TheCalile Hotel exports Miami and Mexico’s resort-style glamour to this buzzing patch of Brisbane, replete with Instagram-worthy interiors that riff ravishingly on the Fifties. There’s a pose-worthy pool with the hotel’s name picked out in gold tiles, plus a gregarious, Greece-inspired restaurant that adds taverna hospitality to this urbane urban playground. Rooms are decked out in ice-cream-parlour hues (from peach to pistachio) with warm brass accents; many also come with admirable views of the city. Cocktails at the lobby bar (make ours a basil highball) and doctor-approved treatments at the Kailo Wellness Medispa are your additional cues to stay exactly where you are.
11am; earliest check-in, 2pm. Both are flexible, subject to availability.
Double rooms from £235.20 (AU$407), including tax at 10 per cent.
Rates usually exclude breakfast, but include WiFi.
Local architects Richards & Spence deserve accolades galore for the debonair design scheme.
At the hotel
Library; salons; fitness centre; boutiques; free WiFi throughout. In rooms: TV, air-conditioning, minibar, kettle, tea and coffee, blackout curtains.
Our favourite rooms
We’re still dreaming about the huge poolside rooms with their balconies and prime pool views; Deluxe Suites are armed with a perfectly round bath tub by the bed, making for fun nights in…
The made-for-Instagram pool has the hotel’s name spelled out in glittering gold pool tiles; the word ‘iconic’ springs to mind.
Kailo Wellness Medispa fuses ancient wisdom and modern technology; the doctor-devised treatments to try here include intravenous vitamin therapy, immune and vitality boosts and vitamin shots.
Bring your best beachwear for that see-and-be-seen pool; something in mint-green, blush-pink or rose-gold to wear for dinner.
Little Smiths aged one and above are very welcome; the hotel poses no problems for pram-pushers. Babysitting can be arranged with a day’s notice (minimum three-hour booking; $35 an hour). The hotel can provide cots and DVDs.
This conscientious hotel has a minimal-plastic policy, including glass-only products in minibars. Alfresco breezeway corridors relieve the need for air-conditioning; eco modes for the in-room air-conditioning systems and lights reduce wasted electricity. Cold, filtered drinking water is provided throughout, instead of bottled water. Sustainable materials — such as cork — star in the design, and the hotel also works hard to collect and sort recyclables.
Nab seats on the outdoor terrace, which comes into its own in the evenings.
Unleash your inner Adonis/Aphrodite for Hellenika: model flowing layers and lashings of gold.
Oh the choices: street-inspired Thai comfort food at Same Same (indulge in the stir-fried scallops in chilli and basil); classic dining and sublime martinis at SK Steak & Oyster (oh hello, lobster risotto); delicious Greek cuisine at handsome Hellenika with its pretty globe lights (the hotel's motif) for kalamari, octopus, paidakia (lamb chops with roast spuds), and baklava.
The marble-lavished, blush-pink lobby bar is a shrine to art-deco decadence; sit back and order suitably stylish cocktails (a raspberry swizzle, strawberry spritz, basil highball or Calile espresso, perhaps) and let the chilled-out soundtrack waft into your ears.
Breakfast is served until 10am, lunch till 3pm and dinner until 9.30pm at Hellenika and the lobby bar. Drinks are mixed and muddled till 11pm.
You can order light bites, mains and sweet treats to your room until 10pm.
You’ll find the Calile Hotel on the corner of James and Doggett streets, in Brisbane’s hip-cat Fortitude Valley ’hood.
Brisbane Airport is a 20-minute drive away. There are regular flights here from all major Australian cities with Qantas, Virgin Australia and Jetstar. Numerous international carriers also service the airport.
Serving Brisbane and its surrounds, Fortitude Valley Station is five kilometres from the hotel.
The hotel’s on-site car park is accessible via a lift from the main lobby. Self-parking costs $25 for 24 hours; there’s also valet parking. It’s worth having a car so that you can explore the Gold Coast and the Sunshine Coast at your own pace.
Worth getting out of bed for
Indulge in a pampering session at the hotel’s calm and collected Kailo Wellness Medispa, whose treatments range from medical (IV vitamin drips, facial micro-dermabrasion, enzyme therapy) to wellness (wraps, scrubs and massages). You’ll also want to factor in some chill time at the Calile’s semi-private poolside cabanas; go armed with a good book (you absolutely don’t have to bother to read it). Stock up on Aussie designer threads with help from the Calile’s clutch of stylish boutiques.
Go gallery-hopping, ticking off the likes of Mitchell Fine Art, Suzanne O'Connell Gallery, for amazing indigenous art, QAGOMA and co. Wander down James Street, admiring the arsenal of amazing shops; you’ll need to exercise considerable restraint to resist the charms of top-notch Aussie-brand boutiques such as Zimmermann, Bec + Bridge and many more. Continue the foot tour at Howard Smith Wharves, which is a great spot for alfresco drinks and food.
For the best views in town, tackle the pulse-quickening Story Bridge Adventure Climb on Main Street; it’s one of only three bridge climbs in the world, rewarding explorers with a unique perspective of the city and its scenic surrounds. You’ll want to cool off after all that – go for a refreshing dip at Margate Beach in Redcliffe.
Join the discerning locals having brunch at Gauge on Grey Street, which invites you to begin your day with dishes such as crumpet toast with chicken mortadella, soft egg, brown butter, pork crackling and tobiko. We approve. Enjoy a relaxed dinner at playful Hello Please on Fish Lane, which serves flavour-packed Vietnamese fare, from salads to bao, bun cha and curries. You'll find a relaxed atmos among the hanging baskets at Chow Housefor Asian street food. For Italian fine dining, hit up handsome Otto on Level 4, 480 Queen Street, which counts a debonair dining room, an award-winning wine list and enticing Brisbane River views among its multiple charms.
Cloakroom Bar is a Montreal export on Elizabeth Street that has room for just 25 lucky bottoms. It serves classic cocktails with a twist, crafted with care and creativity.
Every hotel featured is visited personally by members of our team, given the Smith seal of approval, and then anonymously reviewed. As soon as our reviewers have returned from this glamorous hotel in Fortitude Valley and unpacked their Brisbane breakfast tea and Pawpaw balm, a full account of their Queensland break will be with you. In the meantime, to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick peek inside the Calile Hotel in Brisbane…
The Calile Hotel is ice cream for your eyeballs: a Fifties-inspired vision of peach and pistachio, rosé and marshmallow, strawberry-blonde and gold glamour, pepped up with warm copper accents. Little white globe lights like swollen pearls punctuate the space, along with elegantly arched windows, rose-coloured wood, eco-conscious cork floors and lashings of marble. Taking the resort-style living of Miami and Mexico as its starting point, the Calile Hotel adds its own spin, throwing delicious Greek cuisine – hello, Hellenika – and doctor-certified pampering – we’re talking about you, Kailo Wellness Medispa – into the mix. With all of these global influences in the pan, you could be forgiven for forgetting where you are – that is, until you look outside your window. Those winsome city views are 100 per cent made in Brisbane.