15 Designer Hotels Opening Their Doors In Australia In 2018

15 Designer Hotels Opening Their Doors In Australia In 2018

A reflection on what's arrived and a look at what's yet to come.

By Siobhan Taylor | 18th September 2018

Brisbane is well on it’s way to becoming a world-class city on par with not only our southern counterparts (yes, we mean you Sydney and Melbourne) but also international destinations such as Singapore, Berlin and San Francisco. Okay, maybe that’s pushing it… However, slowly but surely, recent developments in the Sunshine State have seen an influx of foodie, commercial, and lifestyle destinations opening up.

Perhaps most notable are the stunning new additions in Queensland’s hotel scene. As the tourism boom in Australia continues to thrive, remarkable new stays have started opening across the country, courtesy of international chains and luxury boutique hotels.

From countryside resorts that wine lovers will adore to the New York-style hotels in the heart of Australia’s CBDs, these are the biggest hotel openings in Australia to take note of this year.


W Brisbane | North Quay, Brisbane CBD

By now you will be no stranger to W Brisbane, which recently opened its doors as part of the brand new Brisbane Quarter development. As W Hotels returns to Australia 10 years after W Sydney closed, (and ahead of hotels in both Sydney and Melbourne, might we exaggerate) the spectacular addition is a glorious celebration of quintessential Australian culture and iconography.

The five-star hotel boasts over 300 designer rooms, each architecturally designed to feel just as luxurious as you could imagine, and each styled in W’s characteristically funky décor. Plus, with Brisbane’s first Three Blue Ducks restaurant and Edward’s & Co. salon, as well as the Instagram-worthy Wet Deck pool bar, there are plenty of reasons to visit even if you’re not staying the night. With panoramic views of South Bank, GOMA, Queensland Museum and more, W Brisbane has certainly made its mark on Brisbane’s riverside.

Learn more here.


The Calile | James St, Fortitude Valley

Like an oasis in the desert, the stunning Calile Hotel on James St has had Brisbane locals peeping through construction scaffolding for months. Designed by Richards & Spence Architects, the masterminds behind multiple James Street landmarks, The Calile features seven storeys with 178 luxury rooms and suites, all celebrating the lush, sub-tropical climate we love of our River City. With rooms such as the Poolside, Urban Terrace, Ada Suite and the illustrious Calile Suite, guests can choose the perfect room to suit their visit and taste.

In addition to the rooms, the hotel also offers a range of boutiques for visitors and locals alike. Dion Lee, Bec + Bridge, Love Stories and Bassike have all joined the development as part of the revitalisation of the James St precinct. As far as drinking and dining, Hellenika and The Lobby Bar will have guests struggling to leave the Calile precinct at all.

Learn more here.


Howard Smith Wharves | Boundary St, Brisbane CBD

While The Johnson at Spring Hill has already brought the Art Series Hotels to Brisbane, their second addition as part of the $100-million Howard Smith Wharves Development is sure to offer something unique. As of yet, we do not know which artist will have the prestigious opportunity of collaborating with the boutique hotel, but with construction underway, we expect to hear whispers of names soon.

The five-star, 164-room hotel will overlook the Brisbane River and surrounding Kangaroo Point cliffs, while also placing visitors in the heart of the Howard Smith Wharves Development. With an exhibition space, entertainment stages, Brisbane’s first riverside brewery and a new restaurant precinct all on its doorstep, the historical space is set to completely transform the previously-unused (since the ‘60s) land. As more than just a new hotel, the Howard Smith Wharves precinct is sure to draw local, interstate and international visitors alike to the area.

Learn more here.


The Westin | Mary Street, Brisbane CBD

Opening in November 2018, the new five-star hotel will be Brisbane’s first Westin branded hotel. Located right in the heart of Brisbane, the central hotel will make luxurious accommodation for business travellers easier than ever, with the entirety of Brisbane CBD on its doorstep. Designed to be an urban retreat for business and leisure travellers alike, the hotel has been designed with convenience and comfort at the front of mind, with a fitness studio, conference rooms, Executive Lounge, and variety of dining options all available.

As far as dining, the property will offer two restaurants: the internationally inspired The Charles’ as well as an as-of-yet unnamed modern Australian restaurant. Headed up by Hunter Valley-raised chef Steve Sweetman, the restaurants will have a strong focus on meat and seafood, prioritising locally sourced produce. With casual café dining in the morning, relaxed yet high-end restaurant dining for lunch and dinner, as well as cool bar vibes and speciality cocktails and wine in the evening, the restaurants will allow guests to experience five-star treatment from the bedroom to the bar.

Learn more here.


Emporium Hotel | South Bank

Emporium Hotel has made the trip across the river and officially set up their stunning new digs in South Bank. The Anthony John Group property is the new 5-star, flagship hotel for the brand, and has opened in Brisbane with an entire precinct of eateries as part of the development. With Chis Norman and Alex Liddle (Executive Chef and Executive Sous Chef (Pastry) respectively) at the helm, they will direct the extensive range of dining options announced as part of the precinct. Previously of Palazzo Versace, they will oversee the menu development for Belle Époque, The Piano Bar, The Terrace, in-suite dining and events. 

The hotel features 143 suites that have each been individually designed with the latest technology and luxury additions. With exceptional in-room automation and entertainment technology, as well as the kind of luxury amenities you would expect of a five-star hotel, Emporium Hotel has carved out their own slice of luxury within Brisbane’s growing hotel market.

Learn more here.


Sanctuary by Sirromet | Mt Cotton Road, Mt Cotton

It would be amiss not to include some of the exceptional openings that are transforming our countryside. Hidden amongst the lush greenery of Mt Cotton, Sanctuary by Sirromet is Queensland’s very first “glamping” hotel. With eighteen (soon to be 55) permanent safari-style tents, the new opening as part of the iconic Sirromet Winery is definitely the most immersive way to experience the splendour of the region. Seriously, Sanctuary by Sirromet is giving a new meaning to “give me a home among the gum trees”. The elevated tents overlook the hillside, lagoon, paperbark trees and scribble gums, with fifteen tents designed for couples, two for families, and one as a truly unique bridal suite.

Of course, this is no typical campsite. Each tent includes luxury linens and furnishings, air-conditioning, a private ensuite, stocked bar fridge, and complimentary wifi. Guests are also treated to a breakfast hamper overflowing with locally sourced produce including fresh croissants, yoghurt, granola and bagels. While the pavilions are distinctly separate from Sirromet Winery, they are close enough that you can still take full advantage of the three restaurants that are part of the Winery.

Only a 30 minutes’ drive from Brisbane City, Sanctuary by Sirromet places you right in the heart of Queensland countryside without scrimping on the luxuries and amenities you love.

Learn more here.


Ovolo Inchcolm | Wickham Terrace, Spring Hill

For Gatsby-style glamour and Old World charm, the charismatic and historically-rich Ovolo Inchcolm in Spring Hill ticks all our boxes. With eclectic and art-deco inspired interiors, the hotel can be best compared to Gertrude Stein’s Paris salon, the regular haunt of Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Picasso and Matisse. The site was previously a medical centre and continues to pay homage to its 1930s roots with modern and surprising twists. With a split-level loft and spectacular suites, the entire fit-out celebrates a more glamorous period of time.

Of course, it’s not all antiques and art-deco. Salon de Co, the onsite bar and restaurant, offers a simple and modern menu that is starkly contrasted against the décor of yesteryear. With a focus on share-dining and Asian practices, the menu includes the likes of aged duck with kohlrabi and umebosh and pork with daikon and sesame.

Learn more here.


The Byron at Byron | Broken Head Road, Byron Bay

While we know The Byron is a well-loved Australian favourite, the recent refurb at this Byron Bay resort makes it a must-visit for local and international visitors alike. Under the careful eye of interior designer Luchettie Krelle and executive chef Matthew Kemp, the complete redesign of the iconic destination is well worth the pilgrimage south. Equal parts homely and luxurious, The Byron is a centrally located resort that gives visitors access to impeccable resort services and amenities, while also enjoying the immersive experience of being surrounded by nature.

For those seeking an escape where everything they could desire is at their fingertips, The Bryon offers a full resort-style service in the heart of Byron Bay. The spa includes a full menu of treatments including massages, facials, manicures, body treatments and more, while the restaurant (headed by Matthew Kemp) celebrates the local produce, climate, seasons and cuisines of the region, while also balancing Asian and European influences.

Learn more here.


New South Wales

Paramount House Hotel | Commonwealth St, Surry Hills

Located in the former headquarters of Paramount Studios, Paramount House Hotel has taken the 1940s warehouse space and transformed it into a boutique hotel that promises to elevate standards of luxury within Sydney. Alongside co-tenants such as Golden Age Cinema, Paramount Coffee Project, The Office Space and Paramount Recreation Club, the hotel is an immersive dive into the heritage and culture of Sydney’s inner-city suburb, Surry Hills.

Each sun-drenched room includes French linen sheets, terrazzo bathrooms, private alcoves and nooks, and flowing greenery, making them the perfect space to indulge and unwind as you take full advantage of the locally sourced wines and beers, cured meats, and cheese within the mini bar. More premium rooms include timber baths, mezzanine levels, and private balconies.

With exposed brick walls, high ceilings, floor-to-ceiling windows, rafting and luxurious finishings such as concrete and copper, the 29-room hotel might be described by a lesser-trained eye as a fresh iteration on “hipster” design. However, the detailed design, clean lines and homely finishes mark Paramount House Hotel as something truly unique and new.

Learn more here.


The Collectionist | Marsden Street, Camperdown

The Collectionist proudly declares that they are “no ordinary hotel”. As peddlers of all things curious and wonderful, they have crafted each room as it’s own unique canvas where designers, architects and artists have left their mark. As a custom-designed project by four of Australia’s leading architectural and interior design firms, The Collectionist is made up of modern and comfortable spaces, outdoor areas, and all the amenities you’d expect of a high-end urban hotel.

Dubbed as a “choose your own adventure” hotel, staying at The Collectionist is a bizarre and incredible experience that immerses you in their fairy-tale, LSD-laced world. With 39 rooms available, guests get a tour throughout the hotel and are encouraged to pick the room they want to stay in – be it an ultra-luxe suite fit for a socialite or a graffiti-painted room with urban vibes! There’s nothing cookie-cutter or simple about The Collectionist: in fact, we’d go so far as to call The Collectionist the antidote to everything plain!

With regards to dining, there is no on-site restaurant, yet their friendly staff can direct you to some of Sydney’s best. Social drinks are also hosted daily in their lobby.

Learn more here.


Felix Hotel | Baxter Road, Mascot

Previously, airport accommodation was something drab and dismal to be endured. A depressing exercise in patience and humility. However, Felix Hotel just a short distance from Sydney Airport is turning this entire experience on its head. Tipping their hat to the Golden Age of flying (think Catch Me If You Can and Mad Men), Felix Hotel is a super-stylish and effortlessly chic take on airport accommodation.

When you arrive, elevators will shoot you to the Penthouse reception where you’ll check-in while enjoying the spectacular sight of planes swooping in and out of Sydney. Their exclusive rooftop cinema, 24-hour general store (which is more gourmet than typical offerings) and eclectically charming cocktail bar are enough to transport you from reality to fantasy. Side note: their website is the most delightful website we’ve ever seen for a hotel. Booking accommodation has never been so enjoyable.

Learn more here.


West Hotel | Sussex Street, Sydney CBD

When it comes to location, it really doesn’t get any more spectacular than this Darling Harbour slice of real estate. Designed by the popular Fitzpatrick + Partners design firm, no expense has been spared when it comes to the interiors of West Hotel. The 182 designer rooms that make up the hotel are each furnished with personalised designer touches, bespoke botanical motifs, jewel-inspired geometric lines, and striking finishing touches.

Solander Dining, named after first-fleet botanist Daniel Solander, offers visitors the opportunity to indulge in a truly Australian dining experience. Showcasing locally sourced, seasonal produce, the paddock-to-plate philosophy of the restaurants shines through. Whether you enjoy a drink at the spectacular emerald green terrazzo marble bar or choose to recline in the open-air atrium among lush green foliage, it’s a stunning retreat from the hustle of Sydney CBD.

Learn more here.



United Places | Domain Road, South Yarra

Located directly opposite Melbourne’s Royal Botanic Gardens, United Places is a bespoke reimagining of the quintessential boutique hotel experience. Understanding that the personal touches are what makes the ordinary extraordinary, United Places has partnered with a variety of hand-selected businesses and artist (such as ceramics from Szilvassy Ceramics, art from Marc Freedman, whisky from Sullivan Cove and scents from Le Labo) in order to cement the hotel in Victorian culture.

With an intimate number of rooms (the hotel is proud to offer 12 luxury suites), United Places is a special experience. Each suite is bedecked with fresh greenery, refined with hardwood floors and polished tiles, have their own private terrace, and enjoy expansive and sweeping views of the CBD and Botanic Gardens. With Scott Pickett heading up the hotel’s restaurant, Matilda, visitors to the hotel (and Melbourne in general) are encouraged to discover this unique interpretation of contemporary Australian cuisine – it’s pretty spectacular.

Learn more here.


Mitchelton Hotel | Mitchellstown Road, Nagambie

For a hands-on experience at one of Victoria’s most spectacular wine regions, the Mitchelton Hotel in the Goulburn Valley is a must-try. With an on-site winery, onsite restaurant The Muse (run by Chef Daniel Hawkins), a boutique chocolatier café, and notable gallery showcasing a selection of Aboriginal art, Mitchelton Hotel has created the kind of escape the wine lovers dream of.

The rooms are particularly stunning, boasting plush furnishings in a moody shade of hues, while the day spa allows you to indulge yourself even further.

Learn more here.



MACq 01 | Hobart

For an escape that puts you right in the centre of history, MACq 01 in Hobart has you covered. Nestled in the heart of the historic Hobart waterfront and with expansive views the River Derwent, MACq 01 tells the story of the Hunter Street Precinct, Hobart Docks, Salamanca, and more. Self-titled a “storytelling hotel”, MACq 01 embraces the rich history of the land it’s on and aims to share its history with its guests. Each of the 114 luxury rooms reflects one of five Tasmanian character traits (such as Fighting Believers and Curious & Creative) and offers their guests the ability to dive headfirst into the history of the region.

A captivating tour through the intriguing stories of the Mouheneenner people, the Derwent River depths, the first Europeans of Van Diemen’s Land, and the industrial history of Hunter Island, the MACq 01 precinct endeavours to celebrate, commemorate and keep the story of Tasmania alive.

Learn more here.


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Feature image: Paramount House Hotel by The Local Project
All other images have been sourced from the individual hotels.


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Article by Siobhan Taylor

Brisbane gal through and through, Siobhan is an avid cider-enthusiast and a keen believer in brunch (house deposit be damned). When she's not at the beach, she can be spotted lusting after makeup she can't afford, re-watching The Office (the US version, obviously) or annoying her friends with her insane astrology theories (she's an Aquarius, FYI).


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