How Brisbane hotels and venues made the most of the city’s downtime
Brisbane may have slowed down for a few months earlier this year, but the city’s hospitality operators weren’t exactly sitting on their hands. Here’s how four Brisbane hotels and venues used a year unlike any other to refurb, refresh and revitalise their space.
Emporium Hotel South Bank
267 Grey St, South Brisbane
International holidays might be off the agenda for now, but guests can still escape to another world at Emporium Hotel’s stunning new Parklands Suite.
Boasting the kind of luxury reserved for royals and rock stars, the 786 square metre penthouse suite, which opened in September, offers guests the ultimate in sky-high style, including a private 15-metre infinity pool and a wrap-around alfresco balcony with spectacular views of the Brisbane River and city skyline.
One of the largest luxury hotel penthouses in Australia, the four-bedroom suite – which can also be hired for small events for up to 20 people – comes complete with three separate dining areas, three bathrooms, two lounge rooms and an executive study. There’s even a baby grand piano, just in case guests are inspired to tickle the ivories.
The suite has its own bar, with two Vintec wine fridges curated by the hotel’s award-winning sommelier, and a state-of-the-art commercial kitchen with the option of having meals prepared by a private chef.
Guests can curate their stay and choose from the endless experiences and entertainment options on offer with the help of their personal Les Clefs d’or certified concierge, and enjoy access to the hotel’s Maserati town car to explore the arts and cultural precinct and the CBD.
The suite also comes with return airport limousine transfers, two valet car spaces, a secure entrance and a private lift to ensure complete exclusivity.
The Parklands Suite provides Brisbane with accommodation worthy of dignitaries and celebrities in the highest of stratospheres.
Sofitel Brisbane Central
249 Turbot St, Brisbane City
Located in the heart of the CBD, Sofitel Brisbane Central has always been an in-demand destination for conferences. This year, anticipating the return of conferences after the lifting of coronavirus restrictions, the Sofitel invested in renovating their popular Lyon room.
Entirely pillarless, the 240 square metre room features integrated audio visual displays at either end of the room and a retractable wall to provide their clients with maximum flexibility.
Natural lighting fills the space, with large windows that span from one side of the room to the other – but the room also comes complete with dynamic lighting and blackout blinds to set the mood when required.
Sofitel’s Concorde, Bastille and St Germain conference rooms, as well as the exterior walls of their conferencing space, have also been refurbished and elevated to align with Lyon’s contemporary and sophisticated new look and feel.
With interstate borders re-opening, now’s the time to bring your team to Brisbane to take advantage of this luxurious new space.
641 Ann St, Fortitude Valley
For almost a decade, Cloudland’s Rainbow Room has provided a gilded and glamorous space for a wide range of events, from weddings and gala dinners to conferences and awards shows. The venue’s owners, the Katarzyna Group, took this year’s downtime as an opportunity to give the iconic room a refresh, rechristening it as The Rose Room.
The refurb has increased the capacity of the room, now capable of hosting seated banquets for 400 people (up from 350) and cocktail-style events for 700 people (up from 500), with early guests commenting that they love the open flow of the space.
The carpet floors were ripped up and replaced with hand-crafted herringbone blackbutt hardwood parquetry flooring. The wall coverings were removed and replaced with an intricate hardwood dowel that now runs around the perimeter of the room, complete with majestic curved edges. Grand archways have been carved from the dowel along the back wall, and copper accents subtly spaced throughout the room to complement the abundant hardwood timber and provide an extra feeling of luxury.
Sections of the old walls have been removed to create smart spaces, including a server room where state-of-the-art audio and visual systems are housed and operated from. When the door to the room is closed, it seamlessly disappears behind the dowel walls. The floating ceiling was also removed, providing an extra two metres of space and exposing an industrial polished concrete ceiling with track LED lighting.
Some iconic features of the space have been retained, including the floor-to-ceiling glass that runs the length of the western wall, overlooking the cascading waterfall and winding steel staircase. As a nod to the heritage of The Rainbow Room, the pink onyx bar remains, as well as the pink onyx in parts of the walls, now complemented in the entrance and foyer with vintage wall coverings.
Boom Boom Room Izakaya
49 Elizabeth St, Brisbane City
When COVID restrictions limited the capacity of beloved CBD restaurant Donna Chang, the venue’s operators started using their downstairs cocktail bar, The Boom Boom Room, as a second dining space.
Diners loved descending the flight of stairs and entering the moody ambience of the dimly-lit basement space so much that they started specifically requesting to be seated there – so The Ghanem Group decided to fully embrace the aesthetic and rebrand the former bank basement as a Japanese izakaya, a concept they had long felt Brisbane would embrace.
The revamped space can be hired for exclusive functions, with a 280-person capacity for cocktail-style events. Private dining spaces within the venue, including The Vaults (up to 18 guests) and Trumpet Room (up to 30 guests), are also available for events.
The eye-catching arches above the bar remain, but the fit-out now embodies an authentic Japanese izakaya, with plush red velvet chairs and dining tables replacing the lounges, and beautiful Japanese wallpaper adorning the private dining rooms in the old bank vaults. Most importantly, a new kitchen – including a three-tier charcoal grill – has been built besides the bar.
Boom Boom Room Izakaya is still intended to complement Donna Chang – it’s still a place to grab a pre- or post-dinner drink – but now it also stands on its own as a dining destination in its own right.
The menu, designed by Head Chef Zac Sykes, is highlighted by mouth-watering yakitori and sashimi, and Beverage Director Aaron Clark has put together a drinks list that includes an extensive selection of Japanese whisky, sake and beers, alongside Japanese-inspired cocktails. In keeping with the venue’s history, 27 rare whiskies of note are kept on display in a ‘whiskey vault’.
Bookings have been consistently strong since the space’s izakaya-style relaunch, with more than 1,000 diners through the door and consistently positive feedback.
It may be some time before Brisbane diners can catch a flight to Japan and enjoy the street food of Tokyo, but in the meantime, Boom Boom Room Izakaya is providing an authentically atmospheric – and delicious – alternative.
Enquire now at brisbaneeventplanner.com.au to book in something special for your team.