Travelling to Brisbane for business? Here's the best places to stay in Australia's booming city.
The mining boom may have ended but not before it delivered riches that helped kick off a new era in the Queensland capital, one where its two million residents increasingly define themselves by countries to the north rather than cities in the south.
Brisbane is growing rapidly, the cranes on the skyline marking out exciting new precincts. And it’s not just the CBD where deals are done these days but also cultural hotspots both sides of the mighty Brisbane River, such as Fortitude Valley, Newstead, South Brisbane and Woolloongabba – good thing, then, it’s so easy to get around.
These days, the city is endlessly entrepreneurial, the hustle once spent getting noticed elsewhere now directed back on itself. “Doing what I’m doing in Melbourne or Sydney, they’d certainly find it interesting,” says James Grugeon, who established Good Beer Co., a social enterprise company, in the city. “But here, people want to get involved. They want in.”
The New Inchcolm Hotels & Suites
Constructed on the site of an 1880s doctor’s residence, the 1920s building that houses The New Inchcolm was where the hotel’s owner, Peter Flynn, was born. The 2014 refurbishment of this dapper neo-Georgian edifice as an MGallery property has given an already distinctive building a dark and luscious ambience but the light, airy Inchcolm Lofts are the pick of the rooms, with top-floor views towards Fortitude Valley. Maxibars and iPad minis are standard throughout.
Business facilities: The conference room seats about 100 in classroom style, while the hotel’s plush boardroom accommodates 12 and doubles as a private dining area.
Wi-fi: Free throughout.
Food and wine: Thomson’s Reserve Restaurant is an asset for the hotel, its cuisine and ambience winning awards. Also 24- hour room service. Fitness and wellbeing No facilities on site but guests get access to the 24-hour Snap Fitness, just 400 metres away. For swimming, take a 10-minute walk to the heritage-listed Spring Hill Baths (14 Torrington Street); entry is $5.40.
Run route: Head up Turbot Street, left on Wharf and up to Boundary Street. Head west until you hit Water Street. Power down then hang a left onto Hill Street. Take Gregory Terrace south-west into Roma Street Parkland and on to Wickham Terrace, back towards the hotel. It’s about four kilometres.
73 Wickham Terrace, Brisbane; Book now
Owned by local icons the Gambaro family and set on the very edge of the CBD, this is the most distinctively Brisbane hotel in town. The 68 rooms are luxurious, all plush carpet, cool surfaces and warm lighting. Double glazing protects you from spirited Caxton Street (and, on game night, nearby Suncorp Stadium) but ask for a room looking out towards the slopes of Paddington and Red Hill – your reward will be stacks of pretty Queenslander homes dotting the landscape as far as the eye can see.
Business facilities: The largest function space caters for 450 seated guests. There are smaller meeting rooms and private dining rooms in the restaurants. Wi-fi Free throughout.
Food and wine: There’s award- winning Gambaro Seafood Restaurant and Black Hide Steakhouse across the street– the new jewel in the family’s crown.
Fitness and wellbeing: The hotel offers in-suite massage and beauty services. Guests have complimentary use of the Lang Park PCYC gym and Ithaca Pool, both just down the road.
Run route: Head north-west on Caxton Street, turn right onto Dowse Street and climb until you reach Upper Cairns Terrace. Veer onto Wellington Road, turn left at Musgrave, down to Enoggera Terrace. Follow this leafy road to Latrobe Terrace then head back east to the hotel. It’s abouta four-kilometre round trip.
33 Caxton Street, Petrie Terrace; Book now
Alex Perry Hotel & Apartments￼
For his first crack at a hotel, fashion designer Alex Perry has created a timeless combination of understated luxury and practicality. The 143-room property’s careful detailing is aimed at female corporates in particular, with GHD appliances and satin hangers throughout. Aim for the executive apartments, which feature balconies and garment steamers and include options such as high-speed internet in the room charge.
Business facilities: There’s no business centre but the hotel can organise printing, faxing and copying for a small charge. The spacious digs are a pleasant place to work.
Wi-fi: High-speed wi-fi incurs a charge of $10 a day in studio rooms but is free in executive apartments.
Food and wine: Delfina’s Bistro, which recently moved into the downstairs restaurant space, offers a modern Australian menu with a European twist. Room service is also available.
Fitness and wellbeing: A heated lap pool sits on an immaculate rooftop terrace with winning views of the city. There’s also a small gymnasium with an attractive outlook over Brisbane’s leafy suburbs.
Run route: Follow Commercial Road all the way to the New Farm-Newstead Bikeway. Head south along the river behind the Brisbane Powerhouse, through New Farm Park, then take a right at Brunswick Street and right again onto Merthyr Road, following the route as it turns into Macquarie Street. Head left at Beeston Street, cut through Teneriffe Park onto Little Chester Street then Chester Street, which takes you back up to the hotel. The mostly flat, seven-kilometre loop should take no more than about 40 minutes.
959 Ann Street, Fortitude Valley; Book now
￼Once the historic Lennons Hotel, this 304-room property was refurbished in 2014 with a clever focus on technology. Next was one of the first hotels in Australia where guests could use their smartphones to check in and out. The rooms themselves are excellent: crisply modern with dark wooden accents and large, comfortable beds. Ask for a room with a view of the river – the city skyline will come as a bonus.
Business facilities: Three executive studios with 55-inch LED televisions, data projection, conference-call and webcam facilities.
Wi-fi: Free throughout.
Food and wine: Lennons Restaurant & Bar is an airy bistro serving modern Australian cuisine. Bar food dominates on the pool terrace, a great spot at sunset.
Fitness and wellbeing: The pool is a pleasant place to lap and the well-equipped gym is open 24 hours. There are sleeping pods on level four if you have a late flight out.
Run route: For an eight-kilometre run, head across Victoria Bridge, turning left when you reach South Bank. Follow the river past the Kangaroo Point Cliffs. Pound the cliff staircases if you need the workout or follow the route to the Story Bridge, crossing over and returning along the waterfront on the river’s northern side.
72 Queen Street, Brisbane; Book now
Top image: The Next Hotel