Review: The Calile Hotel Brisbane

The Queensland Travel Guide acknowledges the Jagera people and the Turrbal people, the Traditional Custodians of the land on which The Calile Hotel is situated. We pay our respects to their Elders past, present and emerging, and recognise their continued spiritual and cultural connections to Country. Always was, always will be, Aboriginal land.

The Calile Hotel is a five star luxury hotel along the uber cool James Street in Brisbane’s Fortitude Valley.

The modern, minimalist style hotel was crowned the ‘Best Hotel in Oceania 2023’ and ranked the ‘12th Best Hotel in the World’ in the World’s 50 Best Hotels awards. Plus, it was recently singled out by The New York Times as the best place to stay in Brisbane. 

Does the Calile Hotel live up to all this acclaim? Well, I appointed myself as the right person to find out. In this review, I share my thoughts about my recent stay at The Calile Hotel so you can decide if it’s the perfect hotel for your next trip to Brisbane.

We were paying guests at the hotel, so you can rest assured our review is completely unbiased.

This post may contain compensated links.  Please refer to our disclaimer here for more information.


Below, we cover all you need to know about The Calile Hotel – including location, accommodation, facilities and dining options.


The Calile is on the lively James Street in Fortitude Valley, one of Brisbanes’ premier lifestyle precincts. Cafes, bars and restaurants surround the property, so you’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to dining.

There are several bus stops within a two minute walk and Fortitude Valley rail station is a 15 minutes walk away.  So from The Calile Hotel, you can easily get to other attractions around Brisbane.

The Look

On arrival at the hotel, you’ll be forgiven for thinking you’re in Palm Springs rather than downtown Brisbane. But that’s the look architects Richards and Spence wanted to create, a hotel with a resort feel that embraced Brisbane’s tropical climate.

The hotel blends in beautifully with the James Street precinct, as the exterior has the same elegant white brick and lush greenery used throughout the area.

You’ll notice an enormous amount of space throughout the hotel. The lobby area, corridors and rooms are fitted with minimal fittings, elegant archways and concrete surfaces, giving an overall calming feel thanks to the limited distraction to the eyes.

The verdant greenery from the outside continues inside, with gigantic pots and vertical gardens scattered throughout the property and just a single pot in the guest rooms (well, at least in our room, anyway).

Accommodation Options

The Calile Hotel features 175 rooms of varying sizes but with similar decor. Rooms are extremely spacious and sleep a maximum of two people (plus one child under 12), and interconnecting rooms are available for larger families and groups. 

Each room has a TV (with Chromecast and sound bar), a safe, a kettle, a Nespresso machine, an extensive minibar, a day bed and free WiFi. Custom made oak furnishings and brass finishes provide a luxurious feel, as do the Dyson hairdryer and Dyson hair straightener.

Rooms come with either a king size bed or twin single beds, both of which use premium linens.   

The tiled Art Deco style bathroom is compact but adequate and has a good sized walk-in shower. 

The rooms lack wall art or character touches, but their minimalist pastel palette oozes calm. Think Miami cool mixed with a tropical 1950’s beach hotel.

Some rooms offer a Juliette balcony with city views, while others provide full balconies overlooking the pool.

If you want more space, book one of the suites, some of which are double the size of the rooms. They offer a separate living area with a daybed, dining table, and balcony.

In addition, the premier suites have a gorgeous private rooftop terrace whose ‘wall windows’ perfectly frame the Brisbane city skyline. Selected suites also offer a freestanding bathtub. 

Dining Options

As well as being surrounded by dining options on James Street, there are six restaurants and bars at The Calile, so you are certainly spoilt for choice. 

Lobby Bar

This stylish, pink hued, street facing bar is open for morning coffee, a nightcap and everything in between. 

Breakfast options range from Barambah Ricotta hotcakes to crumpets, while lunch and dinner options include steak and quails. Many of the ingredients are sourced from the hotel’s rooftop garden. 

The Lobby Bar is open Monday through Friday, from 6.30 am till late and from 7 am till late on Saturday and Sunday.


Hellenika is a pared back but super stylish Greek restaurant committed to fresh produce paired with hand curated wines. Diners have the choice of dining inside or out by the pool, and come evening, the daytime cabanas transform into private poolside dining enclaves.

There is a wide choice of cooked dishes for breakfast, or for a Greek speciality, opt for my favourite wake-up boost of Greek yoghurt, manuka honey, berries and granola. 

Delicious main dishes for dinner include souvlakia, moussaka, Barramundi and lobster. There is an extensive wine menu plus a good selection of cocktails, including some tasty non-alcoholic options. 

Hellenika also offers a poolside breakfast, snack and drinks menu. Order using the QR code from the comfort of your sun lounger, and your order will magically appear poolside. 

The restaurant is open every day from 7 am till late. 

SK Steak and Oyster

This restaurant specialises in steak and seafood but also offers a good choice of salads, pasta and risotto. It is pretty pricey and has a strict dress code (including no facial tattoos unless of cultural or religious significance). 

If you enjoy a wide choice of drinks, you’re in luck as this restaurant has an extensive 33 page drinks menu! 

SK Steak and Oyster is open for lunch Thursday through Sunday from 12 pm until 2.30 pm and for dinner every night from 5.30 pm until late. 

Sushi Room

The smart, atmospheric Sushi Room offers fine sushi dining. Every sushi option you can imagine is on this menu. 

The Sushi Room is open for dinner Tuesday through Saturday and lunch Friday and Saturday. 

SAme SAme

SAme SAme is an elegant, light and airy restaurant on Ada Lane, adjacent to the hotel. It specialises in Thai cuisine, and most dishes are traditionally cooked in searing hot woks over open coals. 

There are two set banqueting menus and an a la carte menu offering dishes such as lamb shank, stir-fried squid and crab.

SAme SAme is open for lunch from 11.30 am Friday through Sunday and dinner Monday through Sunday from 5 pm until late. 

Bianca Restaurant

This Italian restaurant aimed to bring a classic trattoria to Brisbane, and I think they’ve succeeded. The open plan, pastel coloured restaurant has a cool laid back vibe. 

The menu is reasonably priced and has great choices (the extensive antipasti selection is particularly good), and the fact that it’s always busy is a classic sign that the food is good!

Bianca is open for lunch from 11.30 am Friday through Sunday and dinner Monday through Sunday from 5 pm until late.

Room Service

If you fancy a quiet night dining in your hotel room – then you’re in luck, as The Calile Hotel offers round the clock room service.

Room service is available daily from 6:30 am to 1:00 am and 24 hours on Friday and Saturday.


In addition to a library, wedding venue, special events and conference facilities, there are three other notable features for guests. 

The Pool

The Calile’s palm tree lined pool is one of the biggest – and arguably one of the best – hotel pools in Brisbane. 

While many guests visit their city’s hotel pool as an afterthought, at the Calile Hotel, guests often come here specifically to spend their time lazing around the pool. With laidback uber tunes playing most of the day, this is certainly the place to be while staying at the Calile.

At first, I felt a little out of place by the pool, given I appeared to be 20 years older than most, plus I hadn’t had my hair and make up done that day by my glam team. However, after a while, I found my groove (quite literally, as the groovy tunes are playing all day long). Just don’t expect a quiet time by the pool.

The pool area has plenty of sun loungers, umbrellas, cabanas and daybeds. But unless you’re there first thing in the morning, expect the poolside to be busy day and night!

No matter what time we visited the pool, it was packed with people. There were never any sun beds available when we first walked in – but the good news is we never waited more than 10 minutes or so before one became free. Plenty of chairs are dotted around the pool to leave your gear in the meantime.

There is a pretty strict rule about not “reserving” day beds by leaving your gear on them and disappearing, and this is monitored by pool staff.

Hellenika services the pool, so you can enjoy breakfast, hot and cold snacks and drinks directly to your sun lounger. 

The pool is open every day from 6 am to 9 pm.

The Gym

The first floor gym offers free, 24/7 access for guests.

Gym junkies, you’ll be pleased to know that this is not your usual hotel gym. This gym is fully decked out with all the gear you’d expect at any first-class health facility. You can also pre-book 1:1 personal trainer sessions for an extra workout.  

The Spa

The elegant first floor KAILO medispa will make you feel relaxed as soon as you walk in. Using only high-quality, award-winning KAILO products, the spa offers a range of treatments such as massages, facials and make-up sessions. 

It also offers laser treatments for skin issues, vitamin therapies and injectable cosmetics. 

The spa is open Monday through Thursday from 8 am to 8 pm, Friday and Saturday from 8 am to 7 pm, and Sunday from 9 am to 7 pm. 


The Calile Hotel offers secure on-site car parking for $30 per day.

Don’t forget to get your self-parking ticket validated at reception by Guest Services.

Valet parking is also available for $50 per day via entrance on Doggett Street.

Who is The Calile Hotel for?

The Calile Hotel is perfect for couples or groups of friends looking for a luxurious Brisbane hotel with excellent amenities in a central location. It is an easy hotel to get to if you are driving or using public transport, and everything you need is within walking distance.  

With its stunning pool (and pool culture), gym, spa and six restaurants, this certainly is the hotel where you can come and never leave. It really is a great place for a relaxing weekend.

Does the hotel live up to its name as Australia’s best hotel and among the 50 best in the world? I’m not so sure. Don’t get me wrong, it is a gorgeous hotel, but I’ve stayed in some pretty amazing hotels in my time.

As stated above, it’s also worth noting that there is a very young clientele by the pool, which may make some older guests feel a little out of place.

Book Now

We booked our stay through as we like the flexibility this provides with their book now, pay later and the free cancellation.

If you’ve decided The Calile Hotel is perfect for your Brisbane stay, click here to check the current pricing.


Hopefully, this review has helped you decide whether The Calile Hotel is for you.

I’d also recommend you join our free Queensland Travel Guide Facebook community, where you can ask all your questions and find even more great trip suggestions.

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