Designed by Brisbane architects Richards and Spence with other tropical cities like South Beach, Miami, and Palm Springs in mind, this $100 million, seven-storey property is heralded as Australia’s first urban resort offering a unique, tropical-style escape in the heart of the James Street precinct in the hip Fortitude Valley.
With its white brick and layered concrete façade, the striking Calile certainly makes a good first impression. We park - $25 per night for hotel guests - and head straight into the street-level lobby where we are checked into our Poolside King Room.
Heading to the fifth floor, it is refreshing to see the plethora of open-air spaces and breezeways, the designers and owners, the Malouf family, clearly embracing Queensland’s enviable sub-tropical climate.
The antithesis of a traditional ‘inner-city hotel’ our pink, light-filled room is insanely stylish yet warm, boasting rose-tinged marble surfaces, custom crafted oak furniture and brass accents. The light, custom linen bathrobes and Grown Alchemist amenities are a nice touch.
Like most of the hotel’s 175 rooms – there are also nine suites - our curved balcony looks out over the 30-metre-pool, which is lined with towering palms and some seriously chic cabanas.
It’s clear the pool terrace – home to Hellenika, the sister restaurant of the hatted Gold Coast Greek institution of the same name – is the heart of the hotel. We want in on the action so we quickly change and head down for a swim.
The restaurant spills out onto the pool deck, where a host of beautiful people are swimming, lounging and dining on Hellenika’s modern Greek fare in the poolside cabanas.
We spy Australian singer Delta Goodrem and boyfriend Matthew Copley lunching with a bunch of pals as we take up a spot poolside and people-watch while sipping on margaritas.
The Calile may be one of the most aesthetically pleasing hotels I have stayed at in some time but it also has a fresh, unique charm and sense of fun that sets it apart from other luxury properties.
After a fun few hours poolside, we head down to Hellenika for dinner. It’s a balmy evening and we're lucky enough to snare a table outside overlooking the pool. I'd recommend making a booking as the restaurant is reportedly booked out most Friday and Saturday evenings.
We enjoy a Greek salad and a host of mezedes including saganaki, their famous zucchini chips, grilled South Australia calamari and octopus while we soak up the lively atmosphere.
The following morning, after a sleep in and breakfast in the contemporary Lobby Bar, we browse a slick edit of premium fashion boutiques on the ground level - think Bec and Bridge, Bassike and Camilla and Marc - before, very reluctantly, checking out of this luxurious oasis and heading back out into the city.