Weekend Away: Brisbane, Limes Hotel review

Read our writer's views on this property below

Anthony Dennis gets a taste of big-city boutique chic in Brisbane.

THE SETTING

This 21-room design hotel, one of Brisbane's first, and with a distinctive Swiss cheese-like facade, is located in a slightly lonely position on the fringe of the "Moonlight State" capital's once notorious but now rapidly gentrifying Fortitude Valley nightlife precinct. But you needn't feel too alone for too long, since Limes features a popular and often pumping alfresco rooftop bar as well as the equally frenetic Alfred & Constance restaurant and cafe complex right next door.

THE SPACE

As befitting a true boutique hotel, spaces are rather tiny, including the cool lobby, which presses all of the requisite style buttons and wouldn't be out of place in Manhattan. The guest rooms are long and relatively narrow, yet comfortable. Slightly disconcertingly, the view from my suite's balcony is of the Queensland government's child safety unit.

THE KIT

In my attractive, snug though not poky upstairs deluxe room, there's a king-size bed, a welcome espresso machine as well as a kitchenette with extended bench space (not ideal for extended work on a laptop, this reviewer found), an iPod dock, a wall-mounted 32-inch LCD TV and a tight-though-adequate bathroom, sans tub. Some of the ground-floor rooms include a small courtyard and hammock. Unlimited in-room Wi-Fi, is, commendably, free throughout the hotel.

COMFORT FACTOR

Yes, lots, despite the size of the rooms and the hotel itself. On Friday and Saturday nights the tempo changes, with the rooftop bar heaving with young Brisbanites out on the town (and, yes, Brisbane does still feel like a big town at times). However, noise levels were not extreme during this reviewer's stay and the hotel's staff were at all times friendly, courteous and welcoming.

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FOOD

Limes has no in-house restaurant save for the rooftop bar, but it's possible to order room service at selected times from the Alfred & Constance cafe, bar and restaurant next door. Built inside a rambling old weatherboard Queenslander house, the restaurant is owned by Limes. And in breaking news, since your reviewer's visit, Alfredo's Pizzeria, a new and suitably funky late-night wood-fired pizza bar, has opened directly behind Alfred & Constance.

WORTH STEPPING OUT FOR

The modern James Street restaurant and retail precinct - one of Australia's best pieces of urban redevelopment located within Fortitude Valley - is just a 10-minute stroll down the hill from Limes, with the city centre within extended walking distance. Recommended restaurants in and around James Street include Gerard's Bistro and Bucci, with the former serving an excellent Middle Eastern-style brunch. If you fancy staying in, Limes' rooftop bar doubles as an open-air cinema on certain nights with tapas and drinks available before, during and after screenings.

HOW TO GET THERE

The Limes Hotel is about 13 kilometres or half an hour from the airport, depending on traffic. Taxis, trains and shuttle buses are available. If self-driving from the airport, head north-east along Airport Drive towards Hibiscus Street for half a kilometre. At the roundabout, take the third exit and stay on Airport Drive. Go through two roundabouts for 5.3 kilometres and then take the ramp onto the Gateway Motorway. Take the exit toward Links Avenue and on to Kingsford Smith Drive, continuing along Breakfast Creek Road for 1.1 kilometres. At the roundabout, take the second exit onto Montpelier Road for half a kilometre and then turn left at Markwell Street, continuing onto St Paul's Terrace for half a kilometre. Turn left at Constance Street and, after 50 metres, Limes is on your right. There is discounted secure parking around the corner on Alfred Street at the Valley Metro Car Park.

ESSENTIALS

Limes Hotel is at 142 Constance Street, Fortitude Valley, Brisbane. Phone (07) 3852 9000. Rooms start from $229. See limeshotel.com.au.

The writer stayed as a guest of Limes Hotel.