Wyndham Hotel Group has created the TRYP brand as an attraction to hipster travellers, and they couldn't have chosen a better area in Brisbane. Alfred and Constance is just up the road, and a trendy dining area has been built around it. The Brisbane version of TRYP - a graffiti art-laden hotel, roof bar and restaurant - nestles neatly between that and the live Valley music scene. This means anyone who stays there also has quick access to all the advantages of the Valley: Chinatown, a burgeoning arts scene, laneway bars and cafes, nightclubs and boutique shopping.
The rooftop bar of the hotel has become a popular gathering place for young professionals. The DJ plays an eclectic array of dance music, and there are some impressive views of the city which often might go unnoticed. There's a decent cocktail list and prices are on par with other parts of the city. The restaurant is an on-trend burger place with a limited, yet sufficient menu and laid-back furnishings in tune with the theme of the rest of the hotel. The common room and library on each floor has plenty of books and TVs. It's a great look, and may help settle in-room television channel disputes.
It's a little unusual to walk into a dark room lit by CSI-style blue fluorescent lights in the middle of the day. The electronic blind rises to expose sliding doors which lead to a concrete courtyard with a couple of seats that, at the right time of day, might offer a feeling of added space to the room. It's then that the bright colours of the room take effect, ensuring a modern feel. A glass partition encloses the small shower and bathroom, there's a large television bracketed to the wall with selected movies, and modern decor and lighting offer relief from some of the outdated furnishings of larger chain hotels in the city.
Welcome to the Valley. Out the front door of the hotel, turn left and there's a hip dining district; turn right and there's a whole district of bars, nightclubs and restaurants. Brunswick St Mall is a little further, as is Chinatown. For three or four blocks, there are plenty of menus to explore. A night or two exploring the city can be summed up in a couple of words: "food" and "entertainment". Whatever your tastes, there's likely to be something which will tantalise the tastebuds, and the sound bites.
The location of the hotel is great, and the casual, relaxed service is friendly and genuine - some of the best in the city. The artwork and designs are at first captivating, but it would be a mistake to expect much more than an upmarket backpacker standard in the rooms. They're a little pokey for the price, albeit clean, and the courtyard which looks into the neighbour's room seems a little pointless. Perfect for a short-stay inner-city splurge.
HOW TO GET THERE
It's one of Brisbane's hipster areas, but it's also a little bit off the beaten track, tucked a block back from Brunswick St Mall. Constance St becomes quite narrow, but best to come from the northern end, find a temporary park at the front of the hotel and allow valet parking to do the rest.
TRYP Brisbane, 14-20 Constance St, Fortitude Valley. Rooms kick off at about $169 during sale periods on a Sunday night. Saturdays are around the $190 mark and like most inner-city hotels, peak rate is mid-week. Phone 07 3319 7888, see trypbrisbane.com.
The writer was a guest of TRYP Brisbane.