FIONA HARPER checks out an inner-city apartment hotel with the elegant charm of yesteryear
Housed in a grand heritage-listed former government administration building, Adina Apartment Hotel Brisbane exudes art deco-era charm from the moment you step through the leadlight glass doors and into her elegant foyer. Bathed in light from towering windows and contemporary chandeliers suspended from an ornate ceiling, the vast lobby is a tantalising insight into the buildings’ heritage charms. Completed in 1922 after World War I delayed construction, the former government office building was once one of Brisbane’s tallest. Original features such as bank vaults and strong rooms have been carefully restored, along with the magnificent staircase with its ornate wrought iron balustrade and cedar handrail.
Adina Brisbane occupies a prominent position on the corner of George St and Elizabeth St in downtown Brisbane, just a short walk from Queen Street Mall, Queens Wharf, City Botanic Gardens and the South Bank precinct. The Myer Centre and Event Cinemas are just across the road.
There are 220 rooms, ranging from compact studios, some of which interconnect with larger one-bedroom apartments, through to three-bedroom apartments, including some with large balcony areas. Room 806 has a wrap-around family-friendly outdoor area featuring exquisite sandstone walls and views over the Brisbane River. Befitting an inner-city apartment-style hotel, all rooms have kitchen facilities and washing machines as well as separate lounge/dining/work areas.
An enclosed indoor swimming pool is suitable for lap swimmers, while the pool deck with its sun lounges is a perfect spot to keep an eye on the little ones. A small, air-conditioned gym overlooks the pool. The Brisbane River is a short walk away, with its vast network of walking trails that wind across the city and suburbs. There are themed trails to suit varied interests, including public art, heritage, laneways, gardens and historic cemetery walks.
FOOD AND DRINK
Below street level, the original thick concrete bank vault doors blend seamlessly with Boom Boom’s sultry vibe. A recent change in focus has seen this elegant space morph from a bar into Boom Boom Room Izakaya where Japanese-inspired street food, sake, wine and whisky meet jazz-bar aesthetic in a beguiling multicultural mashup. Back at street level amid the vaulted elegance of Donna Chang, Sichuan flavours and Cantonese cuisine dominates the menu. If you’ve a hankering for lingering over roast duck with Davidson plum sauce or savouring steamed wontons, reserve a table at Donna Chang. Dim Sum selections are a good family-friendly option with small-sized yum cha morsels. Alternatively, you could utilise the grocery delivery service and whip up dinner in your apartment.
Leave the city behind and soak in the eucalypt-tinged aromas of the Australian bush favoured by Australia’s favourite furry critters. Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary is a refuge for threatened koalas where the whole family can learn about koala conservation. Don’t miss the opportunity to cuddle a koala, get up close and personal with kangaroos, feed the wild lorikeets that swoop in regularly as well as see other Australian native animals like turtles, platypus, echidna, dingos and crocodiles. Families with older kids will enjoy Riverlife Adventure Centre at the base of Kangaroo Point cliffs where young adventurers can kayak, SUP or cycle the bike paths.
The writer was a guest of Adina Apartment Hotel Brisbane.