducks restaurant, which blends healthy and indulgent. Stays at the fashion and design-driven brand start at $350 in a Wonderful room, (more for the Spectacular, Fantastic, Marvellous and WOW rooms and suites).
Adina Apartment Hotel
Adina is having a torrid affair with everything Art Deco, and its latest opening, in Brisbane’s CBD, is no exception. It’s not just an affectation: the old Queensland Government Savings Bank opened in 1922, with the lobby’s black-and-white tiles and deep timber panelling. Uniformity begone: rooms are delightfully odd, with hidden kitchenettes and bathrooms tucked in former bank vaults. Its photogenic, mod-Chinese restaurant, Donna Chang, (named after a Seinfeld character) has also finally opened, by the same gang behind the fêted Blackbird Bar & Grill and Byblos, and with chef Jason Margaritis moving from Neil Perry’s Spice Temple Melbourne. Nip down to the basement to find the moody blue cocktail bar, Boom Boom. The 220 rooms run from studios up to its 20 two-bedroom, river-facing apartments. From $164.
Ovolo New Inchcolm
Set in Spring Hill on the edge of Brisbane’s CBD, a 1930s neo-Georgian façade leads into this snappy boutique hotel, whose 50 rooms range from economical for the single traveller up to the top floor’s swish Thomson Suite loft, with city views. Art curator Lisa Fehily’s selection of contemporary works and stylist Anna Roberts’ vast collection of trinkets and treasures worthy of a bowerbird take the edge off the hotel room aesthetic, a personalised look that belies its tech credentials: rooms of all sizes are equipped with Apple TVs, iPads and intuitive music. Book directly with the hotel to receive the standard Ovolo freebies – minibar, breakfast, a loot bag with lollies, happy hour with canapés and access to a self-service laundry. Expect more openings in Brisbane and Canberra later this year from the Hong Kong hotel group. From $229.