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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.
Ah, a day at the races. The sun shines, the air is heavy of horse stable and gambling luck, and you are smack dab in the middle of well-healed spectators carrying on with dreams of winning big. When the day is perfect, but the main event comes to a close, how do you continue the fun? A fancy schmancy trip to a hotel lobby bar.
Our day of randomly picking winning and losing thoroughbreds brought us to Brisbane's top boutique hotel, The Emporium. Located in Brisbane's Fortitude Valley area, the Emporium is a modest sized complex with high-end fashion, fine dining, and eponymous hotel, aptly named, The Emporium.
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.
You may have noticed that we're quite fond of Hotel High Tea here at HotelChatter, having sampled little sandwiches and cups of tea at the finest properties in cities such as London and New York. But this week we discovered that the historic art of tea-taking is also a hot trend in the rather modern city of Brisbane, Australia, courtesy of the Emporium Hotel.
The three-year old boutique hotel in the funky Fortitude Valley area of Brissy has a hit on its hands with its new Cocktail Bar High Tea Menu, with local ladies of all ages flocking in with pinkies raised to enjoy a cuppa and a good ol' gossip around a cake tray.
While northern hemisphere hotels are busy promoting their winter sales, Down Under hotels are advertising summer specials, and there's a particularly good one on offer from the Urban group of hotels, represented in the three major east coast cities.
The three places - Urban St Leonard's in Sydney, Urban St Kilda in Melbourne and the Urban Brisbane - have got together to organize a half-price summer sale. The deal is that if you make your booking this week (before Saturday, October 31), you can get your room for A$99 ($91) a night instead of the usual average of A$199 ($180). The sad thing is that the Aussie dollar is pretty strong right now, so if you're booking in another currency the deal isn't anywhere near as good as it might have been a few months ago.
The summer deal is good for stays between December 18 and January 18, 2010 in Sydney and Melbourne, while in Brisbane, apparently summer lasts a lot longer – the deal is valid for stays between December 18 and February 14 next year. Just look for the "Hotel Urban turns up the heat" prices when you book online – we saw plenty of $99 rooms left.