End days of exploring Queensland by checking in to some of the best hotels from Brisbane to Sunshine Coast. Here are our picks for all tastes.
Where: Mantra South Bank Brisbane
The neighbourhood: Check into this hotel on Brisbane’s South Bank and you’re within walking distance of some of Australia’s top theatres and galleries, all enveloped by beautiful gardens. Stroll along the riverside promenade to Brisbane’s inner-city Streets Beach for a splash about – or a meal in one of the many restaurants here. Cross the river and you’re smack bang in the CBD. As far as locations go, it doesn’t get much better than this.
Why: Location aside, Mantra South Bank Brisbane has seriously stylish and spacious rooms, studios and apartments, some of which come with city views.
Don’t miss: Reserve a table at Ovello Bar & Kitchen, which dishes up authentic stone-baked pizza and family style Italian share plates. Be sure to browse the cocktail menu – Ovello has one of the longest lists of spritz’ in Australia.
Where: Sofitel Brisbane Central
The neighbourhood: Whether you want to explore the CBD, South Bank or buzzy Fortitude Valley, the Sofitel Brisbane Central is the perfect base. Forget cars and cabs – everything you need (whether galleries, shops, restaurants or bars) is within walking distance; the Brisbane River is also just a few steps away.
Why: This hotel oozes elegance, from the moment you step into the grand marble-clad lobby until the moment you reach your room or suite, each designed in jewel tones. In between there’s an alfresco pool and dreamy Spa, replete with the Opal Rasul Temple: a mosaic-clad cave-like steam room.
Don’t miss: Reserve a table at Suzette, which takes you on a holiday to France in flavours while hero-ing fresh Australian produce, from Moreton Bay bugs and Sydney rock oysters to tender Fremantle octopus.
Where: Mantra French Quarter Noosa
The neighbourhood: Surf, sand, walking trails, calm estuaries for kayaking… this is what is on your doorstep when you book a stay at Mantra French Quarter Noosa. The property is steps from Noosa Heads Main Beach, and all the outdoor activities that come with it. But you’re also on the verge of Noosa National Park, which is webbed with hiking trails and beaches perfect for an adventurous day out.
Why: The Mantra French Quarter Noosa is not only ideal for outdoors enthusiasts, but also those travelling in a group or as a family. The property features spacious one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments replete with all the trimmings you need for a comfortable self-catering stay. Not that you’ll want to dine in, with all the amazing restaurants on your doorstep…
Don’t miss: After a big day of hiking, kayaking, beach-hopping and general exploring, is there anything better than a bit of down-time beside the pool? You won’t be disappointed by the one here.
The neighbourhood: Wedged between the ocean and a river, Twin Waters is the kind of place where time stands still. On the north bank of the Maroochy river along the Sunshine Coast, it’s within easy reach of wetlands and national parks, not to mention all the adventure activities you can enjoy on the water that surrounds.
Why: You can’t get much closer to the water than the Novotel Sunshine Coast Resort – in fact, some of its rooms are on stilts over the lagoon. Book one of the new Overwater Bungalows for slick accommodation with endless views over the ocean. Pull on your goggles and dive right in!
Don’t miss: Novotel Sunshine Coast Resort’s Sola Bar & Restaurant is like a little slice of Sicily in Queensland. Settle in for pastas and pizzas, as well as a decadent seafood buffet every Saturday evening.
Where: FV Brisbane by Peppers
The neighbourhood: Arguably Brisbane’s most cosmopolitan neighbourhood, Fortitude Valley offers endless opportunities for entertainment. There’s always something happening here, whether it’s a new boutique opening, fashion show, design fair or produce market – and when you’re based at FV Brisbane by Peppers, this is all on your doorstep.
Why: When you’re not exploring streets filled with drool-worthy stores, you can unwind in style back at your hotel. This property’s re-imagined New York-style skyscraper architecture combines sustainable building practices with luxe amenities, offering plenty of reasons to linger.
Don’t miss: Make sure to dip into the heated skyline pool or reserve the private cinema to unwind after a day of exploring Brisbane’s most popular shopping precincts.
The neighbourhood: Located in Noosa Heads on the edge of Noosa National Park, Peppers is the ultimate playground for those who love sun, sand and surf. Begin your morning with a view of the treetops before discovering the glorious beaches that surround. Then wander 500m to Hastings Street for fish and chips (or gelato) beside the water.
Why: When you’re in a part of Queensland this pretty, the environment is always front of mind. Peppers Noosa Resort & Villas is committed to protecting its surrounds, employing solar energy and rainwater irrigation among its suite of sustainable, yet stylish, design measures.
Don’t miss: When not on the sand, spend your days lazing in the lagoon-style swimming pool or pamper yourself in Stephanie’s Ocean Spa.
Where: Sofitel Noosa Pacific Resort
The neighbourhood: Step out of your resort onto Hastings Street, Noosa’s main strip lined with surf boutiques, restaurants and bars. Wander a few metres in the other direction and you’re on Noosa Main Beach, which your room will likely overlook.
Why: When you’re not in the ocean, the hotel’s water-facing pool beckons – replete with the region’s only swim-up bar. Why would you want to leave?
Don’t miss: The hotel’s Noosa Beach House is the ultimate perch to enjoy sunset and seafood, with every dish spotlighting regional produce. Don’t miss dishes like raw Mooloolaba tuna with soy-ginger dressing, avocado purée, sesame, puffed rice and nori; or crispy Moreton Bay bug atop fermented chilli and slaw on a brioche bun.
The neighbourhood: Set in Spring Hill on the doorstep of Brisbane’s vibrant CBD, this design-driven abode is just out of the hustle and bustle but close enough to experience it all.
Why: The Johnson Brisbane takes its design cues from celebrated Australian abstract artist Michael Johnson. A true expression of ‘art of vivid encounters’, the hotel features works by Johnson throughout, as well as in-house art libraries and a dedicated art channel on your TV.
Don’t miss: The Johnson Brisbane features an impressive 50m pool with a sundeck and expansive views across Spring Hill and the Brisbane city skyline. Take a dip or lay poolside on the large sundeck – for those wanting to stay undercover, set yourself up in the entertainment pavilion, complete with barbeques and seating to wine and dine.
Where: Novotel Brisbane South Bank
The neighbourhood: The heart of Brisbane’s cultural precinct – surrounded by galleries, museums and theatres – South Bank is the perfect perch to enjoy the wonders of Brisbane’s design scene, as well as its river and parklands.
Why: From its rooms and suites to its restaurants and bars, the Novotel Brisbane South Bank doesn’t skip a beat when it comes to style. Natural light fills rooms through floor-to-ceiling windows, so you can take in city views or the lush surrounds of Musgrave Park. Each space is exquisitely designed to elevate your stay, with every tech imaginable so you can find the right balance between staying connected and relaxing.
Don’t miss: Make sure to dine at the hotel’s Spice Central Kitchen & Bar, where the menu celebrates the great food markets of the world. The nearby parklands play an important part in the restaurant décor and create a stylish atmosphere for every meal.
The neighbourhood: Alexandra Headland sits between Mooloolaba and Maroochydore on the ‘Sunshine Strip’ of Queensland’s Sunshine Coast. Which means that when you check in here, you’re close to the sand as well as the rainforest.
Why: With one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments, three swimming pools, a spa, a barbecue area, gym, conference facilities, undercover parking and much more… the BreakFree Alexandra Headland Beach offers the complete getaway package.
Don’t miss: If you’re travelling with a large group, the hotel’s three-bedroom penthouse has space to sleep seven guests. Wake up to views of the ocean and the beach, then zip down to the lagoon-style pool for a morning swim.
Where: Mantra Mooloolaba Beach
The neighbourhood: Located on Mooloolaba’s Esplanade, this legendary hotel is within easy reach of applauded Sunshine Coast dining, shopping and entertainment. Plus, you’re just a short drive from Alexandra Headland, Coolum, the Sunshine Coast hinterland, Caloundra, Maroochydore and the beloved Noosa Heads.
Why: Take in sweeping ocean and hinterland views from your room before you discover the Observation Deck on the rooftop, which gives you one of the best views Mooloolaba has to offer.
Don’t miss: Refresh from the salty breeze in the heated indoor pool, outdoor lagoon- style pool or spa before discovering the best of the laid back town of Mooloolaba.