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The Capital of Queensland has a reputation for welcoming outdoor enthusiasts to its man-made beaches and the picturesque islands that run the course of its coastline. You can spend the day island hopping, exploring gardens and tropical lagoons or head into the city to check out boutiques, restaurants and cafes. Enjoy a leisurely paddle steamer down the Brisbane River or if you're feeling more adventurous consider climbing the 236-foot tall Brisbane Story Bridge.
After all that excitement, you’ll need somewhere to relax and recharge, so choose from one of these top-rated Brisbane hotels.
Best Overall: Meriton Suites Herschel Street
At 74 stories, this hotel is the tallest in Brisbane and offers amazing views of the city. Located right in the middle of Brisbane's CBD (Central Business District), you’ll have plenty of leisure options to choose from here (think heated swimming pool, fitness center and a garden terrace). All Meriton Suites are open-plan, generously sized and come with a full gourmet kitchen, so you can make your own meals if you wish. Fancy leaving the cooking to the professionals? Breakfast is served daily at the hotel’s Ad Infinitum Café. You can also expect to find free Wi-Fi throughout the property. And art lovers will appreciate the location, just walk across the Kurilpa pedestrian bridge to the Queensland Museum and Queensland Art Gallery and Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA.)
Best Budget: Kingsford Riverside Inn
If the price point is a concern, the Kingsford Riverside Inn offers the best value accommodation in Brisbane. Both close the city and airport, expect to find convenient, comfortable and air-conditioned rooms that include free breakfast. Choose from Standard, Twin or Family Rooms, but just know that the bathroom is shared. The city bus stops right outside the door and can get you to Chinatown in about five minutes or the Queen St. Mall in just 10 minutes. Take a 15-minute walk around Crosby Park to enjoy dinner at Ruggers restaurant, where you can choose from steaks, burgers and pasta.
Best Boutique: Emporium Hotel
The Emporium is the most-awarded boutique hotel in Brisbane and with good reason. The luxurious suites are decorated with sophisticated palettes of rich chocolate and textured black furnishings and come complete with marble kitchenettes, as well as a Bose sound system. Located in the trendy Emporium precinct close to luxury retail and dining options, this boutique hotspot is in one of the most sought-after zip codes in the city. Enjoy live music on the weekends in the bright, modern cocktail bar, where you can sample delicious tapas, high teas and champagne. Relax in your suite and call up in-room dining to feast on Porcini risotto or Nasi Goreng right in the comfort of your own space.
Best for Families: Alex Perry Hotel & Apartments
Apartment-style hotels offer the best of both worlds for families: All the modern conveniences of home, more space, laundry and kitchen facilities, but with the added luxury of housekeeping! The quality Neff kitchens allow you to make meals in-suite. while the luxury high-end styling appliances in the bathroom will have you looking red-carpet-ready for date night. The rooftop pool will be where kids spend the majority of their vacation, and with views over the city and comfy lounge chairs, parents will be just as happy to chill out here all day. The hotel doesn't have a restaurant, but you'll find lots of dining options nearby, including take-out places if you prefer to eat in your apartment.
Best Romance: Spicers Balfour Hotel
Brisbane is an ideal choice for a sexy vacation with your main squeeze and the luxurious surroundings of Spicers Balfour will make you both feel like celebrities. Minutes from the city center in fashionable New Farm, the hotel provides unique and distinctive rooms decorated with modern elegance and antique furniture. Expect to find Nespresso machines in your room, as well as free Wi-Fi. Spicers Balfour offers a variety of optional packages to make this a truly unforgettable experience, including a ‘babymoon’ package for couples enjoying their last trip as a twosome before welcoming a new baby.
Treat your sweetheart to a romantic dinner at The Balfour Kitchen and finish off the experience by sharing a unique dessert (we recommend the Peanut butter parfait with vegemite ice cream).
Best Luxury: Stamford Plaza Brisbane
The 252 luxurious high-end guestrooms at the Stamford Plaza all feature sparkling river views, on-demand movies and free Wi-Fi. The river location offers a huge variety of activities and is the perfect spot to enjoy a glass of wine and watch the ferry passing through. The rooms are decorated in classic opulence, and if you choose the Stamford Suite you can enjoy the in-room baby grand piano and designer artwork. Take a dip in the heated swimming pool, lounge on the sundeck or work out at the state-of-the-art gym and fitness center before enjoying an evening meal at The Brasserie on the River, which serves breakfast, lunch and dinner, as well as sumptuous chocolate afternoon teas.
Best Business: Hilton Brisbane
Corporate travelers will appreciate that rooms here are set up with the business professional in mind. The large desks and ergonomic chairs will help you to stay on top of all your deadlines while you travel.
You’ll also find data ports and video conferencing capabilities in your room to stay connected with the office back home. The 19 meeting rooms available provide opportunities to network, present seminars or schedule business deals, while the full-service business center will have you organized and prepared for morning meetings. The swimming pool and fitness center are a great place to rejuvenate after a long day of meetings, and the three onsite restaurants cater to all tastes.
Best Nightlife/Best for Singles: Mantra South Bank, Brisbane
South Bank is the place to see and be seen for all of Brisbane’s art scene, and this hotel located right next to the convention center is expertly placed to enjoy all of the special events and galas happening in the city. The Mantra features a variety of guestrooms, studios and one- and two-bedroom apartments to provide the perfect base to explore the vibrant nightlife, events and festivals available here in Queensland's capital. Expect to find rooms with free Wi-Fi, a minibar, DVD player and in-house movies. The 20-meter heated lap pool and fully equipped gymnasium provide a great place to relax after a late night and recharge for another round of fun. Grab a bite to eat at Stone restaurant and bar before your next big night out and enjoy the contemporary innovative cuisine, which uses locally sourced ingredients.
Best Views: Capri by Fraser, Brisbane
The busy, eclectic design of the lobby here at the Capri by Fraser welcomes visitors to this unique space. Rooms are stylish and modern, featuring large king sized beds, 48-inch smart TVs and rain showers in bright, spacious bathrooms. Walking distance to both the botanic gardens and the Queen St. Mall, this hotel is sandwiched between the large skyscrapers of Brisbane's CBD. Enjoy a paleo meal at Asana, which offers dishes free from gluten, dairy and refined sugar.