Located right on the boundary between Spring Hill and the CBD, with Queen Street Mall just 10 minutes walk away, this is the latest hotel from the funky Ovolo group. Formerly known as the New Inchcolm Hotel & Suites, this is the latest addition to the Hong Kong-based group's rapidly-expanding portfolio, which now includes the Canberra property formerly known as Hotel Hotel as well as two hotels in Sydney (one in Woolloomooloo, the other in Darling Harbour) and one in Melbourne.
Don't let that discreet entrance fool you. This hotel is bigger than it looks, with 50 rooms spread across two buildings: one a 1920s former medical practice, the other a contemporary annexe. The interiors have had a high-style makeover since the hotel's last incarnation, with art as a major focus. Both the moodily lit corridors and the guest rooms feature an eye-catching range of contemporary works, including photos by Enrique Rottenberg. A specially commissioned print by local artist Kerrie Brown is also featured on everything from staff uniforms to some of the bedheads. The styling has an art deco inflection – check out the bespoke carpets, made to measure for each room – but the most eye-catching feature is the magnificent old-school cage elevator in the centre of the building.
These rooms are about as far from cookie-cutter as you can get. Not only is each one individually decorated; each room also has a different shape and size. In the older building, which once housed the offices of Brisbane's most respected medical specialists, many of the rooms have a small ante-chamber, which was once a waiting room. Many of the larger bedrooms, including the lovely two-level loft, are located in the annexe.
For those who like a touch of tech, there is Apple TV and an iPad which not only contains handy information including nearby attractions, but also lets you send requests direct to the concierge. Alexa is also waiting to do your bidding. In true Ovolo style, each room is also packed with freebies. You don't have to pay for the drinks in the mini-bar or the snacks in the so-called Loot Bag. And that yoga mat in the cupboard? You can take that home too.
Tucked in towards the back of the building, the light-filled Salon de Co is a lovely place to enjoy breakfast (which is free if you book directly with the hotel). It is also a good choice for dinner. The menu of small plates is vegetarian-friendly, with light bites such as chickpea crackers topped with celeriac and coriander and larger plates of eggplant with tofu and yuzu. There is also plenty for carnivores to chew on, including Asian-inflected dishes such as pork with daikon and sesame.
Kick the evening off with complimentary happy hour drinks in the inviting bar. In fact, what with the friendly service and the mesmerising Cabinet of Curiosities, which displays an array of weird and wonderful objects that is difficult to tear yourself away from – not to mention some killer cocktails – you may find yourself changing your plans and opting to stay in instead.
Friendly service, sleek stylings, and plenty of freebies – what's not to love?
The freebies, including the take-home yoga mat.
No pool or gym, although gym access can be arranged.
73 Wickham Terrace, Spring Hill. From $249. Phone (07) 3226 8888, ovolohotels.com
Ute Junker travelled courtesy of Ovolo Hotels.