Open: June 2018
OPENING its doors today (1 June) is the much anticipated new W Brisbane. The 34-storey tower along North Quay is the first five-star hotel to launch in Brisbane in 20 years and it marks W’s return to Australia in serious style. “Brisbane is a dream destination – year-round sun and an outdoor lifestyle – it’s quickly evolving into one of the world’s greatest cities which is why W is kicking off the brand’s return to Australia here in the Sunshine State,” said Bruce Ryde, Vice-President for Luxury Brands and Brand Marketing, Marriott International Asia-Pacific, speaking last week at the ILTM Asia travel show. The hotel is designed to be a new take on the traditional luxury hotel and early signs are that it has succeeded. Design-wise Nic Graham & Associates have paid homage to the riverside location with earthy tones contrasted with colourful artwork from celebrated Australian artists including John Nicholson, Lucas Grogan and Reko Rennie. We love the humorous cane toad and cockroach graphics and the specially commissioned ‘Brisvegas’ print used on everything from cushions to poolside umbrellas and even thongs (if you like the idea of those W designer thongs you can pick these and other treasures up in the W The Store by Becker Minty).
Clearly Marriott International has embraced the Aussie vibe with style and flair.
The venue’s signature restaurant, Three Blue Ducks, from acclaimed chefs Mark LaBrooy and Darren Robertson, (the man behind Byron Bay’s popular 'The Farm') sets the social scene. Expect the restaurants, lobby and bars to be buzzing. The Living Room Bar evolves from daytime lounge to a glam cocktail bar by night where guests can savour sips from the Liquid Curator (no mere mixologist here) who will be creating an array of handcrafted cocktails with local boutique spirits every evening. Beer comes from the local Brisbane Burleigh brewery and did we mention the 360-bottle wine cellar? Meanwhile the WET® Deck rooftop bar has sun lounges, a palm frond pattern in the pool and serious DJs at night. The hotels vibe and its event programming centres around Design, Music, Fashion and Fuel (the W brand’s unique take on fitness), so Brisbane may just be getting the ‘uber-cool’ hotel that suits its new image.
The beat goes on in the 312 guestrooms and 32 suites which feature state of the art Bowers & Wilkins bluetooth speaker system and 55-inch LED TVs, while saving a design nod to historic Queenslander homes with a white wall inspired by traditional wall panels found on period Brisbane homes and a 10-gallon drum ‘outback bath experience’. TLTB can’t wait for July when the penthouse-style suites will open; two 120 sq m Wow suites and the massive 200 sq m Extreme Wow suite on the 33rd floor (the W version of a presidential suite). The latter will have a panoramic vista from the river to the mountains and beyond and will indeed, we predict, be extremely ‘wow’.
All this emphasis on organic urban cool doesn’t mean that W Brisbane hasn’t taken note of the little things. For example TLTB loves the GHD hair straighteners in the room and the services of a music curator to ensure just the right sounds are on offer.
Apart from the impressive gym the hotel’s other signature attraction will be its luxurious new day spa, AWAY, where one can detox, de-stress and rejuvenate the body, mind and soul with a treatment menu of Sodashi™ and Skeyndor™ facials and massages, vitality pools, relaxation pods, ‘His and Hers’ salt inhalation chambers and aromatherapy steam rooms. To enhance the spa experience there is also a hair salon by acclaimed Sydney company Edward & Co.
We’ll leave the last word to VP Luxury Brands Bruce Ryde. “Brisbane’s bustling riverbank is a hotspot for travelers who can’t wait to explore this dynamic city and South East Queensland, a perfect match for W Hotels’ bold design and playful, contemporary approach to luxury.”
We couldn’t agree more.
Hilary Doling, 1/6/18