18 new Queensland hotels seriously upping the ante
To say Queensland’s hotel scene is going through a serious boom, would be an understatement. The flurry of activity has hit Brisbane hard, but up and down the coastline there’s a new swag of Queensland hotels already welcoming guests, or on the horizon.
Whether it’s five-star fancy, inner-city cool, coastal resort chill, outback beauty or multinational sleek, the next couple of years will see some of the world’s best hotels call the state home.
We’ve laid our heads on fluffy pillows, snuggled down into lush beds and put many a mini-bar through its paces all the way from Gold Coast to Cairns in the name of research. Here are the best new Queensland hotels popping up across the state.
W Brisbane | March 2018
Set to wipe the floor with all those outdated opinions of Brisbane being small-fry in the city stakes, Australia’s first W hotel is opening in the River City on March 15.
Being the first five-star hotel to open in the CBD in 20 years, you can expect serious VIP vibes here. Think space-age lobby and an Extreme Wow Suite that crowns the 312-room tower.
Bring your pooch – or cat – and they’ll be pampered with a dog-walking service, pet beds, toys and even a birthday cake if you so desire. We bet they’d even make it gluten free if you ask. You can request anything and everything via the hotel’s app and they’ll do their best to make it come true.
Check-in and chill out in the Living Room – aka the lobby – or head to the WET deck for a swim or BBQ with views to Mount Coot-tha. In the AWAY spa, you’ll find salt inhalation chambers and vitality pools to complement massages and mani/pedis. If you’d rather die than miss a workout, the FIT gym is open 24 hours too.
FV by Peppers | Now open
You don’t simply check-in for a night here. Instead, you can laze beside the heated u-shaped skyline pool, catch a movie at the moonlight cinema, and book a VIP private spa lounge. You can also work out in the fully equipped gym and yoga retreat with views of the Story Bridge and CBD.
On top of all these fancy hotel extras, the rooms themselves are luxurious self-contained one and two-bedroom apartments. A pimped kitchen, laundry and balcony are considered standard. We wouldn’t be surprised if you find yourself wanting to move in permanently.
Adina Apartment Hotel Brisbane | May 2018
Indulge your inner Gatsby and check-in for the night at the heritage building-turned Adina Apartment Hotel Brisbane.
Opening in May, the hotel will retain the ionic columns, ornate ceiling, detailed cornices and marble finishes of what was once the Queensland Government Savings Bank. The Art Deco building was constructed between 1913 and 1922 (stalling during WWI).
Each of the apartments has their own laundry and living room, while studios include kitchenettes. All enjoy full hotel services including 24-hour reception, fitness centre and pool. You’ll be right in the city heart with Queen Street Mall and the Treasury Casino mere footsteps away.
Fun fact: From 1925 to 1942 the building’s top floors housed Queensland’s first official radio station, 4QG.
Emporium Hotel Southpoint, South Brisbane | Mid-year 2018
Set to open mid-year, and forming part of the $600 million Southpoint precinct on Grey Street, this luxury hotel is set to shake up South Bank in the best possible way.
With a blueprint for success cemented at their Fortitude Valley hotel (which is set for a name change this year), this new flagship property for Emporium offers all the finest touches. A Belle Epoque patisserie will serve up warm, flaky treats downstairs. Upstairs, the rooftop Sky Bar will overlook the infinity pool, the river and city skyline.
Moving into such a high-class dining ‘burb, the on-site restaurant will need to be on point. Ex-QAGOMA executive chef, Josue Lopez, is the man tasked with that mission (and we can’t wait to see what he delivers!).
Novotel South Bank, Brisbane | June 2018
Change is afoot on the south side of the snaking Brisbane River. The new Novotel South Bank is prepping to provide for the corporate set and savvy culture vultures amongst us.
Opening in June, a walkway will link the hotel with the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre. So, you can go from conference to cocktails in the lobby lounge and wine and dine clients in the on-site restaurant. Or just check-in and unwind in the outdoor pool and gym.
Fairtrade bathroom amenities, free barista coffee at breakfast and Novotel’s Live N’ Dream bedding will help to seal the deal.
The Calile Hotel Brisbane, Fortitude Valley | September 2018
James Street lovers were a little shell-shocked when the walls of some of their fave boutiques came crumbling down a couple of years back. Now rising from the (planned demo) ashes is new kid on the Queensland hotels block – the seven-storey, The Calile Hotel Brisbane.
Set to open in September, this hotel has more than a splash of Beverly Hills luxe. The 178-room ‘urban resort’ promises to bring back a mix of boutiques, restaurants and cafes.
Then, it’ll take things to the next level with a pool, cabanas and day spa. You can enjoy it all perched above the retail strip on the corner of Wandoo and Doggett Streets.
Pullman and Ibis Brisbane Airport | Now open
Staying near the airport got a whole more glam in 2017 with the opening of new Pullman and Ibis Queensland hotels – the luxe and affordable slices of bread to the existing Novotel filling in the sandwich.
You don’t often imagine lazing poolside on a quick airport-centric layover. But grab a daybed at the Pullman pool and you can soak up all the Queensland sunshine you like.
At Ibis, the 243 guest rooms are light and bright, keeping in theme with the Cribb Island Beach Club bistro and bar.
Howard Smith Wharves, Fortitude Valley | Late 2018
A slice of riverfront land under the iconic Story Bridge is headed for a new life as The Howard Smith Wharves.
The lifestyle, entertainment and events precinct will introduce a five-star, 164-room boutique Art Series Hotel alongside urban chic restaurants, cafes, coffee-roasting and a craft brewery.
Darling Gold Coast | Early 2018
The finishing touch to the complete overhaul of The Star casino and The Star Grand hotel, the brand new ‘six-star’ Darling hotel has luxury with a capital L written all over it.
The all-suite hotel is basically a pimped playground in the sky, with a cantilevered infinity pool providing dizzying views, private billiard and karaoke rooms, and a rooftop bar that’s set to bring serious competition to these guys.
The Island | Now open
Surfers Paradise might have suffered from a bit of a bad rep in recent years as travellers discovered the charms of the southern end of the Gold Coast, but with makeovers of The Island proportions, we’re predicting 2018 is the year the spotlight will return to the epicentre of the GC.
Maybe it’s the breezeblocks at the entrance, the candy-cane coloured poolside umbrellas or the rooftop bar.
Or maybe it’s just the enviable position a few blocks from the beach with easy access to the G:link tram. But all of these things combined make The Island one of the hottest new boutique hotels around.
Riley Cairns, CBD | August 2018
It’s not just the new Cairns Aquarium causing a buzz in the Tropical North Queensland metropolis. Three exciting Queensland hotels are set to open in Cairns CBD over the next few years, thanks to Crystalbrook Collection (the gang behind the uber-luxe Crystalbrook Lodge).
artist hotel formerly known as Rydges Tradewinds is being reborn as ‘Riley’, given the persona of a fun-loving character who’s most likely to be found poolside with a herb-infused cocktail in hand.
Opening 1 August 2018, the five-star hotel will also deliver four restaurants and bars, including a speccy rooftop tower bar. Don’t forget about the 24-hour fitness centre, day spa and meeting spaces.
Daydream Island, Whitsundays | October 2018
This Whitsundays family-favourite has been closed for a little while to allow for a $65 million overhaul – from the 292 guest rooms and arrivals pavillion, through to a brand-spankin’ new marina and Asian-inspired restaurant.
Set to make the grand reveal in October, new and revisiting guests to Daydream Island will also be greeted with a new underwater observatory, indoor cinema, reef education centre and turtle hospital.
Mount Mulligan, Tropical North Queensland | July 2018
Bet you never knew there was a mountain ridge 10 times the size of Uluru hiding just a few hours inland from Cairns, did you? Or that there’s a luxury lodge being built on the 28,000ha working cattle property that sits at the foothills?
With a grand opening slated for July or August 2018, the lodge will welcome 24 guests in 12 luxury suites. An infinity pool and deck will reach out over a barramundi-filled weir.
While bedded down in luxury, you can still get your hands dirty on this true blue Aussie outback property. Have a go at four-wheel-driving, cattle mustering and bushwalking, which are all on offer. Each room comes with its own vehicle for exploring the ruggedly handsome terrain.
EVEN MORE HOTELS COMING SOON…
Jewel, Gold Coast | 2019
Just south of Surfers Paradise – with prime beach frontage – Jewel will be home to 500 permanent residential apartments, 171 hotels rooms and a luxury retail precinct, over three towers.
Bailey, Cairns CBD | 2019
More indie art-curator than selfie taker, Bailey will launch onto the Cairns hotel scene in mid-2019 with 217 rooms.
As well as five restaurants and bars peppered throughout the property on Abbott Street, a signature Crystalbrook Collection steakhouse will fly in beef from one of the company’s working cattle stations.
Queen’s Wharf Development, Brisbane | 2022
The mammoth Queens Wharf Development is bringing not one but five new premium hotel brands to Brisbane. This includes the Ritz Carlton and Brisbane’s first six-star hotel.
Not much has been announced in the way of hotel details, but completion dates for parts of the precinct are currently set at around 2022 or 2024.
Flynn, Cairns CBD | Early 2020
Two glass swimming pools. Six restaurants and bars. And 303 suites and rooms to sleep off all those late nights and Instagramming.
Flynn’s going to be the ‘wild child’ of the Crystalbrook Collection family of new Queensland hotels in Cairns, opening in 2020.
Bedarra, Mission Beach | TBC
After unveiling their Nautilus Villa in 2017 – the 10th within the private Great Barrier Reef island resort, with an outdoor oversized tub allowing you to soak up the rainforest vibes – Bedarra have announced new mainland accommodation is on the way.
Three villas are currently under construction, ready to make the perfect base for pre- or post-island stays.