Known for its lively buzz, youthful zeal, alfresco lifestyle, progressive ideals and affinity for the great outdoors. Brisbane – the capital of Queensland – has recently experienced a burgeoning population of restaurants, cafes, and bars amidst a brand-new hip arts district, as well as gorgeous green spaces, and multi-million-dollar shopping centres.
With a pretty river running through the heart of the city, and a backyard of mountain peaks, millions of visitors are attracted and fall in love with this sunny metropolis all year round. Its hotels are pretty special too, from quirky boutiques to high-rise buildings brimming with grandeur, here are the best cool and unusual hotels in Brisbane, Australia (in no particular order)...
1. The Inchcolm by Ovolo – a distinctive and creative boutique hotel that offers impeccable quirky chic decor
Originally built in 1880 and named after Scotland’s Inchcolm Island, this neo-Georgian four-storey building has lovingly restored many of its original features, including the ornate wood-panelled entrance and a heritage-listed lift.
Subtle colours embellish the hotel’s character, from the handmade wallpapers to the floral uniforms worn by the staff. The guestrooms at The Inchcolm by Ovolo come in all shapes and sizes and are complemented by their own unique theme.
All have workstations, mini iPads, docking stations, Nespresso machines, and lavish queen or king-sized beds. Just off the lobby, Salon de Co bar is a vibrant space with happy hour drinks, featuring a ‘Cabinet of Curiosity’ which displays trinkets and artefacts relating to 1980s rock music.
- To book, check prices or availability for The Inchcolm by Ovolo
2. Crystalbrook Vincent – a hip, modern and very Instagrammable upscale hotel with a cool funky vibe
Integrated with an environmentally-friendly conscience, the bold, brave, and energetic Crystalbrook Vincent is a lively extravaganza of dynamic designs and sustainable amenities.
The hotel showcases over 500 prints by acclaimed Australian artist Vincent Fantauzzo, alongside radical entertainment events and dining experiences.
Guests are invited to be free, inspire passion, and experience innovative breakthroughs, at the three meeting spaces which feature epic river and skyline views, hosting up to 200 guests.
A dining discovery awaits at the hotel’s restaurant, whilst the Fiume rooftop pool and bar is the perfect spot to fill your cups and plates with laneway-inspired food and drink.
- To book, check prices or availability for Crystalbrook Vincent
3. W Brisbane – one of the most Instagrammable hotels in Brisbane perfect for hip, party-loving Millenials and Gen Zs
Taking its design cue from the Brisbane River and Queensland icons, guests at W Brisbane are greeted by giant glitzy pineapples, and plenty of indigenous, Australian art featuring native birds and wildlife.
The river design motifs and earthy tones spread from the reed-like poles surrounding the welcome desks, to the rooms which boast quirky carpets and walls.
The rooms are largely commodious, comfortable, and retain vivid colour schemes and other objets d’art which make the W fun, engaging, and glamorous.
The Three Blue Ducks, Brisbane’s first outlet for this celebrated restaurant chain, features an open kitchen with wood-fired ovens overlooking the buffet, and serves a delectable menu of artisan fare.
- To book, check prices or availability for W Brisbane
4. The Constance Fortitude Valley – a colorful, kitsch, and arty hotel to stay in Brisbane
A quintessentially Brisbane vibe showcases itself in this 65-room boutique hotel, which offers the ultimate urban accommodation experience.
At the Constance Fortitude Valley, comfort and style are combined with the distinct and vibrant décor of Brisbane’s only street art hotel. Bounded by works of art, this chic hotel has the additional advantage of flexible meeting spaces, a gym, a quirky rooftop bar, and free entry to the Valley Pool & Gym.
The Constance Fortitude Valley embodies modern sophistication, and includes a courtyard, internal spa’s, and artsy themed rooms. Whether travelling for work or pleasure, the Constance is ideally situated in the beating heart of Brisbane’s Fortitude Valley, with major entertainment opportunities right on your doorstep.
- To book, check prices or availability for The Constance Fortitude Valley
5. FV by Peppers – a sleek and sexy cosmopolitan aparthotel that features a heated u-shaped skyline pool
Comprising of three 30-storey towers, this newly developed hotel is a reimagined version of New York’s flatiron building.
Featuring 986 one- and two-bedroom apartments housing travellers and permanent residents, the monochrome décor oozes functionality and modern sophistication.
Set in the heart of Brisbane’s colourful entertainment precinct ‘The Valley’, this landmark building fuses sustainability with luxe amenities, which include a u-shaped skyline pool, moonlit cinema, gymnasium, and a bar offering a sumptuous dining experience.
All apartments feature a full kitchen and balcony, complemented by all the signature Peppers touches in a refined sanctuary. In-room amenities include a TV with popular movies, complimentary Wi-Fi, and state-of-the-art toiletries.
- To book, check prices or availability for FV by Peppers
6. Amora Hotel Brisbane – a trendy hotel set in the heart of Brisbane only 300 meters from Central Station
Guests at Amora Hotel Brisbane are welcomed into a sleek, modern lobby brimming with natural light, where a warm and engaging service truly elevates their hospitality experience.
Throughout the hotels 296 spacious rooms and suites which are ideal for both business and leisure stays, contemporary comfort is a key feature, as are private balconies overlooking the Brisbane cityscape.
The Pantry restaurant offers modern Australian cuisine for breakfast and dinner, whilst the lobby bar is an inviting gathering spot to unwind with a cocktail in hand. The onsite ‘Two Donkeys café’ is a popular hub for a casual meal or grab and go items.
- To book, check prices or availability for Amora Hotel Brisbane
7. Kennigo Hotel Brisbane – an ultra-creative and stylish place to stay in Brisbane nestled in the leafy streets of Spring Hill
Situated within the leafy outskirts of Fortitude Valley, steps from Brisbane’s CBD, the perfect balance of understated elegance and cosmopolitan flair attracts guests to the remarkable Kennigo Hotel.
The Kennigo Espresso bar is the perfect place to kickstart your day on a great note, and the soon-to-open Italian-inspired dining experience is located within a lovingly restored Queenslander house next door.
An alluring destination for every occasion, the sweeping city views and sun-filled spaces at this stunning hotel are complemented by plenty of small luxuries. When called by the allure of the seaside, the Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast can be reached in just over an hour.
- To book, check prices or availability for Kennigo Hotel Brisbane
8. Art Series – The Johnson – a contemporary all-suite hotel that offers great facilities great for families and features artwork by Michael Johnson
Named after Australian abstract artist Michael Johnson, the redevelopment of this heritage-listed former government office has seen its walls lined with Johnson’s colourful works, featuring both originals and prints.
A large sculpture named ‘The Red Cube’ stands tall at the hotel’s entrance, commissioned to commemorate the opening of Brisbane’s gateway bridge in 1986.
The 97 self-contained, spacious open-plan suites at Art Series – The Johnson boast a nice balcony and kitchenette, as well as iPod docking stations, TVs, and comfortable Art Series Hotel Beds.
Arty touches and accessories adorn the walls, and the exposed concrete ceilings contrast the sleek modern décor, adding some industrial chic.
- To book, check prices or availability for Art Series – The Johnson
9. Capri by Fraser Brisbane – a cool and unique aparthotel that features rainforest-inspired decor
This elegant hotel grabs your attention upon arrival. With lobby walls decorated in homage to the bookstore that held this space in the Brisbane streetscape for many years, to real books embedded into the 3D wallpaper designs, a great and stylish effect is created.
The guestrooms are ornated with stylised koalas and kookaburras, adding a splash of effervescence to the interiors. Fully-equipped kitchenettes and super-comfy king sized beds make for a blissful spot of respite, complemented by a small desk and a large-screen television.
Asana restaurant, designed by celebrity chef Pete Evans, features his signature paleo-inspired food. A casual café vibe is reflected in the open, street-front café bar.
- To book, check prices or availability for Capri by Fraser Brisbane
10. Hotel X Brisbane Fortitude Vly, Vignette Collection – an upscale and outstanding hotel perfectly placed in the heart of Brisbane’s fashion, nightlife and restaurant scene
A sensational luxury experience awaits guests in the heart of Fortitude Valley, evoking decadence, diversity, and a care-free vigour.
Hotel X Brisbane Fortitude Vly, Vignette Collection is all about the unexpected, the uninhibited, and the undeniable indulgent, which manifests itself through iconic art, to avant-garde lighting, to irresistible textures. The rooftop pool and ‘Iris Bar and Restaurant’ offer a vibrant haven to soak up the vitamin D.
Keen on taking responsibility, hotel X has partnered with a local school to support the next generation who wish to pursue hospitality careers, and empowers the youth with invaluable on-the-job learning. A cocktail of thrills is on offer here.
- To book, check prices or availability for Hotel X Brisbane Fortitude Vly, Vignette Collection
11. Brisbane Skytower – a stunning modern aparthotel that provides picturesque views and top amenities
Soaring 90 storeys above the heart of the CBD, an upmarket accommodation amidst breathtaking views is offered at Brisbane Skytower, Australia’s largest residential/serviced apartment building.
The building has been designed with three separate areas of living, where refined comfort and opulence await: Uptown and Downtown, Skycity, and Skyrise. Each of these boasts their own lobbies, recreation decks, BBQ areas, and social spaces.
A five-star hospitality experience is combined with first-class amenities, making the Skytower the new leader in Brisbane luxury accommodation. A plethora of experiences, events, and spectacular beaches for sailing and boating are offered in close proximity to this stunning hotel.
- To book, check prices or availability for Brisbane Skytower
12. Treasury Brisbane – an award-winning casino hotel that blends an old-world charm vibe and modern comforts
With the old-world opulence of a five-star hotel, the non-stop excitement of a 24-hour casino, the thrill of live entertainment, and the tantalising taste of amazing restaurants and bars, Treasury Brisbane welcomes returning visitors year after year.
Its refined elegance is bolstered by a contemporary service, and unique interiors. With 125 unique rooms of unmatched splendour and high-end amenities, unparalleled luxury awaits guests right in the heart of Brisbane’s bustling CBD.
Within arm’s reach of varied dining options and the most extravagant nightlife of this global city, the hotel’s charm and elegance is matched only by its atmosphere of frivolity and fun.
- To book, check prices or availability for Treasury Brisbane
13. The Calile Hotel – easily one of the coolest hotels to stay in Brisbane perfect for hipsters, Millennials and Gen Zs
The Calile Hotel (pronounced Kal-isle) combines its remarkable Lebanese heritage with a slight 1950s Miami feel. Breezy open-air corridors fuse with white brick arches and breezeblock features, to form an opulent experience characterised by palm trees and pastel colours.
Almost unnoticed along the streetscape, guests enter through an arcade into the large lobby, however, the glass walls around the reception area bring the outside world back in, before leading to a back laneway of boutiques and cafés.
Guests can choose from 175 blue, green, or pink rooms. The colours add a softness to the marble surfaces, cork floors, sisal matting, and oak and brass trims.
- To book, check prices or availability for The Calile Hotel
14. voco Brisbane City Centre, an IHG Hotel – a charming and trendy hotel that overlooks Brisbane river
Embedded right in the centre of the buzzing, sun-drenched Queensland capital, the charming, playful voco Brisbane City Centre, an IHG Hotel delivers a premium yet unstuffy accommodation experience, equipped for the leisure-seeker and business traveller alike.
The 194 premium rooms are more than just a place to rest, and feature vibrant artwork, smart in-room technology, and bathroom amenities that melt the stress of any day away.
Guests can kick-start their day with a proper barista coffee, and find out the best gems to visit from the warm and attentive staff. Much like the hotel’s fun-loving Flamingo mascot, there are many opportunities for ‘play’ at Voco. The rooftop pool offers fun in the sun and the lobby dining space serves up craft brews in an atmospheric setting.
- To book, check prices or availability for voco Brisbane City Centre, an IHG Hotel
15. Hotel Grand Chancellor Brisbane – a trendy and elegant hotel where guests can enjoy a rooftop pool and stunning vistas
Overlooking the picturesque Roma Street Parklands is this 4.5 star Brisbane accommodation, which affords commanding views of the surrounding mountains, Brisbane River, and the city skyline.
Hotel Grand Chancellor Brisbane welcomes guests to an idyllic, family-friendly experience, where an engaging blend of contemporary design, gracious hospitality, and modern amenities delight your senses.
Ideal for a relaxing corporate trip, a family holiday, or a weekend getaway, at this exquisite hotel it is easy to stay connected, with the high-speed complimentary Wi-Fi.
The hotel also features a dedicated concierge service, which is a godsend when diving into a vibrant city and wanting to pack your itinerary with great memories.
- To book, check prices or availability for Hotel Grand Chancellor Brisbane
16. Mantra South Bank Brisbane – a chic travel sustainable hotel where guests can appreciate breathtaking city views
Welcoming guests through a glass-fronted lobby brightened by potted palms and an interesting art installation hanging from the ceiling, this eye-catching hotel attracts all sorts of travellers.
Many of the stylish rooms boast glimpses of the river, and are packed with a plethora of entertainment choices. Spectacular dining opportunities are offered at the onsite restaurant, and further facilities include a 20-metre heated lap pool, a spa, and a fully equipped gymnasium.
Situated idyllically on the southern bank of the Brisbane River, this hotel puts you right in the city’s arts precinct, a mere block away from the lagoons, beaches, and weekend markets of South Bank Parklands.
- To book, check prices or availability for Mantra South Bank Brisbane
17. Limes Boutique Hotel – a romantic and cute boutique hotel with access to public transport nearby
Conveniently located in Fortitude Valley, the hub of Brisbane’s nightlife, guests are warmly welcomed by a charming staff presence, comforted by ideally stylised guestrooms, and embraced by a world of wonder.
Limes offers an exceptional boutique experience in the form of a stunning yet simple urban retreat. An open-air rooftop bar and two rooftop plunge pools make this hotel incredibly popular amongst discerning travellers.
Whether staying for a night, a drink, or a dip, pleasure and business go hand in hand in this trendy vacation lodging. The hotel features 21 rooms which opt to focus on guests’ primary travel requirements through a careful selection of state-of-the-art amenities.
- To book, check prices or availability for Limes Boutique Hotel
18. Manly Marina Cove Motel – a cozy boutique motel based on the grounds of the Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron
Located where Brisbane meets the bay, close to the largest recreational boat harbour in the southern hemisphere, the many kilometres of walking, cycling and jogging paths that surround the area make the Manly Marina Cove Motel a must-visit destination in itself.
The motel is a hidden gem, and exudes a modern, 4-star boutique presence through a peaceful haven. Comfort and bliss are paramount to the motel’s ethos, and permeate the 39 modern rooms, which come with bay and garden views.
Each of the quirky rooms feature a king-size bed and a large 55-inch smart TV with Foxtel. A mini bar fridge is also provided in each room.
- To book, check prices or availability for Manly Marina Cove Motel
19. Sage Hotel James Street – a cool boutique hotel with quirky-chic decor that is within walking distance from great attractions
With a design-on-a-dime approach, Sage Hotel James Street houses unfussy, contemporary interiors which attract a whole host of travellers.
A sense of tropical Queensland is conveyed by its vertical garden in the lobby atrium, and this theme carries through to every bedroom via plantings in window boxes or on balconies.
The homely ambiance of this boutique hotel is bolstered by locally inspired fabrics, and photographs sourced from retailers in the immediate area.
All of the hotel’s 93 guestrooms are dressed in stylish shades of black and grey, with monochrome photographs of local landmarks dressing the walls, and soft furnishings providing splashes of bold, bright colour. Complimentary passes to a 24-hour gym and 50-metre outdoor pool are available from reception.
- To book, check prices or availability for Sage Hotel James Street
20. Hotel Indigo Brisbane City Centre, an IHG Hotel – a funky and creative design hotel based in a charming neighborhood
The Hotel Indigo brand has paved its way across the globe as a forerunner in the boutique and lifestyle category, one of the fastest-growing hospitality segments.
Hotel Indigo Brisbane maintains design elements which include six-metre-high red doors at the entrance, inspired by the fairy doors on Burnett Lange, and black & white murals in the reception area.
Peppered with hand-painted artworks, the hotel’s 212 rooms are elegantly appointed and offer an experience steeped in richness and glamour, bound by clues of Brisbane’s untold stories.
The hotel is inspired by the hidden artistic flair, transformative stories, and eclectic characters that have shaped Brisbane’s vibrant CBD.
- To book, check prices or availability for Hotel Indigo Brisbane City Centre, an IHG Hotel
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My first true adventure began as a six month voyage around South East Asia as a fresh faced backpacker and ever since I’ve lived a semi nomadic existence, clocking up visits to over 40 countries. I’m a lover of US Road Trips, deserted beaches bathed in warm glow of a sunset, Cuban mojitos, travel destinations far away from the tourist crowds and all things Scandinavian – from cloudberry liquors to Nordic noirs. When not wandering the world and running Global Grasshopper, you’ll find me walking my rescued Greek street dog in leafy South West London, strolling around the Brighton Lanes on random day trips, hunting for photogenic landscapes or daydreaming about my favourite places; Havana, Copenhagen, Italy, Laos, California and the surreally beautiful landscapes of a wintry Iceland.