The Queensland capital of Brisbane is increasing in domestic and international mileage as a must-visit destination. I remember when it was called BrisVegas and much derided by the inhabitants of Melbourne and Sydney! This is very much no longer the case!
With its proximity to the Gold and Sunshine coasts, perfect year-round weather, upmarket dining and entertainment options, an artistic array of cultural events, designer retail therapy and nature-based activities, Brisbane offers everything in one action-packed, riverside location.
International Visitor Survey statistics estimate the average annual number of visitors to the city of Brisbane at around 1.6 million. When you combine this impressive figure with a total of 2.2 million residents, it becomes clear that Australia’s third largest capital city is increasing by the day in population and popularity.
Despite its exponential growth status, there are a slew of Brisbane boutique hotels for artful accommodation, artistic destinations, dining experiences and sightseeing activities that not only shine amid stunning natural surroundings but also embody exclusive cachet.
Brisbane Boutique Hotels
The vibrant CBD and breathtaking South Bank in the heart of Brisbane, with its arts precinct and majestic Brisbane River location, is a coveted destination for boutique accommodation. Hotels.com offers an endless selection of five-star resorts and luxury hotels that offer boutique style in abundance.
1. The Treasury Hotel
The Treasury Hotel is the ultimate in top-end-of-town sophistication. Its stately façade denotes the spacious, beautifully appointed suites, many with river views and every luxurious inclusion. At the Treasury, old-school style never goes out of fashion.
2. Next Hotel
For a taste of contemporary glamour, Next Hotel Brisbane in central Queen Street, offers boutique-style accommodation in beautifully appointed guest rooms and suites, a luxurious outdoor pool and access to Queen Street Mall shopping and dining.
3. Gambaro Hotel
The five-star Gambaro Hotel in Petrie Terrace also rates highly with guests for its stylish surroundings, affordability and access to sporting events at nearby Suncorp Stadium.
4. Emporium Hotel South Bank
Closer to the coveted arts precinct, the five-star Emporium Hotel South Bank is a tourist drawcard for its facility-packed features, including commanding Brisbane skyline views captured from the breathtaking infinity pool and chic marble-furnished restaurants. Huge private bathrooms, flat-screen TVs, floor-to-ceiling windows and mirrored interiors provide comfort, space and abundant natural light.
5. Capri by Fraser
The Capri by Fraser is a showcase of artistic vibrancy with its smartly designed interiors, glamorous indoor pool, and convenient access to the CBD, Brisbane Riverside Markets and Brisbane Botanic Gardens
Menso at South Bank offers apartment-style accommodation at the height of contemporary chic. With kitchen facilities, outdoor pool, rooftop terrace and access to the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition centres, the Menso is a favourite for short or long stays.
7. Novotel Brisbane South Bank
The sleek exterior of the Novotel Brisbane South Bank Hotel belies the warm welcome within. With 4.5-star luxury embodied in glamorous surroundings and facilities, the Novotel also offers childcare, adjoining rooms, the convenience of self-parking and access to all business and CBD amenities.
The trend-setting edge of Fortitude Valley has always epitomised the essence of secret urban delights awaiting discovery.
8. FV by Peppers
FV by Peppers offers clean lines, apartment-style living and a stunning rooftop pool. Private bathrooms, separate bedrooms and dining rooms and a spacious fitness centre provide the ultimate in all mod cons.
9. Ovolo The Valley
The artistic appeal is evident at the five-star Ovolo The Valley. This luxurious hotel oozes effortless glamour and features an inviting outdoor pool, easy access to Emporium shopping, airport shuttle and all mod cons.
10. The Calile Hotel
The Calile Hotel offers artful interiors and luxurious private bathrooms with contemporary pizzazz. The outdoor pool is a sophisticated setting for relaxation in sunbathed style.
11. TRYP by Wyndham
The mural and mirrored-widow façade of the TRYP by Wyndham Fortitude Valley Hotel is a fashionista favourite. Its artistic edge continues inside with designer fittings and fixtures to delight discerning art lovers. Connecting rooms, private bathrooms with colourful feature vanities, premium TV channels and private terraces are winning masterstrokes.
12. The Sage Hotel
The Sage Hotel James Street offers boutique brilliance in inviting, light-filled surrounds. With three restaurants, fitness centre, lavish private bathrooms and access to Chinatown dining and the Emporium, it’s easy to see why this four-star wonder is an accommodation winner.
Spring Hill is an up-and-coming location favoured by the fashion savvy and lovers of designer style.
13. Ovolo Incholm
Ovolo Incholm is as artful as it is luxurious and offers five-star excellence in stylish surrounds, with easy access to Queen Street Mall shopping and all city amenities.
14. Art Series The Johnson
Art Series The Johnson is defined by its breathtaking rooftop pool setting and also features light-filled, contemporary accommodation, with kitchen facilities, oversized flat-screen TVs with premium channels, and its proximity to the attractions of Eagle Street Pier.
15. Pullman Airport
For a quick fix of boutique glamour when you have a flight to catch, triumph in transit-ready style.
At the Pullman Airport Brisbane, location and luxury intertwine when time is of the essence. Pullman hotels epitomise effortless glamour and you can unwind in luxurious surroundings while also taking a dip in the inviting outdoor pool.
Whatever your preference, Hotels.com offers Brisbane Boutique Hotels to suit all budgets, tastes and locations in the Brisbane CBD and surroundings.
Flights to Brisbane
Brisbane is the capital of Queensland which is in the North East of Australia. International flights from the UK/Europe/USA will virtually always require at least one stop on the way to Australia. Several airlines including Singapore Airlines, Emirates and Etihad offer flights which have Brisbane as their first port of entry to Australia. However, do make sure you check as the majority of international flights will have Sydney, Perth or Melbourne as their first entry to Australia and an internal connecting flight will then be required.
Domestically there are frequent flights to Brisbane from most airports in Australia.Cheap Flights to Brisbane
Things to do in Brisbane, Queensland
The Queensland Art Gallery offers a historical perspective of significant local and international collections, while the architectural presence of Gallery of Modern Art, located on the banks of the Brisbane River, provides the cream of permanent and touring art exhibitions with a cutting-edge appeal.Click here for Brisbane's Top Tours
The Queensland Museum in South Brisbane has the answer for every scientific mind. Satisfy the curiosity levels of all ages at the electrifying SparkLab, which offers 30 interactive exhibitions across three fascinating zones.
The performing arts centre of the Brisbane Powerhouse at always popular, inner-city New Farm features world-class theatrical and musical events, teamed with fine dining and drinking offerings with a casual approach at Bar Alto.
Indulge the senses and drift away for the day with lunch, dinner and city lights, or sparkling wine and high-tea river cruises onboard traditional paddle wheelers of inveterate charm.Book Your High Tea Cruise Here
Set your sights at an elevated perspective and scale new heights with the ever-popular Story Bridge Climb. Dawn or twilight climbing events with digital photo inclusions, at this Kangaroo Point landmark, attract droves of visitors and residents alike.
Early risers can take to the skies with the unforgettable event of a sunrise hot air ballooning adventure with full breakfast and sparkling wine. Tour providers offer the choice of Atherton Tablelands or Ipswich viewpoints and all assure memories to treasure amid these sunrise-bathed rural landscapes.
Afterwards, immerse yourself in natural wonders without leaving the Brisbane CBD, with a meander and possibly an afternoon picnic at the City Botanic Gardens. This sprawling sub-tropical setting features bamboo groves, weeping figs and ornamental ponds for Narcissus-worthy self-reflection. The garden’s Riverstage and the main rotunda also present regular concerts, exhibitions and shows for all interests and ages.
You can also get up close and personal with marine life in dolphin and Tangalooma Wrecks cruises afloat the crystal-clear waters of Moreton Bay Marine Park. Humpback whales in season can also be spotted from the historic 19th century Cape Moreton Lighthouse.
Accessible from Brisbane and offering the chance to view hundreds of fascinating sea creatures and explore steep sand dunes and breathtaking mountains, the south-east Queensland landmark of Moreton Island, which also includes North Stradbroke Island, is a must-visit for nature and coastal lovers.Book Your Brisbane Cruise Here
For day-trippers, a visit to Brisbane would not be complete without a leisurely or more intrepid expedition to the Scenic Rim, which is a World Heritage-listed national rainforest reserve located less than an hour’s drive from the CBD.
You can explore mountain ranges, ancient landforms, and natural rock pools and even indulge in glamorous overnight stays, such as the safari-style retreat at Spicer’s Canopy.
Visitors to Scenic Rim should not depart without sampling the abundant offerings of fine wines and local produce of premium quality at this multi-awarded wine region.
Food and drink
For fine dining at its zenith, Aria always sets the scene and stage for haute cuisine excellence. Located on the Eagle Street Pier riverfront, Aria’s artisan chefs infuse French and Italian-style notes with the cream of local produce. The result is epicurean creations that continue to triumph.
Gauge asserts the right balance between upmarket appeal and café culture in winning dishes that play on Mediterranean and South East Asian influences. This perennial South Brisbane favourite is also handy to all cultural and retail attractions.
Stokehouse Q is a true foodie stayer for its South Bank riverfront destination, effortless elegance and contemporary French flavours.
Gerard’s Bistro at ever edgy Fortitude Valley combines the best of local produce and transforms it with Middle Eastern and Japanese-style finesse. Gerard’s is also renowned for its flavour-expanding dessert range, including the sorrel ice cream embedded below a moreish porcini meringue.
Also in the Valley and not unlike the bespoke tailors for which it is named, Savile Row customises cocktails of contemporary flair with a focus on traditional qualities amid luxurious, den-like interiors.
Lychee Lounge in the fashionable West End also offers a fresh take on classic cocktails in an awe-inspiring setting.
The Cloakroom Bar in the middle of the city is more underground Melbourne than Sunshine State Brisbane, with its back-lane fire-escape access. But the highest professional standards in cocktails of exacting excellence are always completely above board.
Shop until you drop
When designer retail therapy is in order, shopaholics can’t go past the dazzling shop fronts along Edward and Queen Streets, Queens Plaza and the old-world charm of Tattersall’s Arcade, all in the CBD.
Up-to-the-minute imported and local designer fashions feature alongside artisan food outlets and premium coffee venues.
Also in the city centre, all roads to lead to the Queen Street Mall, which is the magnetic destination for shoppers and entertainment options for all ages and tastes. There are more than 700 speciality stores within the Queen Street complex alone and more than 1000 retail locations in the Brisbane CBD.
The central Wintergarden also provides an artistic point of interest for shoppers, browsers and admirers.
The Emporium in Fortitude Valley is your glamorous hub for upmarket retail therapy, pamper-worthy day spas, dining and drinking options for all tastes and budgets.
Who Paid for What with This Post
This article was written in partnership with Hotels.com. It contains what are called affiliate links. If you click through on these links and make a purchase The Boutique Adventurer will receive a small commission.
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