The Calile Hotel, Brisbane, Australia

The Calile Hotel, Brisbane, Australia

Fifties style worthy of an architecture magazine. A spa offering vampire facials. One of Brisbane’s best Greek restaurants. It’s no wonder The Calile Hotel is a playground for the well-heeled. James Street and Fortitude Valley are on its doorstep.

there was ever a sign that the city of Brisbane is all grown
up, the opening of The Calile Hotel was it. Sydney
might have its photogenic harbour and Melbourne
its edgy laneway bars, but there’s no other capital down under
where you’ll find a glamorous, poolside resort in the heart of the
metropolis, just a stone’s throw away from the best shopping,
dining and nightlife. With its pose-worthy pool, Instagrammable
interiors and enviable location, the hotel all but threw down a
challenge to every other CBD hotel in Australia: just try to be
cooler than us, we dare you.

Taking in the brutalist, concrete exterior from the street,
you’d never guess that inside is all 50s-inspired pastel hues,
sleek marble and, in the lobby, a tinkle of laughter and clinking
glasses from the nearby bar. The ground floor of the seven-storey
building is almost entirely given over to designer boutiques – many
of which are local pop-ups – so it’s unsurprising that the hotel is
as much a social rendezvous for the well-heeled of the surrounding
suburbs as it is a luxe spot to bed down for the night.


There just isn’t a word to describe the design of these
pastel-pink and pistachio-green suites. They’re a buffet of
textures: cork panels, exposed-concrete ceilings and, in the
bathrooms, sky-blue tiles accented by brass. Throw in marble
tabletops, chunky jute rugs and arched doorways and you’ve got a
place that looks as if it belongs in an architectural magazine.

All rooms nail the Instagram-worthy aesthetic, but some will
have you swooning more than others. Plan on spending some time in
your suite? Opt for one with a balcony that has a bird’s-eye view
of the pool below. For those keen to splurge, the Junior and Deluxe
suites feature round, freestanding bathtubs for long soaks with a
glass of rosé in hand. The Ada and Calile suites are the true MVPs
though – so exclusive you need to contact the hotel team to book.
Both come with a private rooftop terrace and separate living and
dining area.

Bathroom supplies are all from Grown
, a cult-followed Melbourne beauty brand, while the
mini bar is full of locally sourced goodies. Custom linen robes are
just what you need for the balmy Queensland summers. Just flick
down those motorised blackout blinds when it’s time for some

What’s for breakfast?

That Lobby
that we mentioned earlier isn’t just for pre-dinner
cocktails. It’s also a sleek breakfast spot where you can subtly
people-watch business types cramming in their early meetings while
you linger over spicy shakshuka or cheesy croque monsieur. If you
want to get the resort vibes going early, you can also head to
the poolside Greek restaurant just upstairs where options include
breakfast spanakopita and fancy sardines on toast.

How about lunch and dinner?

That Greek spot by the pool? It happens to be one of Brisbane’s
top restaurants, so you should definitely book in for a long lunch
during your stay. Better yet, nab yourself one of the pastel-green
cabanas and take advantage of its poolside menu of cocktails and
snacks. Don’t lock yourself into dining at Hellenika for your
entire stay though. Just outside along James Street (and within a
two-minute Uber trip of the hotel) are the rest of the city’s top
10 eateries. Hit Same Same next door for flavoursome Thai,
for Middle Eastern feasts, Hôntô in Fortitude
Valley for inventive Japanese or Howard
Smith Wharves
for dinner with a view.

Is there a bar?

As much a meeting point for the well-heeled as it is a spot for
a holiday sip, the Lobby Bar is is all pink marble with chrome
accents, and has an equally glam cocktail menu. Stay late and order
snacks from the short-but-sweet dining menu if you get peckish.


Down on level one you’ll find Kailo Wellness
. Not just a relaxing oasis for massages, facials and
full body wraps, it’s one to book for a jet-lag (or hangover)
banishing vitamin-therapy treatment, intensive skin treatments
(like the signature vampire facial) and medical skin-needling. Even
cosmetic procedures from its qualified doctors. If your preferred
method of body beautifying involves sweating it out, there’s also a
fully equipped gym with personal trainers on hand to put you
through your paces.

What about its green credentials?

Rather than try to force Queensland’s humidity into submission
by turning up the air conditioning, the designers of The Calile
decided to let Brisbane’s river breezes do it for them. Open
corridors link all the suites while, inside, room sensors detect
when they’re not occupied, turning the air conditioning and lights
to sleep mode and closing the black out blinds to eliminate energy
waste. The cork used in the rooms isn’t just for aesthetic value
either. Because it’s made from bark and doesn’t require the felling
of the trees, cork is one of the most sustainable building products
around – far more eco-friendly than carpet. Finally, every level of
the hotel has a filtered water fountain to refill both the glass
water bottles in the room and guests’ water bottles. No awkwardly
trying to fit your metal bottle under the bathroom tap here.

Within a short walk I can find…

Just outside, James Street is Brisbane’s designer playground, a
leafy strip of boutiques, bars, cafés, bakeries, restaurants and
even a cinema, so you’ll have no trouble keeping yourself
entertained. Further afield, Fortitude Valley is the city’s buzzing
nightlife zone, with every kind of bar and club imaginable (and
even a few you can’t; a Kill Bill-inspired cocktail bar is the
latest addition to the area). Be sure to venture down every laneway
and up to every rooftop bar.

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