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There’s no doubting that Brisbane is Australia’s next big thing. Hubs like Adelaide and Canberra have had their time in the sun, taking out top awards and making it onto must-visit lists across the world, but now, Queensland’s capital is catching up. No longer a stopover to the Daintree and far north Queensland or a port to Noosa or the Sunshine Coast, Brisbane is becoming a bona fide destination of its own, helped along with a slew of new hotel openings. This year alone we’ve seen a Brisbane expansion of New York’s famous W Hotel and the boutique The Calile Hotel open up shop, bringing many more eyes to Australia’s third largest city — from all across the world.
Now, in the company’s second offering for the city, Ovolo Hotels has set up in uber cool Fortitude Valley, officially opening Ovolo The Valley in late November. It joins sister property Ovolo Incholm, which also opened in Brisbane earlier this year.
An extension of what we love about Ovolo hotels across the world — free breakfast and free mini bar included — the Valley version is heightened with colour and character. Featuring everything from neon signage to chic wallpaper, the hotel design by Woods Bagot does what residential interior design can’t: it plays around.
“There is an element of fantasy, escapism and play in Ovolo The Valley. We’re positioning it as the perfect contemporary oasis to escape our busy urban lives,” says Girish Jhunjhnuwala, founder of the Ovolo Group. With just 103 rooms, the hotel isn’t exactly boutique, but it isn’t massive and mainstream either. This, plus the quirky and conceptual design of each room and common spaces concludes the space to be decidedly fresh and youthful — a hard task in today’s overcrowded hotel market, but nonetheless a necessary one. Because really, who wants to stay in a boring room when options like these are on the table?
With crucial — yet not standard in most hotels — features including free WiFi and phone chargers in every room, Ovolo The Valley’s youthfulness is front of mind for any guest. These unexpected yet welcomed features, combined with the impressive art collection and five styles of room on offer, brings Ovolo’s newest offering directly into the future. Playful, fabulous and oozing with character, the interiors are not only wonderfully photogenic, but they provide a serious sense of warmth after a late night arrival or when that early morning alarm strikes. Business or leisure, we’re certain the hotel will appeal to either traveller.
Fitting into its Queensland surrounds with an eclectic ease, the hotel is complete with a rooftop pool. No doubt a hot ticket for summer, the pool has the sort of easygoing energy usually found in New York — and with a skyline view to match, it almost feels like it. Albeit with intense tropical heat, that is.
Each room and public space is packed with art, handpicked by Ovolo’s curator Kathleen Wilson. The biggest of the rooms, the Rockstar Suites, feature original works by Daniel R. Watkins and Gerwyn Davies, fittingly contemporary artists for Fortitude Valley’s rebellious nature and reputation. “I’m so excited to have been able to work on this incredibly creative project. The hotel really is something special,” Wilson admits.
So regardless of your reason for staying in Brisbane (a thriving café culture, impressive art galleries or a stellar food scene might be a few), we’d suggest booking more than one night at Ovolo The Valley, because we know a good thing when we see it — and this hotel is definitely a good thing.