The New Inchcolm Hotel in Brisbane’s city centre is where colonial Australian style meets modern comforts. It feels more like a private resident than a boutique hotel. The design and details draw heavily from the past. The New Inchcolm is named for the original residence built in the 1880s, home to Dr Thomson, a Scottish immigrant. In the 1920s the building became a medical practice, and was converted to a hotel in the 1990s. The final refurbishment in November 2014, when the Inchcom became part of M Gallery by Accor, makes use of the original features and style. Silky oak wood paneling and herringbone floors sit beautifully alongside the lush art deco style carpets.
The hotel’s pride and joy is the heritage listed 1928 Otis elevator, which was imported from New York. A new door and buttons have been added but the original weights still help move the lift and the gated door and lift handle are still there to imagine yourself back to a golden era.
Soft jazz and lounge tunes playing in the common areas add to the ambience and I found myself humming along to Nora Jones as I browsed the books in the reception area library.
The rooms are lovely and afford every convenience. The 50 rooms each have a different layout. The large bed was the perfect way to sleep off jet lag (with a solid 11 hours!) and somehow worked out every kink in my back. The desk area and tables and chairs meant that Barry and I both had a place from which to work.
I also loved the large bathroom with a steady supply of big, fluffy towels, full length lighted wall mirror and organic toiletries from Appelles. My skin says thank you! My tastebuds say thank you for the Nespresso Coffee machine and delicious chocolates (my favourite part of the turn down service).
Reception and concierge are at your fingertips, via the iPad mini or the more traditional telephone method. Browsing around the iPad gave me information about the hotel, inspired me on walking tours of Brisbane and ideas of other attractions to visit. The 55 inch flat screen TV will satisfy movie lovers.
We enjoyed the great selection of Scottish whiskys and Australian wines in the bar. The bar and dining area, being accessible directly from the street, is also popular with outside guests. Inchcolm also offers private dining, catering from 10 people to 100.
Overlooking tangled rainforest, the Ruffles offers secluded luxury combined with fabulous food and infinity pool views when you do leave the retreat of your very private accommodation. The rooms are more like suites with big folding doors opening out to a generous wooden balcony. Treat yourself to an upgrade and you’ll have a private cooling plunge pool, or if it’s less than balmy there are thick blankets on hand to help warm up.
There’s plenty to choose whether at the extensive breakfast or the delicious evening menus, served overlooking the twinkling distant lights of the Gold Coast.
The owners often make an appearance over pre-dinner G&Ts on the terrace, comfortably chatting to guests and clearly enjoying the relaxed, luxurious atmosphere they have created. As the evening draws to a close you can hop on your personal golf cart and drive yourself home.
If you have a couple of nights to spend in Sydney city centre we can highly recommend the Blue Sydney. A 19th century warehouse and shipping wharf the hotel and marina have a fascinating history which is woven into the very fabric of the building. Combine this with ultra modern design, exemplary service and beautiful features and you have a place which is not just a hotel but almost an event.
A cocktail in the sleek and sophisticated bar is a must, where you can relax in intimate booths nestled within the vast space at the heart of this the longest wooden structure in the world. A hotel at one end, luxury apartments at the other and plenty of quality restaurants next to the water make this a sought after, vibrant location. It’s not cheap, but nothing in Sydney is! But for a short break a stone’s throw from the botanical gardens and harbour bridge the Blue Sydney is definitely worth splashing out.
From the outside the Lyall hotel looks pretty posh- all polished brass and stylish lettering. But here the formality ends as the staff greet you with exceptional warmness which reflects that this is a small owner run boutique hotel where everyone pitches in to make sure their guests are very well looked after. Thick carpets, muted lighting and original artwork give it a cosy vibe, and you can easily picture yourself curled up in one of the plush sofas reading a magazine by one of the fires central to each floor.
Each of the 40 rooms is actually a suite, with a leafy balcony, a spacious bathroom, a convenient kitchen and TVs you can watch from the lounge, the bed or bath. The hotel is situated on a quiet tree lined street minutes from the hub of South Yarra- so perfect for boutique shopping, grabbing a bite or even an afternoon people watching from a street-side terrace.