Entering The Calile – with its white brick fade, rose marble and breezy archways that wholeheartedly embrace the tropical vernacular of the Queensland capital – makes you instantly question why nobody thought of it sooner. The urban resort concept that is. I mean it’s not like the north of Australia suddenly woke up one day and realised the climate was sub-tropical.
Here staff dressed appropriately for Queensland’s balmy weather in Bassike-designed linen chinos usher guests inside the light-filled reception and lobby bar with its smooth rose marble, smart black and white furnishings and bell pendants.
Our room, one of 175 (most have balconies), is all pastel hues, brass, marble, sisal matting and motorised blackout blinds – handy when it’s time for shut-eye. There are Grown Alchemist amenities, a minibar stocked with locally sourced drinks and an Ultra HD TV with Chromecast.
It’s by the central elevated pool, however, that the whole Queensland-meets-Miami vibe comes fully into play. Sun-kissed couples bask on sun loungers, cute kids splash in the shallows under the watchful eye of bikini-clad mums, while millennials capture Instagram moments where the hotel’s name is spelt out in gold. Attentive wait staff deliver a seemingly never-ending procession of Aperol Spritz to guests reclining in plush cabanas. If it sounds like a bit of a scene, be assured The Calile isn’t just a pretty face; it has substance as well as style.
Modern Greek fare stars at the swanky poolside restaurant Hellenika which is already dripping with accolades. Chef Bryan Kelly hails from Ireland but it was time spent in the Mediterranean which has had the biggest influence on his simple yet perfectly executed dishes.
Kelly worked at Hellenika’s original Gold Coast restaurant for five years and returned from a two-year stint in London to head up the Brisbane kitchen with wife Tessa (also ex-Hellenika Gold Coast) as restaurant manager. He’s passionate about using the freshest ingredients available, elevating simple dishes like saganaki and Greek salad to new heights.
Think amuse-bouche of silky fish soup with a citrusy tang, silverbeet dolmades, slow-baked lamb shoulder and spanakopita.
Aside from terrific food, The Calile offers a medispa, gym and library while official stylist Rachel Bryce from Style Me Now is available to take guests on custom-made shopping tours.
Bryce helps guests source everything from formal gowns to the perfect pair of jeans among the leafy aesthetic of James Street’s high-end designer stores, food market and chic eateries all of which lie on The Calile’s doorstep. Beyond, the city, river and the new Howard Smith Wharves precinct are a short Uber drive away.
Me? You’ll find me poolside in a prized cabana with a Hellenika G & T in hand, lapping up the Palm Springs feel of Australia’s coolest urban retreat. I promise once you check in, you’ll never want to leave.
Take me there
Fly: Qantas, Jetstar or Virgin fly direct to Brisbane from Canberra, Melbourne, Sydney, Newcastle, Port Macquarie and Hobart. The Calile is a 20-minute drive from Brisbane Airport.
Stay: From $252 per night in an Urban Room.
Explore more: thecalilehotel.com