A major hotel boom is taking place in Brisbane and industry leaders say it has the River City poised for a massive post-COVID bounce back.
The recent opening of Brisbane’s new five-star Hotel X along with the Ghanem Group’s new French dining destination, Bisou Bisou, on its ground floor, comes as Brisbane prepares to see the unveiling of at least five more top-of-the-range properties next year.
The internationally-recognised brands together will offer more than 1000 premium hotel rooms.
The brands about to open their doors at the $3.6 billion Queen’s Wharf project are The Ritz-Carlton Hotel, Rosewood, Dorsett and the Star Grand hotel by lead consortium partner, The Star Entertainment Group.
The development will also introduce Brisbane’s first six-star hotels.
In addition, Hyatt has made a spectacular return to Queensland with the rebranding of a Salter Brothers-owned property in the heart of Brisbane’s CBD.
The 292-room Hyatt Regency Brisbane marks the return of the chain to the Sunshine State after nine years.
The hotel is located at the former Next Hotel Brisbane, and will undergo a full refurbishment that will see the guest rooms, public areas, event spaces and dining venues transformed over the next few months.
Hotel X, in the centre of Fortitude Valley, was launched by InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG).
The 146-room Brunswick Street development boasts exceptional views of the city and amenities designed by fashion icon Karl Lagerfeld.
Michael Johnson, the CEO of Tourism Accommodation Australia, says that while Australia still faces challenging times, “there’s going to be a fair bit of pent up international demand for Australia – and Brisbane certainly fits that bill”.
“Brisbane has continued to grow over the last years and we’ve seen its infrastructure grow dramatically,” Mr Johnson said. “It’s always a good thing for any city to get some more high end product.
“It shows that investors are still prepared to invest heavily in the tourism industry and now is the time to certainly be building because the industry will have the product ready for when we are in that bounce back mode.”
Dean Long, the CEO of Accommodation Association of Australia, said Brisbane’s infrastructure projects, such as a second runway at the city’s airport, were important factors in attracting overseas business.
“There are some great things happening in Brisbane,” Mr Long said. “Just like Melbourne it has a really good supply pipeline of new hotels.
“There have been some really good strategies from the Queensland Government about promoting tourism back into new markets. While COVID has been the hand brake on that, when we do get the borders open for international travellers there’s going to be a lot of new product to attract them.”
Hyatt is also planning a new 170-room hotel in Woolloongabba scheduled to open in 2023.
Brisbane has seen the opening of many other luxury hotels in the last few years including the W Brisbane, located in George Street on the site of the old law courts.
The Novotel South Bank, Brisbane is linked to the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre via a walkway.
The Sanctuary by Sirromet, Mt Cotton, is Queensland’s first winery glamping experience, 30 minutes’ drive south of the city.
The Ovolo Inchcolm Hotel, Spring Hill is a 1924-built Georgian hotel and former medical practice which boasts 50 bespoke guest rooms.
The Sebel Brisbane Margate Beach offers seaside opulence and 58 rooms with panoramic ocean views.
FV by Peppers, Fortitude Valley has three thirty-storey towers, with one or two-bedroom apartments boasting understated elegance .
The Emporium, South Bank boasts the latest in-room technology and 143 luxuriously appointed suites.
The Calile Hotel, Fortitude Valley, bills itself as a seven-storey “urban resort’’ with 175 rooms, a mix of boutiques, cafes and restaurants and a pool terrace.
The Westin Brisbane has 286 rooms (38 suites), a swim-up pool bar, and a dedicated restaurant precinct serving regional and international cuisine.
Ovolo The Valley is on the site of the former Emporium Hotel and is one of the most luxurious hotels in Brisbane.
And The Fantauzzo, Fortitude Valley at the Howard Smith Wharves, is a 164-room ultra-contemporary boutique hotel positioned directly under the Story Bridge.