Brisbane’s Calile Hotel a nod to urban chic
If you haven’t been to Brisbane for a while, then you need to re-consider your next mini-break destination.
Gone are the days when you couldn’t get a meal after 9pm and the river city turned its back on its crowning glory – that winding expanse of water that creates the perfect backdrop for wining, dining and day-to-night pleasure activities.
No longer is it the backwater for high-end shopping and boutique accommodation. Brisbane is now setting the standard for urban appeal – complete with endless waterfront strolling options, noteworthy restaurants, trendy shopping precincts and unique hotels with stunning interiors and jaw-dropping views.
One such newcomer is The Calile Hotel in the ever-so-cool James Street precinct in the inner-city suburb of New Farm. Channeling an ‘urban resort’ aesthetic, the 175-room hotel has taken its inspiration from the relaxed, sophisticated, inner-city resorts more typically found in world-renowned cities such as Miami, Palm Springs, Rio de Janeiro and Mexico City. There certainly isn’t anything else like it in any other Australian city.
The local architects, Richards and Spence, have created The Calile as a departure from the tendency of other inner-city Australian hotels to focus on the corporate market, opting instead to create an oasis that will appeal to both business and leisure visitors. Owned and developed by the well-known Brisbane Malouf family, The Calile is the latest in a portfolio of property developments including the original James Street Market and retail developments. Calile, a family name that features in every generation, is a nod to the history of the family, who first arrived in Australia from Lebanon in 1892.
The resort vibe is apparent as soon as you enter The Calile orbit – a modern-day interpretation of a cobblestone laneway lit by over-sized ‘orb’ lights reminiscent of an Italian galleria. Entering via the huge sliding door, the travertine-lined foyer is buzzing with ‘beautiful people’ – lunching, drinking, chatting and meeting – a microcosm of the digital nomad society we now inhabit.
Staff are dressed in effortlessly casual yet classy beige and white uniforms, designed by Australian fashion house Bassike. With friendly smiles and helpful attention, they actually look like they enjoy working in the rarified Calile environment.
The rooms are timelessly classic, featuring balconies with views either over the bustling James Street, urban surrounds or the inviting pool. In cool tones of either green or blue, with a unique ‘cork’ feature on walls and floors, sisal matting, day beds, dining area, custom linen robes, Grown Alchemist amenities, and luxurious marble bathrooms, they create a sense of inviting, comforting luxury.
The pool transports you straight to Palm Springs, with cabanas featuring daybeds converting to table and chairs for dining, all ringed by swaying palm trees. Hellenika, sister restaurant to the eponymous Gold Coast venue, completes the tropical setting, spilling from a sleek indoor area with open kitchen, to pool-side, umbrella-shaded dining. The Greek menu is perfect for the sunny location, and the effusive staff, in their pale pink jackets, imbue just the right amount of Greek Island decadence.
A wellness spa, Kailo, goes the extra mile with, as well as the usual offerings, cosmetic treatments, wellness workshops and Intravenous Vitamin (IV) Therapy for the over-worked executive or sleep-deprived parent!
A library-cum-business centre is a welcome retreat to connect, or disconnect, whatever your requirements.
A roof-top amphitheatre provides the perfect venue for weddings, parties and corporate events with a difference, complemented by the pool-side function rooms.
The Calile has thought of everything…even the retail offerings at ground level have created a new ‘must visit’ shopping destination with high-end boutiques such as Bassike, Dion Lee, Bec & Bridge, Carla Zampatti, Venroy and Love Stories, joining the already lust-worthy offerings of Scanlan Theodore, Aesop, Mecca, Camargue, Calexico, Sass & Bide, Maryon’s Shoes, Samantha Ogilvie and others in the street.
Add to this a Palace Cinema Complex, bars such as Sixes and Sevens, Cru Bar and Gerards, the new City Winery and restaurants such as Harveys and Bucci, and you need go no further than the few hundred metres surrounding this gem of a hotel.
So, if you are looking for a city break with a difference, factor in a trip to the Sunshine State’s capital, and a stay at The Calile Hotel. You won’t be disappointed, and it will leave you wanting to come back for more…
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