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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.
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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Go with us as we escape on a private island about 75 miles off the coast of mainland Fiji that will make the shoulders of even the highest strung relax just a bit. We're talking about Tokoriki Island Resort in the outer surroundings of the Mamanuca Islands--where it takes a 90 minute catamaran ride and fishing boat transfer to reach. This boutique resort is the quintessential definition of Fiji-time because there is little to worry about since the only thing you might be late for is snorkeling.
One very important feature of Tokoriki is the staff. Arriving on the island to a hearty BULA!, wooden bead lei and a traditional island song made us feel like we had truly arrived somewhere special. Bordering a personal concierge, we were escorted to our hut and shown around the grounds. Mysteriously, it made us feel familiar, as if we had been here before; that's what Fiji does!
Sydney gets another boutique hotel, but this one is in the inner-city suburb of Pyrmont. With plans to open in March of 2013,1888 Hotel is the brainchild of the 8 Hotels Group (you'll be hearing more about them very soon) and will prove to be the jewel in their crown of properties.
Located on the opposite side of the historical Darling Harbour, Pyrmont is close enough to the city for easy accessibility, but far enough to maintain a neighborhood feel. The suburb was historically Sydney's huge wool processing area and that's what makes this building unique. Housed in a former wool-storage facility, the hotel will keep elements of late 19th century structure. High ceilings, exposed brick walls, huge period windows and an internal atrium towering the seven stories of the hotel all pay homage the 120 year-old building.
Similar to its roots, each room will feature industrial elements both new and old. During the refurbishment, the developers found some original iron bark, using it as shelves and the desk surfaces in the rooms' design. Each of the 90 rooms will boast polished concrete, steel, bronze, marble and an eclectic collection of antique furnishings, but with all the modern bells and whistles.