Step into the realm of laid-back sophistication amidst the bustling heart of Brisbane’s James Street, where The Calile Hotel, named no.12 at The World’s 50 Best Hotels awards, beckons with its chic and tranquil allure.  Eat drink and be Kerry gives you a top-to-bottom look at The Calile Hotel with this hotel review.

The Calile Hotel review

I’m not the only one in love with this sleek hotel. The Calile (pronounced Kal-Isle) Hotel was named “Development of the Year” at the 2019 HICAP ANZ Awards, and its onsite restaurant, Simon Gloftis’s Hellenika, was Restaurant of the Year 2019. In 2023, the hotel took two more awards – Best Hotel in Oceania and no.12 on The World’s 50 Best Hotels list.

The ground floor lobby of this 175-room hotel is more like a resort lounge, but the staff are not on holiday.  Pleasant and friendly but highly efficient is how I would describe my check-in for this Brisbane stay.

Swish Lobby Bar Cafe at The Calile

The swish lobby bar cafe already has found its people.  It is a stylish combo of pink figured marble and travertine combined with a graphic black and cream print and touches of brass.   You can sit at the bar or at window-side tables for breakfast or lunch.  The enormous sliding window wall opens up to the laneway behind with a tantalising glimpse of the shopping precinct.  There is also a generous amount of lounge seating.

Level one is home to the swimming pool and restaurant Hellenika. Gold Coast diners will know their authentic Greek cuisine which has been pleasing diners there since 2010. The Brisbane venue offers the same menu with alfresco dining on the pool terrace

Inside room 201 – The Calile Hotel Review

Spacious, relaxed and serene with a pared-back neutral, subtropical palette is my first impression. There’s definitely enough room to swing a cat.

I was confused by the cork floor at first, as I thought it was travertine marble, but it is so much better. Soft and warm underfoot, it also increases the acoustics of the room. I can lie on the bed and watch planes prepare for landing at Eagle Farm without hearing a noise.  Only those pesky supped up cars and motorbikes make even a dent in the serenity.

Nothing fake in the finishes either, including the real rubber tree in the room which must have shed a leaf after the cleaners left.

There is a balcony outside with views over suburban New Farm.  I’m on level two, so I’m looking out on typical Queensland timber and tin architecture.

Linen bathrobes with matching slippers are something new.  You might want to take home a bathrobe but be prepared for a $150 price tag. I’m pretty much a smitten kitten for it, (Christmas hint family) but I can pop back and pick one up as they come from the Venroy shop in the complex below. Maybe the tote bag, provided so you can get your purchases back to the room in style, is closer to your price range at $25.

The big glass window lets in lots of light, but don’t worry about privacy as it is one-sided as the glass is tinted dark. There’s an automatic blind for darkness and sun protection with controls right beside the bed. Cutely, it is linked to the room key and goes up as you enter the room.


The Calile Minibar

Minibar selections include locally sourced treats such as chocolate coated pretzels, red frogs and wasabi macadamias.  I think that is all food groups ticked. The fridge is seriously well stocked with a wide choice of soft drinks along with wine, beer and even a bottle of Ruinart Blanc de Blancs for that time when only champagne will do. If you would prefer a cocktail, they have that covered too with a pre-mixed negroni, martini, manhattan or old fashioned on hand. Spirits include Belvedere Vodka, Prohibition Gin and Dictator Rum.

There’s much to love about The Calile.

Getting clean at The Calile

I like the bathroom’s round basin and brass pipes with the cool grey and white marble benchtops. It is clean and stylish.  The Grown Alchemist bathroom products have a high-quality feel and are good enough for me to want to take them home. It is nice to be in a bathroom where everything has been carefully thought through. There is a stool under the bench which is great for makeup application using the movable brass close-ups mirror, although I would like more lighting in here.

The toilet is located in its own room with a door, and that’s a good thing.  There is nothing attractive about hearing your partner’s toilet noises. While the shower is not fully enclosed, it doesn’t shed water all over the floor because there is plenty of space in the fully tiled cubicle.

The floor-length mirror means you can really check out your outfit before you leave for the event.


Nitty-gritty at The Calile

I had a great night’s sleep in the king-size bed.  I found the mattress comfortable, but without that sink in factor that I associate with extra luxury. The pillows were perfect for my needs. On waking, I thought that Brisbane had served up another cloudy, rainy day but when I opened the blind, it was brilliant sunshine outside.  So, the automatic drop-down blind definitely worked, in fact, it is so good I want one at home.

The TV screen is large and flat and has a soundbar. It is set up with Chromecast, so you connect to your favourite networks. Music lovers can cast to the tv to play music from their phone.  Note to self: time to update that playlist. I worked out how to turn the lights on and off everywhere with just a few goes. This is quite a good result for me as I have sometimes slept with lights on because I can’t find how to turn them off. At night the lighting is great, but on the afternoon of a cloudy day, it was dull inside.  I hope that some standard lamps are on the final décor list.

More things you need to know

There are plenty of power points, including some conveniently placed beside the bed.

You’ll need to be a detective to find the ironing board as it resides in a cleverly hidden cupboard.

There’s no wardrobe. All your clothes hang on a stylish open rail over a long wooden bench where you can leave your bag open.  It’s great to have enough space for two bags rather than one of those unstable, folding bag holders. Even better there is plenty of light above the suitcases so you can see clearly what is inside.  This is important when most of your clothes are black.

Because Brisbane’s tap water is an acquired taste for some, the Calile has provided chilled micro-filtered water consoles outside the lift on each floor.  Just fill up the glass carafe, and you’ll have beautiful chilled water at your fingertips.

Refreshingly, there is free, unlimited internet for four devices for one day.  For a faster option, you need to pay but I found the standard service was sufficient for email and social media.

Parking is located conveniently underneath the hotel. I chose the do it yourself option, but valet parking is also available.  This is sure to be a hot commodity as parking in James Street is hard to find.

The Calile Hotel Review sigh with happiness factor?


The Calile is a perfect inner-city resort for a city staycation where you want to mix it with Brisbane’s A-list who like to call James Street their local shopping centre. It is so easy to pop out for breakfast, lunch and dinner or pamper yourself at the hotel wellness spa. The only issue here is going to be credit card overload because you are going to be seriously tempted by what you find in the surrounding shops.  This is Brisbane’s best shopping street with restaurants and cafes to match.

Wondering how to pronounce the name – it’s a simple Kal – Isle!

How much?

Expect to pay from $463 per night.

Brisbane’s hotel scene is booming. Pick your hotel by your personality with this Brisbane hotels list.

Ed+bK stayed as a guest of The Calile Hotel.