Busy in Brisbane: Art, Culture and New Hotels

(Photo by Sean Fennessy) The Calile Hotel (above and below) opened in September with plenty of accommodation choices and facilities such as pool, spa and fitness center. // Photos by Sean Fennessy

Luxury Travel Advisor is always on the lookout for places where the locals go — and, as it turns out, Australians are visiting Queensland in larger numbers than ever before. According to Australia’s National Visitor Survey, holiday visitation reached a record 9.5 million, an increase of 9.6 percent year-on-year.

So, what’s new? Brisbane, the state’s capital, is becoming a hub of art and culture. With that, a slew of luxury hotel openings has followed. 

Most recently, The Calile Hotel opened in September in the James Street precinct (home to 150 designer boutiques, restaurants, bars and galleries). The boutique hotel has all the facilities you would expect: The Lobby Bar and Hellenika (serving Greek fare poolside), a spa with medical and holistic treatments and a fitness center; there’s even a library where you can pick up a new read. The Ada and Calile Suites are the top accommodations; both have private rooftop terraces, a separate living area with dining for six, custom oak furnishings and more. Reach out to Kristie Mancell ([email protected]), sales and marketing manager.

The Calile Hotel

In June 2018, the W Brisbane debuted riverside with a “playful nod to ‘Brisvegas.’” Guests can expect W signature spaces such as the Living Room-styled lobby, Wet Deck rooftop bar and Extreme Wow Suite (complete with an 85-inch HDTV, a fully equipped bar, separate dining and living space, and a bathtub reminiscent of a 10-gallon drum used in the Australian outback).

We also hear that the Emporium Hotel South Bank (which opened late last year) has one of the hottest rooftop bars in the city (The Terrace). Tip: If you’re feeling adventurous, order the Matcha Chocolate Negroni. 

Good to know: Qantas announced new direct flights from both Chicago and San Franciso to Brisbane. Additionally, Virgin Australia debuted a new lounge concept at Brisbane International Airport in September. Named My Lounge, the casual-over-corporate-looking space has a hot and cold food buffet, barista-made coffee, a wine list and a cocktail station; it also has a foosball table and video games with beanbag chair seating.

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