Stays at W Brisbane start from £186 per room per night.
W Hotels are back in Australia with a Brisbane property that’s a bonafide party spot in the making.
The new W is Brisbane’s first 5 star hotel in over 20 years and it’s certainly arrived at the right time: Brisbane’s burgeoning arts, food and fashion scenes are all riding the crest of a distinctly Australian creative wave and W has arrived at its focal point. Queensland’s sunshine state of mind attitude is infectious (even we were referring to the city as Brisvegas before long) and it’s about to become a major destination in its own right.
These rooms were made for partying. There are 312 in total and we stayed in a Spectacular King. Designer Nic Graham has gone to town with Queensland and Outback references at every opportunity (start with the bathtubs, a fun nod to a 10-gallon drum “Outback bath experience”) and although beds are supersize and amenities are spot-on (GHD hairdryers are already in-room), the MixBar (with cocktail shakers, martini glasses et al) had us tempted to through an afterparty of our own. Thanks to an ingenious bit of hotel design, all rooms have a river view, and it’s stunning; make time to order room service one morning and take in the views at dawn.
The Food and Drink
Don’t be tempted to spend too much time up in your room – the real morning action is happening on Level 3 (Brisbane is the earliest rising city in the world, so it makes sense!), where Byron Bay’s famed Three Blue Ducks have launched the hotel’s first restaurant. The breakfast buffet is the hub of the action (you’ll spot everyone from the Wet Bar the night before nursing brilliantly strong single estate espresso) and we loved choosing from congee with pulled pork to almond croissants, feta and squash and hay smoked salmon kedgeree.
W Brisbane’s location overlooking the Queensland Cultural Centre means you can walk to the word renowned Queensland Art Gallery & Gallery of Modern Art (QAGOMA) or City Botanic Gardens in minutes (and if you’re coming from the UK, a run along the winding riverfront is the perfect way to kick off a bit of that jet lag). Then there’re the day trips – Tangalooma’s shipwrecks are a short yacht ride away, and Byron Bay’s lighthouse is a two hour drive. But do make time to explore the rest of the hotel’s levels too. The Away Spa offers Sodashi and Skeyndor facials and massages, and the steam room, sauna and vitality mineral pools are open to all guests (just bring your swimwear!). Up on the roof terrace, the Wet Deck is the real centre of the action at night time, where the hotel’s brilliantly OTT pool and cocktail bar combine. There’s a season of pool parties planned here as Australia goes into summer so give one a whirl if you’re staying upstairs (check the W Brisbane Instagram for details), this is Brisvegas after all.
When To Go
It’s the subtropics, so there’s never a bad time (compared to UK weather), but book in for September through to February to catch spring and summer and a city in all-systems-go mode.