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Spring Hill's New Hotel Ovolo Inchcolm Combines Old-School Glamour with Luxe Mod Cons

If you're going to take a staycation, you should do it in art deco digs with a Parisian-style salon and a free in-room mini bar.
By Sarah Ward
May 07, 2018
By Sarah Ward
May 07, 2018

It's easy to walk into Brisbane's newest luxe hotel, the Ovolo Inchcolm in Spring Hill, and walk straight past the reception counter. Not because it doesn't stand out — styled as a 'cabinet of curiosities', as fitting with an overall look curated by stylist Anna Roberts, it definitely does — but because it also doubles as the bar. Here, patrons check-in at a desk filled with everything from David Bowie and Prince-themed crockery, to old rotary phone handsets and cassette tapes, all while staring at a wall filled with liquor. Needless to say, it's not your everyday hotel experience.

Offering something a bit different from the usual accommodation stay is Ovolo's niche, with the independent hotel company taking over the existing Inchcolm, revamping it, and adding it to its now six-strong portfolio of Australian properties in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Canberra. The existing site (which is nearly 100 years old) was already indulgent, but in a more traditional way; the kind of place that'd remind you of your parents, it was previously a private residence and medical centre before it was a hotel. Now, the Wickham Street address leans into its heritage (and heritage-listed digs) in a completely different manner, fashioning the joint like an art deco 20s, 30s or 40s-era hangout that's designed to attract a much younger clientele.

Chief among the new additions is the decadent Salon de Co, the bar and restaurant that spans from the front door right to the back of the bottom floor. Featuring high tables near the entryway, cosy couches and tables in the two front rooms, plus a small dining area near the rear, it caters for both drinks and dinner — and guests are welcome to stop by for either or both. Ramping up the glamour, the space is decked out to feel like a Parisian salon (hence the name) that might be held by Gertrude Stein, and frequented by the likes of Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Picasso and Matisse. However, we're pretty certain they didn't down rhubarb martinis or goji and vodka combos while snacking on free musk sticks and Fantales, or listen to a retro playlist filled with tracks from the 70s and 80s. 'Footloose' is one of them.

Food-wise, a small selection of bar snacks is available, but it's chef Anthony Hales' (ex-Spicers Peak, Medusa Dining, Esquire, Tartufo, Thomson's Reserve and Deer Duck Bistro) menu that'll whet appetites. A word of warning, though: split into bites, entrees to share, mains and desserts, it comes cloaked in mystery, only providing a three-ingredient description of each dish. Staff will fill in the gaps should you like to know more about combos like lamb, eel and desiree; beef, cabbage and horseradish; and fejoah, creme cheese and cinnamon.

As for bunking down for the night, the range of rooms jumps from medium, large and extra-large standard offerings, to four styles of suite, and even a loft. Those staying also receive free in-room goodies — yep, the mini-bar is included in the price, and comes with booze, soft drink, and a bag filled with sweets and chips — as well as free breakfast if you book online. Plus, if there's a bookshelf in your room, you'll find it lined with novels to read while you're on the premises.

Ovolo Inchcolm is now open at 73 Wickham Terrace, Spring Hill. For further details or to book a room, visit the hotel website.

Published on May 07, 2018 by Sarah Ward
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