Emporium Hotels has been leading the vanguard for luxury hotels in Brisbane since the opening of its Fortitude Valley address in 2007, and LATTE is delighted to report that Anthony and Francine John’s boutique hotel brand has done it again. The flagship South Bank property is an innovation for the Australian hotel industry, with its extraordinary attention to detail, culinary concepts and rooftop bar, the first of its kind to be open to the public in the South Bank precinct.
Signature Media CEO & Group Editor, Cathy Wagstaff, was invited to Emporium Hotel South Bank for the official unveiling, experiencing the opulence of Australia’s newest five-star hotel firsthand. Guests were welcomed by General Manager, Peter Savoff, and Owner’s Representative, Charles Martin, with refreshments in Belle Époque. Elements from the original Fortitude Valley property have been carried over, including the antique stained-glass Parisian shopfront, which now features in a private dining room for up to 12. Belle Époque and The Terrace rooftop bar will be joined by Piano Bar next month.
All in the detail
During a tour of the 143-suite hotel, guests explored the 23-metre rooftop infinity pool, state-of-the-art meeting rooms and the grand, pillar-less Frangipani Ballroom, adorned with its namesake flower. It was also an opportunity to appreciate the level of detail that Anthony and Francine John have lavished on their hotel, from the zebra-print ironing board covers to the in-room Eurocave eight-bottle wine fridges, from the bronze wet bars in all suites to the privacy switch glass in the bathrooms, and from the impressive 55-inch mirrors that double as TVs to the Maserati Levante transfers for VIPs.
A culinary experience
Dinner was served in The Penthouse, an exclusive private event space with panoramic views of Brisbane’s CBD. The menu was created by husband-and-wife team, Executive Chef Chris Norman and Executive Sous Chef (Pastry) Alex Liddle, starting with Murray cod served with potato, cucumber and salmon roe. Guests then enjoyed Eugowra quail with corn purée, chanterelle mushrooms and pancetta granola, and a succulent Mottainai lamb saddle, finishing with Tasmanian blue gum eucalyptus, Opalys chocolate cream, apple terrine and Mt Tamborine avocado, which was hailed as one of the finest desserts guests had ever tasted.
The evening continued with cocktails at The Terrace, a versatile space on the hotel’s 21st floor. A light colour palette and polished surfaces complement the living ‘green walls’, backlit floor tiles and the 13-metre-long white onyx bar. Two retractable roofs offer full (as faceted glass for a gem-like effect), partial (as cut-out frangipanis for a dappled effect) or no exposure to the elements.
At the heart of South Bank
Emporium Hotel Fortitude Valley was one of Australia’s most awarded hotels, named Australia’s Leading Boutique Hotel at the World Travel Awards from 2015 to 2018. The hotel was sold to Ovolo Hotels in January 2018, with Emporium Hotel South Bank now taking up the mantle for Brisbane boutique luxury. The new hotel is located within the Anthony John Group’s Southpoint mixed-use development, and within walking distance of the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre, making it an ideal option for business travellers. Leisure travellers will also appreciate the proximity to Queensland Museum, QAGOMA, The Wheel of Brisbane, Queensland Performing Arts Centre and other must-see attractions in South Bank.