The sunshine capital offers chic new stays.
Need evidence Brisbane is shrugging off its reputation as a big ol' country town? Check into a trio of game-changing new hotels. The old clubhouse of the Royal Antediluvian Order of Buffaloes has been reincarnated as Tryp Fortitude Valley Hotel, a 65-room property characterised by murals outside and street art inside. At ground level (and in room service) are burgers, from crisp pork belly to beef and pickles, at Chur, the first Queensland offshoot of Warren Turnbull's Sydney burger bar or take the lift up to Turnbull's stylish rooftop bar, Up on Constance. There are five room options, including two kings with balcony spas.
Next Hotel Brisbane has opened in the prime CBD spot long occupied by Chifley at Lennons hotel, on Queen Street Mall. SilverNeedle Hospitality has invested heavily in technology in its 304-room property: download an app to check in; use your mobile as room key and remote control; or borrow the in-room tablet to set the air con, lights or pre-order poolside cocktails (free WiFi, naturally). While primarily pitched at business travellers, the hotel's location and hip, resort-style lounge with pool and terrace bar works for holidaymakers.
As we went to press, the New Inchcolm Hotel & Suites in inner-city Spring Hill was due to reopen, the first MGallery property in the city by global group Accor. This revamped heritage-listed hotel has 50 rooms including one- and two-bedroom suites. In the pipeline are the city's first Art Series Hotel due in December next year at Spring Hill, a second Emporium Hotel at South Bank slated for 2016 and Starwood's 305-room W Brisbane on George Street in 2018.