From roofs inspired by sand dunes to sleep pods for early check-ins, Chloe Cann unveils Australia’s most anticipated recent hotel openings and a new hotel-exclusive tour.
Alex Hotel, Perth, WA
Opened in May 2015, Perth’s newest independent hotel is a first for the city says co-founder Miles Hull. “Perth is dominated by international cookie-cutter hotels. We’re really proud to be part of the arts and cultural precinct of Perth.”
The new-build is located in Northbridge, a district which Hull refers to as the city’s most diverse and which, he adds, is undergoing a wave of gentrification. The hotel’s concept is to offer the feeling of staying in someone’s home, Hull notes. “[Our aim was to] get rid of the OTT elements and keep it really simple. We bake little cakes and put them out for people to enjoy.
There are public areas you can relax in with books and magazines and a little record player. There’s no minibar – instead we have a pantry filled with wine and craft beer. And there’s a fleet of bikes people can use for free. We’re a personality-driven hotel that’s a
Elements Byron Bay, NSW
One of Australia’s most lauded recent openings, Elements is nestled firmly in nature at bohemian coastal town Byron Bay. The five-star resort, which only swung its doors open in February, features 103 private beach villas scattered over 54 acres on the shores of Belongil Beach – just two miles from town and with more than a mile of beach.
The resort is strong on environmental principles and offers guests walking trails, yoga and meditation. On site there’s a signature restaurant and lobby bar, a poolside bar and kiosk, a gym and five-suite garden spa, plus a large lagoon pool and sunken fire pit.
Local artist Noel Hart has paintings and blown glass works dotted around the property and the attention to design detail even extends to the hotel’s sweeping roof, which was inspired in its form by sand dunes.
Next Hotel, Brisbane, QLD
Designed with the millennial and business traveller in mind, the Next Hotel Brisbane offers a host of inspired features that let guests make the most of the city – or their bed – no matter how short their stay. Smartphones play a starring role in service, with visitors able to control in-room air con and lighting from their mobile, as well as ordering room service and allowing keyless entry. There are also self check-in consoles in reception and free Wi-Fi for an unlimited number of devices.
Situated in the heart of Brisbane with the Queen Street Mall right on its doorstep, the 304-room hotel opened in late 2014 and features a rooftop pool terrace and bar, plus sleep and shower pods for guests that have already checked out or need to check in early. And as an added bonus guests can help themselves to four free minibar items daily.
Sea Dragon Lodge, Kangaroo Island, SA
Situated on Kangaroo Island’s easternmost point on the Dudley Peninsula, Sea Dragon Lodge is open to the elements, with only Antarctica below it. The local ecosystem supports colonies of seals, sea lions and little penguins.
Steve Lane, co-owner of the lodge, saw an opportunity to introduce guests to the wildlife through a tour. After a 30-minute drive they arrive at the shoreline of a farm where around 150-200 seals congregate.
"You can sit on the rocks and look down over the colony and see them playing, fighting and mating," Lane says.