The Richards & Spence-designed Calile (pronounced “kal-isle”) is more an inner-city resort than hotel. The minute you enter its orbit, you’re in holiday mode, with a brutalist facade giving way to breezy open-air hallways (as opposed to the usual dark, carpeted corridors), pastel-hued walls and cork floors.

The hotel is oriented around a 30-metre pool flanked by cabanas, palm trees and at one end, a second edition of Simon Gloftis’s hugely popular Gold Coast restaurant, Hellenika. The hotel also runs its own Lobby Bar. Both are open breakfast through to dinner.

The place is a real scene, especially on weekends. Downstairs, circle the block for some of the city’s best bars and restaurants, as well as sophisticated Australian fashion labels, including includes debut Queensland stores by Baasike, Dion Lee, Venroy and Love Stories. Guests have access to a range of luxury amenities including Kailo Wellness Medispa and fitness facilities via Forme Fitness.

Every one of the 175 rooms has a balcony of some sort, and the vast majority look over the pool. The interiors draw on natural elements and celebrates the Queensland environment. Marble surfaces in natural pinks, blues and greens meet timber panelling, cork flooring and brass fixtures. It all creates a minimal yet playful look. The curved shapes of the exterior archways are echoed throughout the interior, perhaps most interestingly in the shower walls.

The exterior features the distinctive Richards and Spence touchstones of white brick, concrete facades and geometric shapes that have come to define James Street in recent years.

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Updated: September 21st, 2022

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