Staying in style in Australia’s metropolises of Sydney & Melbourne

2 quirky design hotels of the innovative hotel group QT

When my husband and I look for hotels in metropolises, we often opt for such ones that are a bit different from your traditional, old world property. We like staying at luxury boutique accommodations marrying comfort with design. On our month-long Australia and Zealand trip (see outline) we were lucky enough to come across a hotel brand of our liking, the QT Hotels & Resorts. In less than ten years, they have become Australia’s hippest hotel group with nine properties in their home country and in New Zealand. There was no question about it, we did not ponder long but booked two days each at their Sydney and Melbourne branches!

Design hotel groups in general

Design hotels meet the spirit of our time. Maybe the best example of this phenomenon is the success of the British Hotel Group Firmdale Hotels with branches in London and New York (see here my blogpost about staying at both New York hotels). They put value on designing a hotel in giving a reflection of its location. Speaking of latter, they look for such ones that embodies best the city’s spirit and make all efforts to create their properties as social hubs where guest can immerse in the local social scene. In addition, contemporary art is used to give the clientele another area of experience. It is a way to engage them further by offering them the unexpected.

QT Hotels in overview

QT Hotels go one step further than the above-mentioned pioneer of creating a hotel as a neighborhood hotspot, the Firmdale Hotels. They are a total work of art, from location to design, amenities and even to the staff’s uniforms. At both the Sydney and Melbourne branches, guests are greeted at the front door by bewigged and costumed artsy employees. And food and beverage staff have both daytime and nighttime clothes to reflect the different crowd they interact with.

Once inside the hotels, there are plenty of surprises! When exiting the elevator in Melbourne, it may throw a cheeky comment at you. Or in Sydney, when stepping in your room, you might find digital art playing on your television.
It is all about small things that makes you smile or moves you in another positive way.

The QT hotel group opened its first hotel in 2011 and has extended its portfolio to nine properties in Australia and New Zealand. In 2020, the tenth location will be opened in Auckland. All the hotels mix stylish interiors with a playful approach and target guests who are not only into sightseeing but also looking for feeling the vibe of a city.

But this luxury boutique accommodation chain has more in mind than impressing guests with striking design and quirky details. They are well capable of delivering on the basics just as well-appointed guest rooms, friendly and helpful service and good restaurants, and all this at prices I find completely okay.

Now some details on the two QT properties I stayed at in Sydney and Melbourne.

QT Sydney

First of all, if I had to pick a favorite, that would be it! I liked the vibe, the style, the room and the restaurant – we had only breakfast – better than at its sister branch in Melbourne.

QT Sidney is built into two heritage buildings, the Gowings building and the State Theatre, in Sydney’s CBD.
There are eye-catching details everywhere just as the furniture installation in the lobby.
And the restaurant/bar area is seriously sexy – above is the bar/below the restaurant.
Our breakfast experience was first rate, expertly crafted dishes and great freshly squeezed smoothies. While my husband relished his huevos rancheros,
my egg white omelet with broccolini, kale, Swiss chard & mushrooms was a standout!
And I fell in love with our room instantly! We had opted for an Executive 2 King Singles out of the 200 guest rooms at our disposal. The beds were very comfortable, and I was so much in favor of all the small stuff that made this room so special, i.e. the color composition,
the glass shelves with ornaments
and the fact that the gorgeous bathroom featured sliding panels that let you open the bathroom up to the room or seal it off, depending on your state of mood!
While staff was nice, helpful and funny at times – on the right occasion –, I was not that enthusiastic about front desk employees. When I wanted to check in on my own – my husband was returning the rental car at the same time –, a young lady was reluctant to grant access to the room key because the reservation was only in the name of my husband. The other issue was when we checked out and encountered another young lady, this time quite a moody one. Never mind, we enjoyed our stay at this exiting hotel all the same!

QT Melbourne

Design is chic and quirky details are abundant here at this CBD location, too, however everything is a tad less glamorous than at QT Sydney.

The Melbourne property features an industrial-chic design and pays tribute to the city’s laneways culture with outlets and restaurants into its own private laneway. There is no shortage of bars, there is a roof-top location and one a floor below on restaurant level.
Speaking of restaurant, it is hip and stylish,
but I was a bit underwhelmed when it comes to breakfast. You had to help yourself to coffee and tea from thermos bottles and food was only decent. Neither my Smashed Avocado
nor my Bircher Muesli
were that convincing. That said, this was the only downside of our otherwise pleasant stay!

Our room – there are 188 units in total – of the Deluxe Twin category was on a higher floor and offered great views of the surroundings
and a generous sitting area.
Its understated chic bathroom having a walk-in shower and a separate toilet was a bit on the small side.


If you are into design hotels blending striking design with a buzzing scene, then you cannot go wrong with QT Hotels. Not only do you find here a perfect combination of stylish interiors and getting the basics just right, but also nightlife-leaning public rooms, which are meeting grounds of choice for locals and travelers likewise.

Since its start in 2011, the QT hotel brand has established itself in a surprising speed in Australia and recently also in New Zealand. Next year, its tenth location will be opened in Auckland. It will be interesting to see how this success story unfolds in the future!

Date of visit: November 2018

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