Our wonderful photographer, Bridget Wood, recently visited the spectacular Calile Hotel in Brisbane. As well as photographing every (gorgeous) nook and cranny, Bridget also answered all our questions about this one-of-a-kind, completely Instagram-worthy resort.
What were your first impressions of The Calile?
The Calile Hotel is the newest hotel on the Brisbane block, and as soon as we arrive in the lobby it’s immediately obvious why this new, cool poolside-vibe venue is making a serious splash on the scene. The urban resort is set amongst swaying palms and has an architectural aesthetic to match. It feels like someone has finally delivered a hotel design concept that really works in sub-tropical Brisbane. Instead of what would traditionally be dark hotel corridors and contained spaces, large archways and apertures let the light in and catch balmy Brisbane breezes. Exploring the hotel we are continually impressed by the design process behind the build and fit-out. Pastel hues, breezeblocks, muted marble, unpolished concrete, curved corners and striking brass finishes abound in a confidently counter-intuitive contrast of Mediterranean, Art Deco and Mid-Century Modern styles.
Tell us about the rooms?
Brass elevators with smoky full length dual sided mirrors deliver us to our floor where we have a pool facing room (we definitely recommend the pink pool facing rooms). The view over the amazing 88ft pool, cabanas and Hellenika restaurant is enjoyed from balconies that can accommodate a couple lounging together to soak up the sun-drenched Greek isles vibes. From the carefully curated minibar selection (not a Sprite in sight and did someone say chocolate-coated pretzels?) even the spoons in the room are cool… A choice which apparently took someone over six months of deliberation (hopefully not full time). The real star of the show for me was the enormous block out blinds (the sleep deprivation struggle is real). They are incredible. Whether it is for watching the latest new release movies – which unlike many hotels are free here – or sleeping off that last negroni at the lobby bar, we left wishing we could take them with us…
What are the staff like?
The service is refreshingly friendly and welcoming, and this is even better received when travelling with children. Even amongst the swath of selfie scenesters by the pool, the staff help keep the vibe relaxed and laidback.
What about dining options?
The Lobby Bar serves five options for breakfast and we opted for the mushrooms on toast and spanner crab congee. I’m already considering going back for the mushrooms on toast which featured a cornucopia of fungal varietals all pulled together in a delicate, seamless, earthy mix. The Lobby Bar is also open for lunch and dinner but seems to be a particularly popular place for a drink before heading up to the flagship restaurant Hellenika, located on the pool level. With delicious home-style Greek food designed to be shared and fabulous people watching, you soon understand why it is often booked out well in advance. Tip: if you are after the Classic Baked June Lamb, order ahead of time. Dining is also offered in the poolside cabanas by evening, which offers a more relaxed, good-time atmosphere. For those wishing to venture further afield, there are food options aplenty right outside the hotel entrance on James Street, Brisbane’s most fashionable shopping strip. It’s an easy walk to a bevvy of great restaurants like Happy Boy, Gerards, Harveys, Longtime, or you can select from any number of cheap and cheerful choices in neighbouring Chinatown. The James Street Market is also just an olive stone’s throw away if gourmet grocery or fresh sushi is more your jam.
Now tell us ... What's it really like with kids?
The Calile hotel is not marketed as a family hotel, however kids are warmly welcomed and catered for. While there on our weekend stay-cation, there were plenty of children enjoying the pool which has a great shallow section perfect for the pre-school paddlers. While the kids splash, the adults can adult from a prostrate position, lounging in one of the many sun chairs or cabanas pool-side while enjoying a Hellenika lemonade and a side of zucchini chips (don’t miss the zucchini chips). If you have a baby bump, this is a strategically sound destination. The Kailo medispa offers specialised pregnancy massages. For mothers needing a place to rest and restore, they also offer Intravenous (IV) Vitamin Therapy.
Finally - anything else we should know?
Cots are provided on request and there are 52 interconnecting rooms suitable for families. There is a library on the pool level with a curation of designer books, magazines and board games and a gym also on the same level to work off those zucchini chips.