What’s the story? The Calile Hotel is the centrepiece of the chic James Street precinct, a leafy oasis in the centre of Brisbane that’s upping the city’s design and dining credentials at a rapid pace. Designed by Brisbane-based architects Richards & Spence, the hotel riffs on modernist Miami and Palm Springs while also nodding to the design stylings of Australia’s 1960s motels. The colours lean to pastel – peach, rose, pistachio – and the centrepiece pool deck with its sage green umbrellas, cabanas and 30 metre pool with the hotel’s name spelled out in gold tiles, emphasises the relaxed, barefoot Australian style of luxury that The Calile excels at, from lobby to every one of its 175 blue, green or pink-themed rooms and suites. It’s no wonder it’s voted The Best Hotel in Oceania 2023.
Eating and drinking: Brisbane is becoming an increasingly interesting place to dine and The Calile’s six restaurants have been instrumental in making that a reality. The main event is Hellenika, a bustling Greek joint overlooking the pool that makes the most of great local seafood, but there’s also Thai street food at Same Same, upmarket sushi at Sushi Room, Italian classics at Bianca, grill mainstays at SK Steak and Oyster and all-day dining and drinks in the pink-hued Lobby Bar.
Indoor meets outdoor: The Calile embraces the balmy temperate climate of its host city with open air corridors on every floor and planters filled with thriving tropical plants that rustle in the breeze. Rooms have windows that open and ceiling fans for those after fresh air and air-conditioning for when it’s a little too balmy. The rooms’ floor surfaces – marble, timber and sisal matting – are designed to feel good to walk on barefoot.
What about the pool? It’s a scene at The Calile’s centrepiece botanical pool deck, with sun lounges filled with tanned and leggy guests, overlooked by the curved balconies of the hotel’s Poolside rooms. The seven cabanas can be booked for dinner or cocktails, which are the best place to observe all the action of Brisbanites at play.
And the service? The Calile’s young staff, decked out in chic linen uniforms combine Brisbane’s relaxed friendliness with an admirable efficiency that will have you booked into the Kailo Medispa (complete with onsite cosmetic physician), a cabana or a table at one of Brisbane’s hottest restaurants with signature “no worries” ease.