The best new hotels in Queensland 2016

To say that Queensland’s hotel scene is going through a serious boom, would be an understatement. The flurry of activity has hit Brisbane hard, but up and down the coastline there’s a new swag of hotels already welcoming guests, or on the horizon.

Whether it’s five-star fancy, inner-city cool, coastal resort chill, outback beauty or multinational sleek, the next couple of years will see some of the world’s best hotels call the state home.

We’ve laid our heads on fluffy pillows, snuggled down into lush beds and put many a mini-bar through its paces all the way from Gold Coast to Cape York in the name of research. Here are the best new hotels popping up in Queensland.

Jupiter’s Hotel & Casino, Gold Coast

Thanks to a spankin’ new look, Jupiter’s Hotel and Casino will continue its high-rolling ways; a $345 million makeover is set to finish by the time the Commonwealth Games kicks off on the Gold Coast in 2018.

The exciting revamp includes a world-class penthouse, deluxe executive rooms, ocean terrace suites, an upgraded pool and a six-star 17-storey all-suites hotel to boot.

Ibis Styles, Brisbane

With uninterrupted views out over South Bank and the Brisbane River, ibis Styles Brisbane Elizabeth Street is the largest new-build ibis hotel in Australia.

Adding more than 368 new rooms to the Brisbane scene, it’s sleek fit-out and mod-cons make it a winner for business travellers and holidaymakers.

Rydges Fortitude Valley, Brisbane

Dedicated to all things ‘Ekka’ (that’s Queenslander for Exhibition Show) Rydges Fortitude Valley has added another great mid-range option to the pool of Brisbane hotels.

Most of the 208 rooms look out over the Ekka’s main show ring, and the hotel is only a short stroll from the buzzing entertainment precinct of Fortitude Valley. For reservations call 07 3188 3000.

Balfour Suites, New Farm, Brisbane

An extension to one of Brisbane’s best boutique hotels, Spicers Balfour Hotel, the Balfour Suites is a set of art deco apartments just a short stroll away from its New Farm sibling.

Oozing understated old-world charm, everything in this hotel is carefully considered for luxury and comfort. In the heart of one of Brisbane’s coolest ‘burbs, it’s a clear addition to your hotels bucket list. Call to book on 1300 597 540.

Mantra Richmont Hotel, Spring Hill, Brisbane

Another one of Brisbane’s newest hotels is the Mantra Richomont Hotel, which has popped up in Spring Hill just a kilometre from the city. The location is hard to beat but Mantra brings their usual flair to the comfortable rooms.

If you want to soak up the history of the area, grab a bite to eat in the Kennigo Social Restaurant, a refurbished 1875 Queenslander character home located in the hotel complex. Phone 07 5665 4450 to chat with the Mantra Richmont reservations team.

Alex Perry Hotel, Fortitude Valley, Brisbane

His impeccable eye for details and style is what has made Alex Perry into an international fashion icon, so it’s no surprise the hotel bearing his name is easily one of the swankiest hotels in the country.

Sleek and luxurious is the name of the game at Alex Perry Apartments; from the custom blend luxe toiletries to the bed linen and arm chairs, even the tap ware and cabinetry clearly bear the Perry hallmark style.

Boasting 140 rooms (a mixture of studios and apartments), a lap pool and barbeque pavilion, the 280-degree view across Brisbane is an attraction in itself.

Lagoons 1770 Resort Spa, Agnes Water

Lush tropical getaways call for the lushest of hotels and resorts, and this Agnes Waters newbie fits the brief to a tee. Mere metres from Australia’s northernmost surf beach,

Mere metres from Australia’s northernmost surf beach, Lagoons 1770 is also the region’s first full-service holiday resort, with 112 executive one and two bedroom apartments. There’s also a pretty amazing lagoon pool and man-made tropical island to check out.

Pumpkin Island, Southern Great Barrier Reef

Recently released back out into the wild after a stint as the XXXX official island, Queensland’s Pumpkin Island is one of the coolest ‘hotels’ going. One of the lesser-known islands in the Southern Great Barrier Reef, it’s the perfect locale for getaways of any kind.

If cash is no issue, make like a rock star and hire out the entire island, which will set you back just under $2,000 per night. Or, take the understated route by hiring one of the eco-powered cottages for a real Robinson Crusoe-inspired sleeping arrangement. There are two new bungalows in the works, taking the total count to seven, sleeping a total of 34 people.

There are two new bungalows in the works, taking the total count to seven, sleeping a total of 34 people.

The Ville Resort-Casino, Townsville

Following its transformation from Jupiters Townsville in 2015, one of the tropical city’s finest hotels, The Ville Resort-Casino is now is in the middle of another face-lift to refresh 66 of its 194 rooms and add a brand new restaurant, The Palm House.

The modern buffet restaurant will feature live cooking stations plus indoor and poolside dining. The new rooms fit out channel the classic charm of Queenslander house with views out to the harbour.

Gilberton Outback Retreat

A tin shed has never looked so good, thanks to the Gilberton Outback Retreat’s take on this country icon.

Located 340 kilometres south-west of Cairns, the Gilberton is a serious retreat with no phones, no television and sweeping views of the Gilbert River from the rustic-luxe digs.

Kick back with a glass of bubbles in the semi-outdoor bath, or get adventurous by exploring the ancient landscape around you. Contact Gilberton on 07 4062 5329 to enquire about packages and availability.

Homestead Stables, Longreach

Kinnon & Co’s newest accommodation option, the 4.5 star Homestead Stables, mimic the very rooms where stable boys used to hit the hay on pioneer homesteads.

The rooms, which sleep three, are filled with heritage and nostalgic touches (like outdoor, clawfoot bathtubs), with all the modern conveniences like air-conditioning, TV/DVD, and ensuite bathroom – with running water, of course!

Daintree Wilderness EcoLodge and Spa, Port Douglas

As if you needed another reason to head to the Daintree, one of North Queensland’s best hotels has had a refresh worth travelling for.

Tucked into the ancient rainforest, Daintree EcoLodge and Spa has recently had half of its lodges refurbished, a new menu introduced at the restaurant, and updated services at the award-winning spa.

Sheraton Port Douglas

Want all the wilderness of the UNESCO World Heritage-listed site plus the luxury of a five-star hotel? Of course you do. Sheraton Port Douglas has both in spades, and its recent renovation has promoted it to creme de la creme of North Queensland’s hotels.

Snuggled up nice and close to Four Mile beach and surrounded by 147 hectares of lush tropical gardens, Sheraton is also home to an 18-hole golf course, award-winning dining options – plus two hectares of saltwater lagoon pools to splash in. Oh, and did we mention the Great Barrier Reef?

Coming soon

The Johnson, Spring Hill, Brisbane

Melbourne-based hotel moguls, the Asian Pacific Group, have made Queensland’s hotels landscape even brighter thanks to the addition of the very first Art Series hotel, coming to Brisbane in 2016.

Named for the celebrated Australian abstract artist, Michael Johnson, the luxury boutique hotel is housed in a heritage-listed Karl Langer building, and is sure to nail the urban cool brief to a tee.

Aside from the usual Art Series panache, each of the 83 rooms will be fit out with a piece of Johnson’s artwork, there will be in-house art libraries and a dedicated art channel. A 50-metre Olympic pool designed by Michael Klim, plus an onsite restaurant, round out this new hotel’s charms. Contact 1800 278 468 for early reservation help.

Banyan Tree, Kangaroo Point, Brisbane

Banyan Tree Residence Brisbane will be a luxury $150 million private residence with views out over the Brisbane CBD.

The Singaporean brand has also acquired real-estate at Surfers Paradise on the Gold Coast to build a landmark 426-apartment complex over two towers. For sale enquiries call 07 3391 8589.

W Hotel, Brisbane

Long the playground for the rich and famous, W Hotel is finally making its way to Australia, setting up exclusively in Brisbane. Construction on the $800 million, 305 room six-star hotel is currently underway on George Street in the heart of the CBD.

W Brisbane will be home to a fancy indoor swimming pool, three restaurants, and an Extreme Wow Suite – the W brand’s interpretation of the traditional Presidential Suite.

The Emporium Hotel, South Bank, Brisbane

The tower that is soon to be Emporium Fortitude Valley’s new sibling is finally making its way skyward in the new, $590 million mixed-use development that is South Point.

Slated for completion in 2017, the much anticipated Emporium South Bank will be home to the same impeccably styled rooms as the Fortitude Valley version, plus an infinity pool and sky deck overlooking the city. Call 1300 586 583 for sales enquiries.

ICON Northshore Hamilton, Brisbane

The mixed-use precinct, ICON at Northshore Hamilton, will bring with it a 227-room, five-star hotel with all the usual facilities plus a slick new retail and restaurant precinct, childcare and open-air public spaces.

Pullman Brisbane Airport

The second of the city’s Pullman Hotels will be Brisbane Airport’s first ever five-star hotel and will also feature a world-class conference centre. It’s scheduled to begin welcoming guests in late 2016.

The complex will also feature a 3.5-star ibis Hotel, both operated by Accor Hotels.

Queens Wharf Development, Brisbane

The mammoth Queens Wharf Development is bringing not one but five new premium hotel brands to Brisbane including the Ritz Carlton and Brisbane’s first six-star hotel.

Not much has been announced in the way of hotel details, but completion dates for parts of the precinct are currently set at around 2022 or 2024.

Howard Smith Wharves Redevelopment, Brisbane

In development by the same crew behind the Johnson Hotel, a 3.43-hectare site on the Brisbane River will transform into a 164 room hotel, a 2.7-hectare public space and an exhibition centre, plus a buzzing restaurant and cafe precinct.

Running between the New Farm Riverwalk and the CBD, it will breathe life into the fairly under-used riverside space.

Jewel, Gold Coast

Just south of Surfers Paradise, with prime beach frontage Jewel will be home to 500 permanent residential apartments, 171 hotels rooms and a luxury retail precinct, over three towers.

Aquis Great Barrier Reef Resort, Cairns

Spread over 340+ hectares about 13 kilometres north of the Cairns CBD, Aquis will have a 73-hectare dedicated resort complex, situated on an ‘island’ surrounded by a man-made lake, and accomodation for up to 12,000 guests in peak season.

If you’ve finished wrapping your head around that, there will also be entertainment facilities including a casino, theatres and an Indigenous cultural centre, plus restaurants and bars. And that’s just the resort precinct!