The best new Queensland hotels worth travelling for
A slew of new Queensland hotels are popping up in the most jaw-dropping locations. No doubt about it, the sunshine state’s having a serious moment.
Whether you’re looking for five-star fancy, inner-city cool, coastal resort chill, or an outback beauty, the last 12 months have seen some of the world’s best hotels call the state home.
These are the best new Queensland hotels popping up across the state.
Intercontinental | Hayman Island
A major contender for ‘best location’, Intercontinental Hayman Island Resort offers absolute luxury in the middle of the Great Barrier Reef. Flying into Hamilton Island in the Whitsundays, your vacation starts with a charter boat which takes you directly to your private island paradise.
Rooms have spectacular views of either the beach, the pool or the manicured tropical gardens, all with ‘step-out’ access—meaning you can dip your toe in the ocean, the pool or the garden directly from your room.
Being a private island, you can expect no expense spared when it comes to guest activities. Diving tours, private boat or helicopter charters are the norm, here. Snorkel the crystal waters straight form the beach, take a stand-up paddle board or jet ski tour around the island, or set your sights further afield with a day trip to Langford Island and Blue Pearl Bay (only a 7-minute boat ride away).
Book one of the exclusive beachfront villas; with private access to your own section of beach and views out to the reef beyond, and a 24-hour concierge who will organise everything from room service to private reef experiences, you’ll feel more than right at home. Turns out, this kind of luxury isn’t just for movie stars…
Ovolo Fortitude Valley and Ovolo Incholm
Known for OTT touches, everything from the kaleidoscopic suite décor, to the flamingo-shaped rooftop pool floats and in-room ‘loot’ bags (stashed with local confectionary) scream eccentric. But in the best possible way.
Kick back in the Valley rooftop pool with a cocktail, and watch the sun set over the city skyline, or drop a squat (or 20) in the 24-hour gym. It’s your holiday. Your way.
Lovers of live music will revel in the Fortitude Valley nightlife; dozens of small bars, live music venues and craft breweries make for a buzzing scene.
Prefer something a little closer to the CBD action? Sister venue Ovolo Inchcolm is the (ever-so-slightly) more grown up sibling, boasting an enviable back bar full of delicious oddities and a fine dining restaurant serving up degustation delights while overlooking the bustling streets of the CBD.
W Brisbane | Brisbane CBD
As Australia’s first W Hotel, the NYC-based chain has naturally chosen an enviable spot in the heart of Brisbane city. The first in a slew of five-star hotels to open in the CBD in 20 years, the W Hotel’s 312-room tower looks out over the Brisbane River—and is a game-changer for holiday makers looking for luxe vibes in the state’s capital.
Check-in and chill out in the Living Room – aka one seriously decked out lobby – or head to the WET deck for a swim with views out to Mount Coot-tha. For head-to-toe treatments, head to the AWAY spa, where the rooms have floor-to-ceiling views of the river and salt inhalation chambers and vitality pools await post-massage.
With a 24-hour gym on site, award-winning dining options courtesy of Three Blue Ducks, an on-call BMW car concierge and a penthouse suite to rival even the celebrity set, this new Queensland hotel has made an entrance.
The Westin | Brisbane CBD
Iconic luxury hotel chain The Westin boasts some of the most enviable locations around the world and has now scored the ultimate Brisbane digs on Mary Street.
Moments from the Botanical Gardens and Queen Street’s bustling shopping district, this new Queensland hotel has it all; degustation dinners and whiskey pairings at Eden (The Westin’s fine dining restaurant), luxury spa, elegant infinity pool with the only swim-up bar in the city, even the rooms have award-winning mattresses (no, we’re not kidding—you can even purchase them).
Fancy doesn’t even begin to cover it.
FV by Peppers | Fortitude Valley
The rooms are luxurious self-contained one and two-bedroom apartments, each featuring decked out kitchens, a laundry and balcony as standard.
This is not your average city escape, mind. This particular new Queensland hotel has some pretty spectacular bells and whistles; laze beside the heated u-shaped skyline pool, catch a movie at the moonlight cinema, or book a treatment in the VIP private spa lounge. Gym regulars can even work out in the fully equipped gym and yoga retreat with views of the Story Bridge and CBD.
Naturally, you’ll be finding ways to move in permanently…
Darling Gold Coast | Broadbeach
The five-star Darling hotel completes the total overhaul of The Star casino and The Star Grand hotel. This, is luxury with bells on.
The exclusive 56-suite hotel is a Gold Coast playground, with a cantilevered rooftop infinity pool, private billiard and karaoke rooms, and a rooftop bar that’s bringing serious competition to these guys.
Residing just 30-minutes from Gold Coast airport and an hour from Brisbane, you’re in prime location to explore the best this beautiful stretch of green and gold has to offer.
Adina Apartment Hotel Brisbane | Brisbane CBD
Indulge your inner Gatsby and check-in for the night at the heritage-listed building-turned Adina Apartment Hotel Brisbane.
The city-based hotel retains the ionic columns, ornate ceiling and marble finishes of what was once the Queensland Government Savings Bank dating back to 1913. The reception alone is breathtaking, featuring huge vintage chandeliers and elegant wall murals that match the building’s Art Deco origins.
Each apartment has a laundry and living room, while studios include kitchenettes. All enjoy full hotel services including 24-hour reception, gym and heated pool. You’ll be right in the city heart with Queen Street Mall and the Treasury Casino mere footsteps away.
Howard Smith Wharves | Brisbane CBD
The restaurants, bars, open spaces, riverside esplanade and shared walkways along the Howard Smith Wharves are reason enough to visit this stunning multi-million-dollar precinct, but a stay at new Queensland hotel, The Fantauzzo, is truly something special.
Part of the Art Series Hotel collection, art buffs will recognise the name; a nod to Australian artist Vincent Fantauzzo, the property is decked out with his most famous pieces.
Each of the chic 166 suites have views of the Story Bridge and CBD skyline or the breathtaking cliff face which the hotel is carved into. Among the chic amenities, including a 24-hour gym and rooftop bar—it’s the infinity rooftop pool you’ll be spending most of your down time. Directly adjacent to the Story Bridge, a dip here comes with mind-boggling river, bridge and city views.
Nab a lounger and settle in.
Emporium Hotel | South Brisbane
Forming part of the $600 million Southpoint precinct on Grey Street, Emporium Hotel has changed the face of South Bank in the best possible way.
A wholly glamourous affair, Emporium lays out a VIP lifestyle on a plate; a 23m infinity pool with sweeping city views, private gazebos and a poolside bar for max relaxing, and multiple dining options boasting awards and a Chef Hat.
And that’s before you explore the cultural hub that is South Bank. QAGOMA, QPAC, Science Museum and State Library of Queensland share this side of the river. All you have to do is fit it all in.
Pullman and Ibis | Brisbane Airport
The convenience of staying near the airport got a whole lot more glamorous in recent years with the opening of new Pullman and Ibis hotels. These two new Queensland hotels expand the budget options for layover stays in the area and are a welcome addition to the existing Novotel property.
You don’t often imagine lazing poolside on a quick airport-centric layover but grab a daybed at the Pullman pool and you can soak up all the Queensland sunshine you like.
At Ibis, the 243 guest rooms are light and bright, keeping in theme with the Cribb Island Beach Club bistro and bar.
The Calile Hotel Brisbane | Fortitude Valley
Two years in the making, The Calile Hotel on James Street has become somewhat of a destination, turning heads on a global scale (thanks to being named one of the best new hotels in the world by Condé Nast Traveler 2019).
Awash with travertine marble, the 166-room, award-winning design is something straight out of Portofino—dishing out more Mediterranean vibes than the hotel’s equally dazzling fine dining Greek restaurant, Hellenika.
You’ll naturally want to spend all day lounging in your private cabana beside the turquoise rooftop pool, where poolside snacks come direct from the Hellenika kitchen. Unwind with a treatment at the spa, or sip champagne in the Lobby Bar and watch the world go by, just make sure you leave time to explore James Street. It has long been a destination for high end shopping and dining, and we challenge you to stick to budget here.
The Island | Surfers Paradise
Surfers Paradise is having quite the renaissance with the re-opening of boutique hotel, The Island. An ode to the quintessential Queensland summer vacation, the building is awash with vintage charm; oak wood adorned walls, candy-striped poolside umbrellas and a retro-style rooftop bar for the sundowner spot to rival all others.
An enviable position just one block from the beach, bars and restaurants, you’re also primed for a day trip to the magnificent Gold Coast Hinterland.
Riley | Cairns CBD
Brand new Queensland hotel, the Riley, is a game-changer for Tropical North Queensland. Thanks to Crystalbrook Collection (the team behind the uber-luxe Crystalbrook Lodge) there are now more five-star accommodation options in the tropical city than ever before. Because we’re all about choices.
Perched right beside The Esplanade Boardwalk, the oceanfront five-star hotel features three dining options, Rocco, Greenfields, and Paper Crane, catering to your every whim, while the luxurious Eléme Spa will revitalise body and soul. The 24-hour fitness centre, free bicycle use and rooftop bar (for a post-workout fix) rounds out a show-stopping amenities rollcall.
The enormous swimming lagoon and man-made beach (with private cabanas, naturally) will be your saviour from Cairns’ infamous humid days, while the poolside service will ensure the perfect frozen margarita and all-day menu to keep you satiated.
Bailey | Cairns CBD
Bursting onto the Cairns hotel scene in mid-2019, the 217 one, two and three bedroom suites is the flamboyant sister property to the Riley. A new Queensland hotel with a twist, the property is an ode to local artists, showcasing incredible works on its walls.
Boasting not one, but two swimming pools to keep your cool, a 24-hour fitness centre and Mediterranean rooftop bar and restaurant, Rocco, dishing up locally sourced fare from dizzying heights, Bailey takes hotelling to the next level.
Given Cairns’ proximity to the Daintree and Great Barrier Reef, the Riley and the Bailey are the ideal base for exploring these incredible natural wonders.
Mt Mulligan Lodge | Tropical North Queensland
The magnificent Mt Mulligan Lodge is nestled within 28,000ha of working cattle property in the remote Queensland outback. Just a few hours inland from Cairns, you will, quite literally feel a million miles away in this magnificent property. You can hear a pin drop out here.
Welcoming a maximum of 16 guests in 12 luxury suites, you’ll have the space (and the privacy) to really connect with the incredible landscape around you. An infinity pool and deck stretched out over the barramundi-filled weir is the spectacular centrepiece of this property, with all meals plus mini bar access (the dream) are all inclusive.
Have a go at four-wheel-driving, cattle mustering and bushwalking, which are all on offer. Each room comes with its own vehicle for exploring the rugged terrain.
Daydream Island | Whitsundays
After $65 million overhaul, the Whitsundays’ Daydream Island resort has reopened in spectacular style. The 292 impeccable guest rooms and sleek arrivals pavilion offers unparalleled access to the region’s magnificent landscape and Great Barrier Reef on its doorstep.
Quite literally step from beach to reef, you can choose to hang by the beautiful lagoon pool or dip your toes in the sand, snorkel in hand, and get to know the local wildlife.
Given its proximity to this World Heritage Site, Daydream Islands renovations include a new reef education centre and turtle hospital where guests can learn more about the important ongoing conservation work on the island.
Bedarra | Mission Beach
Absolute beachfront on five acres of beachside forest, Bedarra’s three new luxury bungalows are sandwiched right between the World Heritage Listed rainforest and the Coral Sea.
A mainland addition to their private island accommodation, each luxury bungalow mirrors the absolute privacy of its sister properties, featuring their very own private gardens and individual path to the golden sands of Mission beach.
The perfect pre or post-island layover, if location is your weak spot, this new Queensland hotel will be your undoing.
Jewel | Gold Coast | Mid-2020
Just south of Surfers Paradise – with prime beach frontage – the Jewel will be home to 500 permanent residential apartments, 171 hotels rooms and a luxury retail precinct, over three towers.
The five-star luxury hotel is not only the definition of beachside luxe, it’s been given five green stars for its dedication to sustainable development. All eyes are on the coast for this jaw-dropping addition to the GC skyline.
Queen’s Wharf Development | Brisbane | 2022
The mammoth Queens Wharf Development is bringing not one but five new premium hotel brands to Brisbane which includes The Star, The Dorsett, Rosewood, and the highly anticipated Ritz-Carlton; Brisbane’s first six-star hotel.
Completion dates for the first stage of the precinct, which include The Star, The Dorsett, Rosewood are currently mid-2022, with the Ritz-Carlton locked for grand reveal in 2024.
Flynn | Cairns CBD | Late 2020
Two glass swimming pools, six restaurants and bars and 303 suites to sleep off all those late balmy nights, Flynn is set to join the Crystalbrook Collection of new Queensland hotels in Cairns, opening in mid-2020.