Brisbane has become the fastest growing city in Australia with sunshine that never says die and an ever-evolving urban scene which leaves out the deconstructed cold drip coffee of its snobier cousins.
From compelling art galleries to smart cocktail bars and trendy hotels, it’s no surprise the area continues to drive Queensland’s profile up the ranks of liveability. Whether you’re looking for a luxurious getaway in Cabarita Beach or a fashionable suburban oasis, here are the ten coolest hotels in Brisbane to get your thongs on for – on your feet.
Spicers Balfour Hotel
Spicers Balfour Hotel is an urban oasis for travellers who want the city feel without all the hustle. Located in the affluent suburb of New Farm, this 110 year old traditional Australian building brings quaint and luxury together under one roof. Each room sports a sleek, contemporary fit out with eclectic vintage furnishings with high end amenities. Spend your weekend getaway in the spacious, 1940’s art deco Balfour Suites with a private sun-soaked lounge before taking to The Balfour Kitchen for local tastes and an awesome brunch which attracts hungry natives. For the adventurous at heart, head out for a night on the town and opt for a starlit nightcap on this cool hotel in Brisbane’s 24-hour rooftop bar.
Art mavens and highbrow modernists call The Johnson home when staying in Brisbane. Australian born abstract painter Michael Johnson lead the interior design for this boutique hotel. From the lobby to the open planned suites, his works showcase the sensual beauty of unconventional realities.
Vibrant colours, altered aquatic landscapes, and symmetrical geometry offer an inspiring atmosphere for the artist within. This cool hotel in Brisbane sports a 50-metre pool designed by Olympic Gold Medalist Michael Klim with captivating views of the surrounding city. Hole up for Happy Hour in the chic Tumbling Stone Restaurant & Bar or just spend your days lounging in Brisbane’s beautiful weather with a refreshing cocktail in hand.
Located in the laid back coastal town of Cabarita, the Halcyon House offers a peaceful getaway for city dwellers. Australian-born Anna Spiro took creative lead on this newly renovated surfers motel, revamping it into a whimsical, world-class stay. Each room captures the essence of a quintessential summer’s day with curated national artefacts and English fabric-upholstered walls. Foodies can dine at the Paper Daisy for unparalleled local cuisine or relax on the suite balcony for bout of sneaky sunset cocktails. Rugged gentlemen of the outdoor persuasion can also choose to explore the pristine coastal beauty of NSW’s little pocket of paradise. A precursor though – leaving the comfort of this humble home ends up being quite difficult.
QT Gold Coast
QT offers a quirky and cool stay for those heading to the lively city of the Gold Coast. Cheery staff in vintage threads welcome guests as they enter the premise which also happens to tie in very well with the themed contemporary rooms. A classic fun-in-the-sun feel with a twist of industrial modernism designed by Nic Graham and Melbourne’s Spacecraft best describes the atmosphere.
The hotel even offers unique self-service dining at the Bazaar marketplace with endless options of worldwide cuisine, an organic cafe and local Japanese favourite, Teppanyaki Grill Yamagen. Once the belly is content, unwind at spaQ which is fancy speak for a designer spa or kick back with a cocktail at the tropical poolside refuge.
Dive into the urban grind of Brisbane at Tryp in Fortitude Valley. It’s a creatively restored historical building in Brisbane’s CBD boasting the only street art hotel in the city. The original building was home to an international secret society known as the Royal Antediluvian Order of Buffaloes, but nowadays it ditches the cult vibes and plays home for curious travellers seeking a truly unique stay instead.
Think heritage furnishings which contrast ultra-modern fit outs while works of world renowned artists like Fintan Magee and Numskull adorn the room’s edgy designs. Punters can also choose from a collection of themed King rooms offering private balconies, internal spas and secluded courtyards when booking at this cool Brisbane hotel.
In the middle of Brisbane’s Queen Street Mall lies the popular NEXT Hotel. From its key CBD location to a thoughtful ‘Transit Zone’, this cool hotel is ideal for the modern businessman with little time. Minimalist travellers will also enjoy the simplicity of the hotel’s crash pad rooms designed for quick overnight stays.
The hotel features ‘More Room’ suites with extra space and a bathroom fit for families whilst room designs sport a metropolitan fitout with cool, neutral palettes. Honour the Queenslander’s legacy of Lennons Hotel by dining at the renowned Lennons Restaurant, a popular foodie spot known for it’s elegant atmosphere, edgy gastronomic ventures and the best fish tails in Brisbane.
The Hilton Brisbane sports a fashionable stay for business travellers, leisurely visitors and families alike. A simple trip down the glass lift connects you to the the Queen Street Mall where good shopping, people watching and casual dining makes for an excellent way to kill time.
The spacious modern suites feature generous work areas and seriously comfortable beds and panoramic city views. those in a celebratory mood can grab a beer and canapés at the exclusive Executive Lounge on the 25th floor by night or enjoy a cocktail and innovative Australian plates at the Chef’s Hat awarded Vintaged Restaurant Bar & Grill.
Known as Queensland’s first luxury boutique hotel, Emporium Hotel provides an upscale stay in Brisbane’s Fortitude Valley. You’re welcomed by a flashy red foyer and a valiant copper/cast iron check-in desk alongside an exotic atmosphere which expands into a hip cocktail bar where locals and guests can intermingle. For the nostagiaphiles, Emporium’s rooms offer a refined mix of new age and old Hollywood where frangipani patterns contrast striped walls and striking upholstered fabrics don’t go unnoticed. Staying at Emporium will surely have you question your own home’s interior design. Suites are equipped with oversized marble bathrooms and Queensland high-rise balconies for a relaxing stay in this boutique hotel.
Gambaro Hotel Brisbane
Located off the lively Caxton Street, Gambaro Hotel boasts a central location to Suncorp Stadium which makes this cool hotel in Brisbane an optimal spot for conferences and events. Famous hotel designer Hirsch Bedner deployed nine different room types into the Gambaro Hotel. From single rooms with views of the Gambaro’s elaborate, fish-inspired atrium to luxurious multi-room suites. The calming, warm tones of each bespoke room will make any luxury traveller feel right at home. Should you book at the Gambaro, don’t miss the award-winning Gambaro Seafood Restaurant for Hervey Bay scallops, signature mud crab and Moreton Bay Bugs.
The New Inchcolm Hotel & Suites
Take a step back in time when booking at the New Inchcholm Hotel – MGallery Collection. A boutique, Gatsby style stay showcasing its cultural roots in Brisbane. Built in the 1920’s, the Neo-Georgian shell holds a refined world of heritage-listed luxuries. That means it’s all about the old world lifts with grill doors, elaborate wood panelled entrances and historical treasuries which invoke the spirit of exploration.
Most rooms at this cool hotel in Brisbane are luxury suites which rotate through several art-deco themes. Think well-crafted, elegant spaces splashed with clean geometric patterns, angles, chrome, textured fabrics and mirror accents. Toiletries such as APELLES Black Label amenities are also on offer for exceptional pampering.