Destinations / Travel

Heading to the Sunshine State? These are the best hotels to stay at in Brisbane

Heading to the Sunshine State? These are the best hotels to stay at in Brisbane

Brisbane has long been under the radar as a holiday destination– even for most Aussies. Tucked away above the meccas of Melbourne and Sydney, in the south-east corner of Queensland (the "Sunshine State"), its one of those places that is simply teeming with barely-touched gems: delicious restaurants, funky bars and of course, gorgeous hotels to book your stay at. And I would know, I used to live there.

But Brisbane is earning its place as a global holiday and business trip destination – with thanks to hit TV series' like Bluey and Boy Swallows Universe, and of course, as the soon-to-be-host city of the 2032 Olympics.

So, if you're going up for a business trip, or just for some time in the sunshine, these are the hotels we think should be on your radar when you go to make your bookings.


1. Hotel X (Fortitude Valley)


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A post shared by HOTEL X (@hotelxfortitudevalley)

Best for: Nightlife, rooftop drinks, French food.

Hotel X is a new kid on the block in the Fortitude Valley area. It's brightly-lit exterior is a beacon for locals and travellers alike – from its French food bistro Bisou Bisou on the ground floor, to its popular rooftop cocktail bar Iris, which looks out across the city and lit-up Storey Bridge. Hotel X is also conveniently a short stroll from the centre of Fortitude Valley's music and nightlife district, so is a great place to stay if you're in town for a concert at Fortitude Music Hall, or simply feel like having a night out on the dance floor.

Amenities and key features:

  • rooftop pool
  • rooftop cocktail bar
  • on-site parking
  • walking distance to Fortitude Valley music venues and bar.


2. W Hotel (CBD)


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A post shared by W Brisbane (@w_brisbane)

Best for: Mood lighting, spa-goers, pet-friendly holidays.

W Brisbane is located in the centre of the CBD, overlooking the Brisbane River (the Maiwar), which snakes its way through the landscape of the city. As is typical for any trip to one of the W Hotel outposts, your stay will come with all the bells and whistles. They're even pet-friendly, in case you want to bring your pups along for the journey. While you enjoy your stay, it's a good idea to check out their pool deck (where they host float-in movies some evenings), and of course book yourself into their world-class Away Spa for some R&R.

Amenities and key features:

  • pool
  • on-site restaurants
  • room service
  • on-site wellness spa
  • central location
  • on-site parking
  • pet-friendly rooms
  • in-room coffee and tea makers.


3. Hilton Brisbane (CBD)


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Best for: Business, pleasure, anything in between.

You really can't go wrong with a stay at the Hilton. This one in Brisbane's city centre is also connected to Queen Street Mall precinct, and comes with all the amenities you could need: pools, tennis courts, gyms, room service, splashy on-site cocktail bars and more.

Amenities and key features:

  • rooftop lap pool
  • tennis court
  • gym
  • room service
  • executive lounge
  • free Wi-Fi.


4. The Calile Hotel (Fortitude Valley)


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Image credit: Libby Willis


Best for: Foodies, Brutalist architecture nerds, location, location, location.

The Calile is the place to stay for young people and couples, particularly if your prerogative is to have a splashy weekend filled with all the pool-side wining and dining you can muster. Located in the heart of James St, Brisbane's luxury shopping high street, it's pretty much the mecca of pleasurable things. Walking downstairs, you'll find movie cinemas, luxury shops (from St. Agni to Dion Lee), boutique grocers, spas, and some of Brisbane's best fine dining options – like sAme sAme, Mosconi, SK Steak & Oyster, and Gerard's Bistro. Rooms are well-equipped and ready for a balcony-side cocktail overlooking The Calile's luxurious central pool. You can also dine-in at one of their on-site restaurants – pool-side at Hellenika, or downstairs in their suave, and aptly named, Lobby Bar.

Amenities and key features:

  • outdoor pool
  • on-site restaurants
  • food and shops walking distance
  • wellness and medi-spa
  • central location
  • on-site parking
  • brutalist, urban design.


5. Miss Midgley’s (New Farm)

Best for: History nerds, warm colour palettes, B&B energy.

Miss Midgley's is a more unique and boutique stay, located on the quieter end of James St, in New Farm. It's a building that's had many lives over its 159-year history, from being a nunnery to an orphanage to a Queensland Premier's private estate. It's also one of the few examples of colonial architecture that have popped up in Queensland. Lovingly restored a couple of years ago by a mother-and-daughter duo, the residence has been transformed into five self-contained apartments (most of which are dog friendly). Each has air-conditioning, a full kitchen, generous bathrooms, a large outdoor private space and a dedicated carpark space. The space is hireable as separate dwellings, or you can book out the whole place for larger trips, events or celebrations.

Amenities and key features:

  • lap pool
  • on-site parking
  • dog friendly apartments
  • full kitchen amenities
  • shared library.


6. Crystalbrook Vincent (Howard Smith Wharves)

Best for: Room with a view, riverside strolls, Australian art aficionados.

Formerly the Fantauzzo, Crystalbrook Vincent have recently taken up establishment in Brisbane's riverside Howard Smith Wharves precinct, adjacent to the iconic Storey Bridge. The sustainable, five-star hotel still features over 500 prints by acclaimed Australian artist Vincent Fantauzzo, and offers one and two bedroom suites all overlooking the river, city and bridge. On the rooftop, you'll find a spectacular infinity pool and rooftop bar, and downstairs you can simply stroll across the driveway to some of Brisbane's best wining and dining spots – including the enormous and inviting Felons Brewery.

Amenities and key features:

  • infinity pool
  • rooftop bar
  • central location
  • spectacular view.


7. Hyatt Regency Brisbane (CBD)

Best for: Shopaholics, poolside cocktails, business trips.

It doesn't get much more central than the Hyatt Regency, which is located quite literally ON Queen St. Mall in Brisbane's CBD. But you'd be hard-pressed to know you're in the thick of it though, when you're actually in the hotel, which has a very calm and relaxed vibe. With almost 300 rooms, the 5-star hotel is equipped with a 24-hour fitness centre, an outdoor, heated 20-metre infinity pool, and is about as central as you can get if you're in town for a business trip.

Amenities and key features:

  • outdoor infinity lap pool
  • 24-hour fitness centre
  • on-site restaurant and bar.


8. Spicers Balfour Hotel (New Farm)

Best for: Neighbourhood stays, leafy surrounds, high tea.

Spicers Balfour is nestled into a leafy side street in New Farm, about 10 minutes from the city, in a heritage-listed art deco building. Sustainability is at the fore of what Spicers Balfour do, from energy efficient fridges, motion activated air-conditioning, solar night lighting, a no plastic policy. Comprising of 17 luxury suites, split across two unique buildings, the hotel offers a distinctly European feel – but with a Queensland twist. They also happen to have one of the city's best Vietnamese restaurants on site.

Amenities and key features:

  • sustainable amenities
  • on-site restaurant
  • quiet neighbourhood


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Cover images courtesy Libby Willis via The Calile on Instagram: one, two.