Australia Travel Guide
We know it doesn't look like much now, but this shrouded warehouse building has some big shoes to fill in the future. If all goes to plan, by the middle of next year, this vintage brick structure will get a new makeover and become Australia's first Tryp by Wyndham.
Tryp Brisbane will bring an edgy and locally-inspired design to Australia's third largest city. Situated in the city's Fortitude Valley area, guests will be within walking distance to the area's hottest nightclubs, boutique shops and trendy restaurants. But if you don't want to leave the hotel, the lobby will feature a ground-floor restaurant and hip bar, that's posh enough for Brisbane's elite scene as well as gives travelers a taste of the local nightlife.
We're bringing you a double-dose of QT Hotel news this week, because we couldn't resist the announcement of a new ski resort in Australia. Huh? Australian ski resort? Surely, we meant Austria? Nope! It's true, the sunburned land Down Under actually has some areas that get snow and with the new QT Falls Creek, now's the perfect time to head down to the slopes.
The mastermind hotel designers have taken over the perfect après–ski location situated in the mountainous Great Dividing Range in South Eastern Australia. Just over four hours drive from Melbourne, QT's newest outpost, which was previously Quay West Falls Creek, has 63 alpine one-, two-, three-, and four-bedroom apartments that'll have the quirky touch we've come to expect from the brand. Most of the apartments will have private balcony hot-tubs but all will have uninterrupted views of the snow-capped peaks surrounding the resort.
Who would have thought that faux fur and babies would actually go together like peanut butter and jelly? Well, the folks Down Under at the swanky QT Sydney have come up with the perfect package for those looking for the trendiest Babymoon.
Appealing to more parents like Brangelina or Posh and Becks, the QT has introduced the perfect package for fashion-forward parents looking to get get away from it all with, of course, the children. The creative offer features daily breakfast for the grown-ups and freshly made baby-food for the little ones and a spa treatment for both mom and dad. If the sexy digs aren't enough to relax, the room comes with a bottle of sparkling wine to calm the nerves of new (or old) parents.
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Designing a suite that's fit for Gomez and Morticia Addams is no easy task, but Sofitel Wentworth Sydney has the made the glamorous into the mysterious and spooky to welcome the namesake Broadway musical hitting the city's theater district.
From the morbid lobby decorations, elevators that delight you with the retro sitcom's theme song to when you step foot into the suite, you might think you have checked-in to a graveyard instead of a luxury hotel in the middle of the city. The themed room features a mock electric chair, creepy crimson walls and curtains, cobwebs, spiders, a haunted mirror, black towels and bed linen and the obligatory Addams Family portrait on the nightstand to remember your favorite relatives - Pugsley, Wednesday, Lurch, Uncle Fester and Grandmama.
If you want to escape all of the drama from your room, you can even partake in a Addams Family high tea service that's all together ooky. Continuing on the after-life theme, you can feast on a confectionery Cousin Itt from fruit paste and Persian cotton candy or a gloriously gruesome edible chopping block out of sweet apple pie.
We've all walked into a hotel room and our excitement for a creative and unique experience is shot down when we find a boring old room. On a recent trip to Sydney we laid our head at Park8 Hotel and even after the swipe of our keycard, the smile was never wiped off our face. We felt like we had our own little loft apartment in the middle of the city, just steps away from Hyde Park and the shopping district.
This little gem of a boutique hotel from 8 Hotels is quirky and fun, but still maintained what we expect when we stay at a hotel. We were fortunate enough to score a one-bedroom loft that was more like we were couch surfing in New York than staying in a hotel chain. The suite has two-stories of windows flooding the rooms with natural light and showcasing brag-worthy views of the inner city and the park's giant figs trees.
With the bedroom on the second floor, the rooms have ample living space allowing for a late night television session on the couch without messing up the bed. A kitchenette stocked with full-size bottles of Aussie wine, a few craft ciders and cold-pressed juices kind of mimicked our own refrigerator at home.
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If you haven't heard Ellen DeGeneres and wife, Portia de Rossi, headed Down Under, to Portia's motherland. It was a trip hugely publicized on Ellen's show and by Qantas Airways, one of the sponsors.
We got the scoop on which Aussie hotels got the chance to show one of TV's funniest females their hottest digs on their visit to both Sydney and Melbourne. It seems like the couple likes to stay in the lap of luxury and we can't blame them.
First stop was Sydney, and after getting their respective passports stamped, the pair headed to the historic InterContinental Sydney perched over Circular Quay with views of the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Opera House. Let's hope they had time to check out that awesome pool on the 31st floor overlooking the harbor; it couldn't get more 'Sydneysider' than that!
Keeping with our series of bending the ear of our favorite barkeeps, we recently had the opportunity to find out what bartender, Nicholas James, from Stingray Lounge at QT Gold Coast in Surfers Paradise thinks about the industry's preferred poisons.
HotelChatter: How many years have you been in the industry and time at Stingray?
Nicholas James: 5 years in the industry, and coming up to nearly one year at Stingray.
HC: What type of formal training do you have?
NJ: I have studied and worked alongside some of Australia’s most recognized and award winning industry professionals in and around Sydney’s small bars, pubs and restaurants.
HC: With such an extensive list of creative cocktails, what is your least favorite to make; the one you go 'really? I have to make that?' but still do it with a smile?
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.
An Australian project to build the tallest building in the Southern Hemisphere was approved last week in Melbourne, officially cutting the tape on a 1,273-foot tower called Australia 108, that will house a 288-room hotel which will become the tallest hotel in the world. The whole shebang will cost around $600 million.
The yet-to-be-named hotel will be a “six-star luxury property”, according to its designers, and will have a "hovering" lobby that spans two floors. As you can see in the photo above, it will stick out and appear to dangle midair. We're keeping our fingers crossed for a glass floor!
Thanks to Melbourne-based artist, Matthew Bird, we can now rethink the image we have in our heads as we slide our key-card into a new hotel-room's door. He's created an art installation piece at the city's Hilton on the Park called "Hotel Otherworldly" that reworks an existing hotel room into a fabulous piece of art.
Housed in a fairly non-descript, brown brick building with no balconies, or character for that matter, this artistic hotel room is tucked away amongst business travelers and tourists unknown they might be sleeping next to a piece of art. A design that is as loud as a tornado, maintains the wallflower persona by being purely art.
One of the typical Hilton king guest suites has been transformed into a space where everything installed offers a regional reference to Australia, from flora and fauna to history and culture. A gold slap in the face for the region's gold rush days, art featuring crocodiles and royal blue to signify the history as a British colony all play a significant role in creating not only an over-the-top piece of art, but a reflection of the local culture.
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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.
The folks at Hilton Sydney unveiled their latest incarnation--a themed cocktail lounge. The hotel's Zeta Bar has been transformed into 'The Secret Garden' with a modern twist, and of course inventive drinks.
The bar itself is quite known locally as one of the best cocktail lounges and with a group of masterminds and mixologists, the hot bar comes alive with it's latest them that is based on the beloved children's novel. From happy hour on a Friday night to the wee hours of the morning, the lounge gets an overhaul with garden furniture, trees, beautifully manicured lawns and models covered in bodyart to host the city's hip crowd ready to mingle.
You better believe the drinks are part of them if each master bartender is tasked with creating a special cocktail for the concept bar. Alcoholic Jell-O and Bellini popsicles all create a wonderland that is a feast for the senses as much for the eyes. If you're looking to sample as a pair, the Tweedle Dum would suit; the gin-based cocktail is topped with Limoncello and sparkling wine and is served up in a smoking tea-pot.