Iris Rooftop Bar and Pool, Hotel X, Brisbane. Photo / Justin Nicholas
Maggie Wicks is staying at Hotel X, a cool new hotel in the heart of Brisbane.
Location: In Fortitude Valley, an area that once had a reputation for being seedy, the “Valley” is now a party district that comes alive after dark on weekends.
Style: A modern and cool hotel with an excellent restaurant, creative cocktails and all mod cons.
Perfect for: Travelers who want to be part of the city experience, even while they sleep.
Price: From AU$236 ($253) for a standard king-size bed.
First impressions: Tablecloth. Hotel X’s white exterior is lit up in shades of pink, green and blue at night, so if you’re arriving after dark, it’s a must-see in the Brisbane skyline. At reception you’ll find guests checking in and groomed visitors heading to the fabulous downstairs restaurant Bisou Bisou or up to Iris, the rooftop bar.
Rooms: Once in your room, the curtains open automatically to welcome you home – a nice touch.
Rooms are “urban sized” – perfect for couples or singles wishing to explore their surroundings. And they come with a few luxury touches — there’s an espresso machine with free coffee and pre-mixed cocktails like an old-fashioned salty honey and blood orange negroni available from the minibar. Next to the bed, the lighting panel offers automatic settings such as Relax, Read and Night, as well as curtain control.
Printed compendiums are too old-fashioned for Hotel X, and instead the tablet next to the bed offers all hotel services at the touch of an on-screen button – from room service to menu menus. restaurant and bar, to details of the hotel’s gym, and minibar prices — it’s all there. Press a button to retrieve your tray, refresh the ice bucket, put the Do Not Disturb light on your door or request your car be brought.
Given the crowds of nightlife outside, the rooms are well insulated from noise and once the curtains are closed, with the push of a button you’ll feel away from the hubbub.
Bathroom: Tiled from floor to ceiling, with black on the floor and tiny black and white tiles on the walls. You’ll find free Karl Lagerfeld soaps and toiletries (and a copy of The World According to Karl at your bedside). There’s enough room for two people to share, with twin showerheads.
You will also find a hair dryer and GHD straighteners – use them. Hotel X is truly a destination, and you’ll find that guests and visitors put in the effort.
Food and drink: Head straight to Bisou Bisou, the beautiful French restaurant on the ground floor specializing in rotisserie and local seafood. With its lush ornate banquettes, textured walls, and marble tables, it’s a sight to behold. I try scallops, barramundi and oysters, alongside Margaret River chardonnay. Service was lovely and enthusiastic and came with tips on what to see and do in Brisbane later that evening.
For breakfast, room service brought me an Arnold Bennett (a London Savoy staple), a fluffy smoked fish and Gruyere cheese omelet, along with fresh coffee and white linens. Even in your room, you’ll dine in style.
Facilities: You will find everything you want and more. From the moment you check in, Hotel X makes your life easier – a drive-in for valet parking, and someone will come out immediately, pass you a tag, help you with your bags, then take your car away (self-parking is also available).
There is a 24-hour gym, rooftop pool and bar, Bisou Bisou on the ground floor and Iris on the top. Wi-Fi is simple to connect – all information is on the tablet next to the bed. Also, everyone gets an 11am checkout, but if you’re a really late sleeper, just call reception and they’ll help you out with an extension.
In the vicinity: You are right in the heart of some of the best nightlife in town and less than 10 minutes walk from the Howard Smith Quays where you will find restaurants, breweries, bars and the fantastic riverside promenade which is perfect for a post-dinner walk.
Friendly and family: Hotel X offers a family stay package that includes breakfast, dinner for two at Bisou Bisou and in-room babysitter, plus a day at the beach or an island adventure. Baby cots and rollaway beds are offered, as well as a connecting family room.
Accessibility: There are seven accessible rooms with wider doorways, roll-in showers, and accessible bathrooms.
Durability: There are a number of green initiatives in place, including water regulations, guest-activated air conditioning and lights, eco-friendly dry cleaning of laundry and paper water bottles.