Brisbane Travel Guide
Step inside the iron gates of Diamant Hotel in Brisbane as they unveil newly renovated rooms of their 84 room boutique property in the CBD. Where the city is lacking in edgy and on-style accommodation, this 8 Hotels property fills the void for trendy digs.
Housed in a modern building in the city's Springhill inner-suburb, the building kept some elements we thought were reminiscent of times gone-by. Reception is behind iron gates that you'd normally think Addams Family-esque, all to then walk in to a modern, yet sleek lobby. To brighten up the dark colors, fresh Gerbera daisies and pops of metallic hues helped lift us up. Each floor has a similar, yet different design theme with the fresh flowers and a few magazines in case the elevator takes too long.
The rooms are heavily, but not negatively, monochromatic with a textured wallpaper to accent smaller details. The Diamant Suite had a muted lavender that was very calming and nice touch with an awesome bathroom featuring a double sinks, a full tub and a glass enclosed shower. The attention to detail from the metallic elements in the rest of the hotel were brought in with a wall tile that we would love to walk into our own bathroom and experience.
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We had the opportunity to have a first-hand look at the fresh new rooms that Sofitel Brisbane offers guests starting this week. The sexy spaces have just been completed and we were the first to have a glimpse of the new fabrics, unique details and comfy living areas each room sports.
Working heavily on the theme of a Parisian apartment, these rooms mimic a pied-à-terre that would suit any jetsetter on their routine visit to Europe, except all in the perfect weather of Australia. A wanderlust play on location with images of both Paris and Brisbane showcase Sofitel roots and local flair; use of luxurious velvets and woven Damasks, we could spend an extended stay here and feel right at home.
Color is the name of the game here with a subdued, yet eye-catching use of accent pops that are used throughout the room and even into the hallways. A rich peacock blue for the Superior rooms, plum for the Club level rooms and robin's egg blue accents for the Junior suites (at around $548 a night) all create a chic European feel.
Late last year, the folks in France at Accor Hotels signed a big check for Australian hotel chain, Mirvac Hotels. In May of this year, the brands were completely integrated and Accor was ready to start slapping their name on a few buildings across Australia.
Their latest re-branding is taking place in Brisbane with their upscale Pullman property. Housed in the former Sebel, the new hotel is centrally located across from city hall and in walking distance to many of the city's attractions and will feature plenty of perks for guests that don't want to leave.
Looking to spend about 7 million AUD on a complete overhaul of the 40 year old building, the property will be transformed into a sophisticated 5-star hotel. Each of the 210 rooms, half of which are already completed, will be renovated with a contemporary and modern, yet comfy decor. Thankfully, the new owners will keep the rooftop pool and recreation deck with panoramic city views since it is one of the only of its kind in the city.
We gave you on a sneak peak to Brisbane's newest hotel, Traders Hotel Brisbane. Along with the free WiFi, CBD location, and affordable prices, the hotel is offering a Samsung Galaxy Tab with every room. Don't be afraid to pack the tablet in your suitcase, since it's yours to keep long after check-out.
A few months back, the mid-range brother of Shangri-La opened up their first Australian property and are enticing guests to check them out. From now until December 31st, during check-in for at least one night's stay, you will be presented with a shiny new, 16G tablet to surf the internet or Skype with family and say g'day!
If you're in the market for a new tablet computer, be sure to book the Stay Connected package on the website in one of the hotel's deluxe rooms. You only need to book one night, but the option to stay longer at regular rates. This is only the beginning of the hotel's Stay Connected initiative allowing guests the ability to work while on the road or just Tweet the heck out of your in-room bubble bath.
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A few weeks ago we told you about a Traders Hotel opening its first property in Brisbane, Australia. Now, after an opportunity to see what everyone was talking about, we can bring you our thoughts on the mid-range cousin of the Shangri-La brand.
The official handover from Holiday Inn to Traders took place early August and the transformation has been non-stop since then. Although not 100% complete, the major renovations have been finished and we have to say, they're pretty nice. Designed for most any type of traveler, the decor is comfortable, yet still stylish, sleek and clean.
The room hues and furnishings were carefully considered with fresh colors and design that will still look good in a few years, so no tired decor here. Fairly monochromatic, each room has an accent color of spring green which is nice and modern. We were told that it was chosen for its energetic qualities to revive weary travelers.
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Traders Hotels is looking to gain some traction in the highly lucrative AustralAsia tourism market with their first property in Brisbane inside a former Holiday Inn. The official handover was completed earlier this month but aside from a new name slapped on the outside, the property has gotten a complete brand overhaul.
If you're not familiar, the Traders brand is an offshoot of the high-end luxury brand, Shangri-La Hotels. Traders hotels offer a mid-market price point yet caters more to the savvy business traveler who likes a little design with their hotel stay. We not talking uber-luxury, but an affordable option with great customer service and quality on-property amenities.
Usually, when a 25th birthday is in order, there is no talk about a make-over or a face-lift. At least, we hope not. But when it came to celebrating their 25th anniversary, The Hilton in Brisbane has gone all out to spruce themselves up.
Overall, the property is in a great location and has seen heaps of people come and go. Including the Aussie celeb set, socialites and locals alike. With all of these visitors, the hotel started to look a little run-down and was in need of a major modernization. And that's just what Hilton did to the tune of $37 million.
With peekaboo tubs and larger-than-life LCD screens popping up in hotels all over the world, it can take something pretty extraordinary to get our attention when scoping out a room. Or even something extremely humble. Like this nifty little washer-dryer combo that we spied tucked away in a Deluxe Corner Suite at the Emporium Hotel in Brisbane last week.
Doing the washing may be incredibly mundane, but sometimes on the road it is entirely necessary. And should we really have to spend twenty bucks or more to send our laundry off in one of those branded canvas hotel bags hanging in the closet? (Confession: When the laundry bags are plastic, we swipe them to use for packing our... dirty laundry.)
After an afternoon in "The Valley"--Fortitude Valley in Brisbane--we were feeling a bit thirsty, so we headed to the top of local hotspot, The Limes Hotel. There, we were greeted by some friendly Aussie bartenders and this song lyric by Moby.
We had forgotten how much Aussies like Moby and his likeminded chill-out tune pals, but after sipping on a kiwi fruit cocktail here, we were taken back to sun-splashed lazy afternoons spent inside a 'schooner' (a glass of beer). Drinking is a national pasttime in Australia, and with gorgeous nighttime views of Brissy, this is a great spot to do it.
Some say an ex-whaling station is a strange place to build a resort but we have a feeling that it's a great place for the Tangalooma Island Resort off the coast near Brisbane in Queensland, Australia.
Ironically, Tangalooma used to be the biggest whaling station in the southern hemisphere, but now it's all about being nice to big fish (and mammals). For example, there's a pod of dolphins who seem to call Tangalooma home now, routinely comin' around to be fed and have even brought gifts of eels to their feeders.
But if dolphins aren't your creature of choice, you can also go jet skiing to check out some turtles and dugongs, or snorkel around 15 different shipwrecks where there are plenty of colorful fish. And in the right seasons, there's even whale watching; uh, obviously the whales have erased the memory of what used to happen to them at Tangalooma.
There's a variety of accommodation styles within the resort, including hotel rooms starting at A$290 ($220) for doubles (just a short sprint to the beach), and there are also fancier beachfront apartments if you're traveling with friends; a two-bedroom place (which can actually sleep six if you include the sofa bed in the living room) starts around A$660 ($500) a night. You also have to get out there remember it's an island so you usually need to add a A$70 ($50) transfer fee. Unless you can arrange to hitch a ride on a dolphin.
The Limes is a new favorite topic for design lovers and a recent post about it summed up the whole theory of designer Alexander Lotersztain pretty nicely:
Alexander concentrated his design focus on the 21 rooms to cater for the independent traveller, rejecting the 5-star norms and opting to focus on guests' primary travel requirements through unique design solutions in styled lodgings.
Some of these "primary travel requirements" turn out to be things like hammocks on the balconies, which definitely add a welcome relaxing touch to a Brisbane stay, or chocolate brownies on arrival: absolutely a travel requirement.
The Limes has now been open a couple of months and they have started offering a few specials; we like the sound of the Pampered People package with two nights' accommodation for two, sparkling wine on arrival and two selections from the bar menu--remembering it's a roof-top bar near the roof-top cinema--from A$499 (US$470).
[Photo: Limes Hotel]
New hotel technology has gotta start somewhere and down in Australia, the University of Queensland's School of Tourism has been trying to get students to have some brainwaves for the future.
When we first heard about this idea we figured that a bunch of students who've only ever stayed in youth hostels might not have many brilliant ideas for the future of hotels, but the results were better than we'd expected.