If you haven’t visited Brisbane in recent years, then you’re in a for a real treat. The river city has emerged as an excitingly appealing destination for travelers seeking a variety of world class dining venues, boutique shopping districts and a slew of designer hotels. Add to the mix a bunch of lively entertainment options, fun sporting events and culturally significant attractions and you’ve got yourself the ideal recipe for a convenient self-drive holiday within easy reach of the northern rivers region (I’m based in Yamba). The same sentiment goes for folk heading south to the city from the Sunshine Coast.
For the purpose of my stay (work & leisure break) I selected to check in to Brisbane’s most on-trend property; The Calile hotel. Here I found a subtropical urban oasis located in the heart of the thriving James Street precinct. The Calile is visually pleasing with its grand exterior, opulent yet cosy furnishings and sleek facilities. The interior of this urban style resort is somewhat reminiscent of a retro 1950’s Miami hotel with a polished twist. Whilst the pool area is a tropically modern zone combining elegant poolside dining with intimate cabana spaces.
Most notably the hotel was recently recognized by Condé Nast Traveller and aptly placed on their highly regarded The Best New Hotels in the World: 2019 Hot List. An impressive feat from a city that seemed to be lagging in the ‘cool’ destination stakes, until now that is.
Given that it’s absolutely the most glamorous addition to Brisbane’s flourishing hotel scene it’s also worth noting that the vibe here was both professional and welcoming. The impressive pool view suite offered everything a guest could possibly need and, as expected the plush king size bed delivered a much needed deep dream experience.
Well worth mentioning is my adoration for how well the dusty pink interiors suited the polished brass bathroom fittings. I’d go as far as to say that the ensuite here is indeed one of the most flattering designs I have ever seen. Bonus points for the light weight cotton Calile embossed robe that I sauntered about in on my private balcony as I admired the pastel hued sunset over the city skyline. With a chilled flute of New Zealand made but Mummm (French) branded brute champagne no less.
After dining, ahem devouring a Mediterranean flavoured feast at the delightful on-site Hellenika restaurant (self-described as ‘authentic Greek fare in a sophisticated setting with a big taverna heart) I added to my lavish Calile experience by reserving their classy hotel car (a top of the line jet black Mercedes) to chauffer me to Suncorp Stadium for the footy of all places! It was snazzy touch to an already memorable Brisbane break indeed.
Come morning I enjoyed a nourishing breakfast at the bustling Lobby Bar on the ground floor before exploring the surrounding flagship retail stores of leading Australian fashion designers such as Scanlon & Theodore, Dion Lee and Sass & Bide. Yes, my wallet took a proper hiding. Which in turn made it the perfect time to slip into the Calile’s kitsch library quarters to read, rest and reset before (reluctantly) checking out. Fitness people will be pleased to note there’s fully equipped gym facilities on-site which I walked quickly by. Such is the extent of my enthusiasm for any kind of exercise that doesn’t involve a bikini and a tan line.
Unfortunately I didn’t have time to see all of Brisbane’s best attractions this trip, so I suggest you plan ahead and check out the upcoming calendar of events at the following venues. Or, simply wing it (like me) and arrive to the city ready to experience any of the below Brisbane highlights that appeal to you most.
Arts & Culture: Queensland Gallery of Modern Art (QAGOMA), State Library, Queensland Museum& the Queensland Performing Arts Centre.
Sports & Entertainment; Suncorp Stadium, The Gabba, Treasury Casino, Brisbane Showgrounds and Riverstage.
Outdoor Adventures: Howard Wharves Precinct, South Bank Parklands and the City Botanic Gardens.
Retail Therapy: James Street Precinct (Fortitude Valley), Queen Street Mall (CBD), Outlet Shopping (Airport DFO) and the colourful stalls at the Chinatown Weekend Markets.
https://thecalilehotel.com from $259 per night.
Words: Roxanne Williams
Images: Sean Fennessy