Boutique in Brisbane: 8 unique hotels for the creative traveller

By Dacia Thai,

If you’ve been living in a cave, it might surprise you to know that the affectionately-coined Brisvegas has casually shaken off its sleepy reputation and is quietly buzzing on the boutique scene. In fact, chic bars, artisan eateries, and beautiful boutique accommodation are a well-kept secret from smug Sydney-siders and Melbournians…

So, if you’re ready to explore something other than just Melbournian laneways and art hotels, then try Brissy! The city is brimming with underrated gems – just read on to find out the best boutique hotels in Brisbane and cool things to do in each district.

Hotels in the city

Capri by Fraser

Capri by Fraser Brisbane - room

Graphic designers are bound to fall in love with Capri’s tasteful use of geometric prints in the hotel’s interiors. From the 2D floral motifs in reception, to the pixelated shower wall and tessellated print cushions mirroring the city lights, the hotel exhibits immaculate artistic flair.

This cosmopolitan hotel wouldn’t be complete without its modern culinary delights to complement its décor, of course. Chef Pete Evans delights guests and Brisbanites alike with his restaurant and bar, Asana, serving the best Queensland produce.

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Capri by Fraser Brisbane - pool

Capri by Fraser Brisbane - reception

Guests can enjoy all the necessities of modern travel with fast and free WiFi, an in-room Nespresso machine, an iPod docking station and Malin & Goetz bath amenities.

The New Inchcolm Hotel and Suites

New Inchcolm Brisbane Deluxe Suite

A cool palette of silver and stone, citron accents and geometric lines welcomes the weary traveller battling the Brisbane heat. The mood of the New Inchcolm Hotel and Suites is refreshing, with floodlit interiors thanks to the rooms’ floor-to-ceiling windows and airy drapes. Ornate mirrors and bespoke carpets honour the glamourous 1920s, matching nicely with the hotel’s heritage-listed exterior.

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New Inchcolm Brisbane - bathroom

New Inchcolm Brisbane - books

Just cross the hotel’s art-deco threshold to sample a number of other luxuries, such as Chef Michael Crosbie’s Thomson’s Reserve Restaurant, for a taste of modern Australian cuisine. Alternatively, pay a visit to the hotel’s own Socialites Bar. Inspired by the Roaring 20s, the establishment has hosted many a social evening even before it became a hotel.

MacArthur Chambers

“… Our heritage building that offers our guests a home away from home, fusing traditional charm with modern comforts.”

MacArthur Chambers Brisbane

MacArthur Chambers is totally grown-up and shows off its elegance with cream and rose gold textiles, jacquard prints and light wooden accents. Contemporary design furniture maintain a fresh and modern look to the serviced apartments. Whichever room you book, each is individually furnished and may range from either carpet or timber flooring, to granite or marble benchtops.

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MacArthur Chambers Brisbane - lounge

Each of the one- or two-bedroom apartments are fully fitted with practical necessities such as a kitchen and laundry facilities, as well as luxuries such as a sitting room and cable TV.

Things to check out in the city

Take a stroll down Brissy’s oldest laneway, Burnett Lane. Once a prison exercise yard, it’s experienced a council makeover and today, it’s alive with artwork on the walls and luminous illustrations on the ground. The area is buzzing with cool cafes and restaurants, such as Super Whatnot and Brew Café & Wine Bar.

Hotels in Spring Hill

One Thornbury Boutique B&B

One Thornbury Boutique B&B - room

Just outside the bustling heart of the city, you can kick back with a beer under the leafy shade of a palm tree or just catch up on a good book in the sun. One Thornbury Boutique B&B celebrates the best of Brissy sunshine with tropical-themed rooms, complete with ceiling fans and warm and cheerful décor. Designer chic combines with the intimacy of boutique hospitality to deliver personalised serviced.

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One Thornbury Boutique B&B - Dining and living

One Thornbury Boutique B&B Front of house

To make the most of your stay, just ask your host Geof for tips on nearby eateries, theatres and art galleries!

Things to do in Spring Hill

Spring Hill is known for its collection of distinct Queenslander architecture and the Old Windmill, which was built by convicts in the 1820s and is also the oldest building in Brisbane. You can pay a visit to the site to learn about its dark history, or take a walk in the Roma Street Parkland to see some of the best display gardens in Australia. Alternatively, get cultured and spend an evening at Opera in the Resovoir  to enjoy a performance in the surrounds of the spectacular 140-year-old heritage-listed building.

Hotels in Fortitude Valley

Alpha Mosaic Fortitude Valley

“The boutique style Alpha Mosaic Brisbane is a place where people would feel comfortable to hang either in jeans or in a smart suit, alone or in a group.” –
Bruce Holliday, Alpha Hotel Managing Partner

Alpha Mosaic Hotel - Executive Room Corner

The Alpha Mosaic is just the thing for urbanites exploring Fortitude Valley’s eclectic mix of restaurants, fashion stores and furniture outlets. With materials such as copper, purple velvet and tan leather, the room exudes inner-city class. Floor-to-ceiling windows keep the space bright and fresh, and touches of artwork by Aussie artist and illustrator, Piers Greville, adorn the walls.

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Alpha Mosaic - Eleven Rooftop Bar - couple

Alpha Mosaic - Eleven Rooftop Bar

With a section of accommodation options ranging from hotel rooms to two-bedroom apartments, Alpha Mosaic is well-equipped for both short and long stays in the city. The Deluxe Hotel Room is filled with goodies, including free unlimited Wi-Fi and a hundreds of movies on demand for a small fee.

If you’re ready to initiate your evening in style, head down the road to Eleven Rooftop Bar. Offering a stellar line-up of drinks alongside some jaw-dropping skyline views, this isn’t the kind of place you’ll want to be leaving anytime soon. Our pick? The Monte Carlo cocktail which comes with Beefeater gin, watermelon nectar, and peach bitters.

Alex Perry Hotel & Apartments

“I’m fashioning apartment accommodation like I would couture garment” – Alex Perry

Alex Perry Hotel Brisbane - reflection

Fashion icon Alex Perry has dressed many celebrities, from the likes of Rihanna and J.Lo to our own Princess Mary of Denmark. But this time, he’s ventured beyond the entertainment world to style and clothe the signature Alex Perry Hotel and Apartments. Perry keeps it tasteful with classic yet edgy design fit for the fashionista, with a contrasting palette of pastels, black and navy. Geometric patterns and a touch of gold trim deliver all the class and modern elegance the savvy traveller needs.

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Alex Perry Hotel Brisbane - pool

Alex Perry Hotel Brisbane - rooftop lounge

Everything you need for a big night out is provided. Say goodbye to sub-standard hairdryers and say hello to GHD hair styling tools, your own personal garment steamer and LED makeup mirror!

Do you also rock Alannah Hill, Alice McCall or Bardot? For more fashionista hotels, check here.

Where to go in Fortitude Valley

Bakery Lane Brisbane

Fortitude Valley has experienced a renaissance of laneway culture to rival the likes of our Melbourne cousins. Small venues and rooftop bars are all the rage here – just check out Bakery Lane which is thriving with little eaters and shops, and Winn Lane, which is great for a flat white and tasty grub. When night falls, suit up and head to Eleven Roof Top Bar to savour a drink to 270 degree views of Fortitude Valley, the CBD and surrounding suburbs.

Hotels in Petrie Terrace

Gambaro Hotel

“When it comes to shopping and dining, there is certainly no shortage… Gambaro is the ultimate work, play and stay destination.”

Gambaro Hotel Brisbane

It’s the luxury accommodation for those treasure hunting for vintage knick-knacks in the Paddington precinct. Designed by world-famous Hirsh Bedner Associates, the hotel spares no detail: the rooms are custom-designed and individually furnished. Warm tones and soft lighting give it a romantic flair, and the utmost comfort is provided by the most luxurious beds provided by Sealy Posturepedic.

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Gambaro Hotel Brisbane - dining

Guests can also pamper themselves in the bathroom, which is complete with his and her vanities as well as APPELLES Black Label products.

Where to go in Petrie Terrace/Milton

Milton is home to Suncorp Stadium, so it’s the best place to base yourself if you’re there for the rugby. At any other time, you can visit Petrie Barracks, an old army building that has been redeveloped into one of the city’s premier lifestyle districts. Today, the converted barracks contain a boutique cinema as well as general retail stores and impressive restaurants, making is a pretty unique attraction within Milton! If you want to try something a little adventurous for lunch, we suggest a visit to Libertine for a mouth-watering fusion of French-Vietnamese cuisine.

Hotels in Bulimba

Number 12

Number 12 Brisbane - exterior

Number 12 Brisbane - room

Number 12 Brisbane - bathroom

Number 12 - sitting room

Step back in time with vintage four-poster canopy beds, English tessellated floors and rooms which come with complimentary home-baked goods. Number 12 is unlike any other accommodation – built in 1907, the hotel features four types of exquisitely-themed rooms, furnished with authentic Victorian, Edwardian and vintage French fittings.

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From antique 1880s brass-and-iron beds and clawfoot baths, to the all-inclusive afternoon tea and full breakfast, Number 12 is the choice for lovers of period dramas.

Where to go in Bulimba

Bulimba is often overlooked, but it’s an absolute gem. The action all happens around Oxford Street, which boasts an array of chic and contemporary bars – just check out Barcadia Kitchen and Bar for a unique blend of cocktails and next-level bar snacks such as bowls of crispy pork crackling, wagyu spring rolls and chicken liver parfait. We can’t promise it’ll do any good to your diet, but with food so good, who cares!?

What’s your favourite spot in The River City?

Let us know below!