Wondering where to stay in Brisbane? The capital of Queensland is a lovely city to visit and in over the last few years has come of age. Compared to Sydney or Melbourne, Brisbane is a much smaller city, so picking where to stay in Brisbane isn’t as hard.
From arty South Bank, for access to GOMA and other exhibitions, to edgy Fortitude Valley within walking distance from hip restaurants and rooftop bars, here are some tips on how to choose a hotel in Brisbane.
While visiting Brisbane, if you’re looking for more ideas read:
- 1 Where to stay in Brisbane
- 1.1 Brisbane CBD
- 1.2 Southbank
- 1.3 Kangaroo Point
- 1.4 New Farm
Where to stay in Brisbane
- Close to Brisbane’s inner-city shopping precincts and the major department stores in Queen Street Mall and luxury boutiques of Edward Street.
- Access to the Brisbane River and convenient public transport, including buses, trains and ferries.
If it’s your first visit to Brisbane, the best place to stay is in the heart of the city.
There’s a lot do in Brisbane’s CBD and booking a room where the action is will allow you to get your bearings.
Booking a hotel in the CBD is especially convenient if you don’t have a car, as there’s easy access from the airport via the AirTrain.
A great way to spend a couple of days exploring is to catch the free City Hopper along the Brisbane River.
Eagle Street is a top spot for riverside restaurants, bars and access to activities on the river while a little further along is one of the city’s newest entertainment precincts, Howard Street Wharfs.
Brisbane Marriott Hotel
The historic Brisbane Marriot has an enviable riverside position and after the $20 million renovations of 267 rooms, the Executive Lounge, event spaces and restaurant, the Grande Dame of Brisbane hotels is looking better than ever.
The contemporary makeover provides a light modern feel without sacrificing the feeling of grandeur that the Brisbane Marriott is known for.
With entertainment precincts within easy walking distance, including the hip Howard Smith Wharves, makes this hotel an excellent choice for a luxury city break.
Although there are plenty of restaurants and eateries nearby, the hotel’s main restaurant Motion Dining is a popular destination for Brisbanites.
It’s organised in sections to deliver a range of dining experiences, including high tables in M Bar, alfresco dining on MDeck by the river and tables with a view of the grill.
For a quintessential Queensland experience, tuck into oysters, king prawns and a spread of fresh Queensland seafood (available Friday $79 and Saturday nights $89).
Other facilities include an outdoor pool, Dome Spa Retreat, and if you have a car parking is available via Howard Street.
What to do nearby?
- Have a drink by the river at the brewery, taverna or wine bars at Howard Smith Wharves. The former 1930’s wharves at the bend of the Brisbane River under the Story Bridge is Brisbane’s hottest new entertainment precinct.
- Board the free CityHopper ferry to South Bank and spend the day wandering around the landscaped parklands, visit GOMA (Gallery of Modern Art) or sunbake on a tropical beach with a twist. Streets Beach is an impressive man-made beach with a massive lagoon right next to the river.
Brisbane Marriott Hotel is at 515 Queen Street, Brisbane CBD.
With loud colours and designs that make your head spin, W Brisbane is a luxury hotel that makes a statement.
The hotel’s indoor heated saltwater pool, with its underwater serpent mosaic and zebra-striped pillars, is the talk of the town.
W Brisbane is at 81 North Quay, Brisbane, Queensland.
The Westin Brisbane
A sophisticated luxury city hotel near the shops of Queen Street Mall, The Westin Brisbane is a safe bet for anyone looking for contemporary city digs.
Nautilus Bar is Brisbane’s first swim-up pool bar and Heavenly Spa by Westin has a menu of relaxing treatments, a steam room and relaxation pods.
The Westin Brisbane is at 111 Mary Street, Brisbane, Queensland.
A historic hotel and casino housed in an iconic landmark historic building, the Treasury Casino & Hotel is a favourite for those seeking old-world opulence.
Treasury Brisbane is at 130 William St, Brisbane, Queensland.
Located above Queen Street Mall’s Wintergarden shopping arcade, the Hilton Brisbane is the hotel to choose when you’re on a shopping holiday.
Hilton Brisbane is at 190 Elizabeth St, Brisbane, Queensland.
- Across the river from the CBD, Southbank offers stunning views of the city skyline both night and day.
- Even though Southbank might be a little less rowdy, there are plenty of pubs, bars, restaurants and cafes.
South Bank epitomises Brisbane’s outdoorsy sub-tropical lifestyle, blending art and culture with parklands and picnic areas.
It’s Brisbane’s cultural precinct and home to the Queensland Art Gallery, GOMA and the Queensland Museum.
See a show, go to an exhibition or dine at River Quay, which is a pleasant stroll beneath an arbour of bougainvillea from the main hotels in South Bank.
Mantra Southbank has self-contained apartments that are suitable if you’re planning a more extended stay and some rooms have stunning views of the Brisbane skyline.
Mantra Southbank is at 161 Grey St, South Brisbane.
An uber-chic contemporary hotel with cutting-edge designs, Emporium Brisbane is a temple of technology with its digitally illuminated walls and rainforest-themed projections on the floors.
The glamorous city hotel has one of the hippest rooftop bars in the city.
Emporium Hotel is at 267 Grey Street, South Brisbane.
Rydges South Bank
After a $30 million refurbishment, Rydges South Bank is an urban city pad with city skyline views.
It’s right next to the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre and is a convenient place to stay if you’re going to the theatre.
Rydges Southbank is at 9 Glenelg Street, Brisbane.
Kangaroo Point is across the river from Brisbane’s CBD and has two main landmarks – the Story Bridge and Kangaroo Point Cliffs.
If you’re looking for somewhere to stay in Brisbane that’s close enough to the city to see the twinkling lights yet far enough away from the madding crowd, Kangaroo Point fits the bill.
It’s a residential area with apartment-style accommodation.
The Point Brisbane
One of the unique points about The Point is that it’s an independent hotel and not part of a large chain.
The soaring high-rise tower retains a feeling of a city pad, a home away from home with fabulous views of Brisbane.
The hotel offers a turn-down service each evening, 24-hour room service and Lamberts Restaurant, Bar and Lounge is an upmarket spot for modern Australia dining.
Think seared scallops with cauliflower puree, truffle sauce with the pan-fried quail and herb-crusted lamb with eggplant caviar and Persian fetta.
There’s a separate bar area, which is very popular and while I was there, the bar was always packed.
The Point Brisbane gets ticks for providing complimentary Wi-Fi, parking and an online newspaper and magazine service to guests.
Accommodation options range from Studio Rooms to Junior Suites and the Bradfield Suite and Executive Suite have balconies with spectacular views of the Brisbane River, CBD and Story Bridge.
Bathrooms in the Junior Suites are a standout, with large bathtubs, separate showers and the toiletries are top-notch.
Rooms have cable television, minibar and coffee-making facilities.
The hotel has a gym and a lap pool.
The Point Brisbane is at Lambert Street, Kangaroo Point, Brisbane.
If this isn’t your first time visiting Brisbane and you’re looking for somewhere with a more local feel, New Farm is the spot.
New Farm is a quieter part of town that isn’t too far away from the city skyscrapers.
Besides a growing list of restaurants and cafes, New Farm is also a short cab ride away from the nightlife of Fortitude Valley.
Spicers Balfour Hotel
Spicers Balfour Hotel is a luxury boutique hotel with a sophisticated vibe and a popular restaurant.
Spicers Balfour Hotel is at 37 Balfour St, New Farm.