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Ovolo Inchcolm

Back in the 1920s when The Inchcolm by Ovolo building housed medical specialists, people probably weren’t quite so eager to venture inside. These days a night at this glamorous hotel is just what the doctor ordered. There is a palpable sense of history as you enter through the Inchcolm’s bevelled glass doors and sashay across the black and white terrazzo tiles to reception. Trust me, you will sashay (or stride, if you’re a gent) – it’s that kind of place.

Ovolo Inchcolm Reception
The Inchcolm by Ovolo reception and bar

Historic design details are everywhere but one of the most striking features is the original metal-meshed lift which was originally designed to accommodate stretcher patients. And, yes, it still works although the hand operated controls have thankfully been replaced by modern technology. The ornate lift well is circled by the original staircase which winds its way to the top of the building which is just four storeys high. The fact this all-suite hotel is so small is one of its many charms.

Ovolo Inchcolm
The Inchcolm by Ovolo
Ovolo Inchcolm Small Suite
The Inchcolm by Ovolo Heritage Suite

With just 50 rooms, including Brisbane’s only luxury loft-style hotel suites, it is extremely boutique with a focus on personal service. For those who travel for business on a regular basis, this personal touch will be especially welcome. We stayed in one of the two storey lofts and were very impressed with the decor, the size of the room and the undeniable “romance factor”. These would be ideal for longer stays or if you wanted to knock the socks off someone with a special romantic escape. We loved the multi-level design however if you don’t like stairs, one of the Heritage Suites might be a better choice.

Ovolo Inchcolm Thomson Suite
The Inchcolm by Ovolo Thomson Suite

An interesting surprise for pet owners is this luxe hotel encourages pet visits and spoils pooches with comfy pet beds, bowls and other special doggie amenities plus a Doggie Loot Bag of treats. For two-legged guests, there are also plenty of exciting things on offer like a Three Martini Lunch which includes three delicious martinis paired with your entree of choice like freshly shucked rock oysters followed by a main like gnocchi primavera or roasted chicken. After three martinis, a night at the hotel could definitely be in order.

Salon De Co Bar
The Inchcolm by Ovolo bar and cabinet of curiosities

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The Inchcolm Bar is the perfect venue for a multi-martini lunch which celebrates the golden age of boozy bistro dining. Think ‘Mad Men meets Parisian glamour’ combined with the elegance of the Charleston era and Brisbane’s original 1920s socialite scene. It is a highlight of the hotel and one of my new favourite Brisbane bars. Even if you aren’t staying here, it is worth dropping in for a drink. As an added bonus, Thursday nights are jazz nights with talented musicians who will have you tapping your feet in time to the music with a gin martini in hand. If you’re staying at the hotel, there’s no need to hold back on treating yourself to a martini either as during the daily Martini Hour between 5pm-6pm, in house guests get a complimentary one.

The Inchcolm Bar Martini Line
The Inchcolm Bar Martini Line

At The Inchcolm by Ovolo, it is all about style with a touch of charming quirkiness. We loved the “Cabinet of Curiosities” in the bar area that offers a glimpse of life in days gone by and a trip down memory lane. I was particularly fond of the retro Nintendo Donkey Kong game that took me straight back to the 80s and many an hour played. Meals can also be ordered from the charming staff who swing by your table to make sure you are well fed and watered. The menu at The Inchcolm by Ovolo is a chic bistro affair with a touch of European style: think steak tartare or a rich burrata with focaccia to share. Despite the rather grand decor, the bar area is cosy rather than intimidating and small enough (and friendly enough) that singles should feel comfortable dining here alone. It’s also very romantic for couples.

Dinner at The Inchcolm by Ovolo

Breakfast is bespoke with choice of a la carte or a set continental breakfast platter that includes an individual yoghurt pot topped with fresh fruit, a seriously good croissant, sourdough toast, muesli, juice and an excellent espresso coffee. We were very impressed with both the quality and the generosity of the breakfast platter which offered great value for money at $19. We loved the ornate glamour of The Inchcolm by Ovolo and the fact it offered such a bespoke guest experience. This charming Brisbane hotel is more than somewhere to eat, drink and sleep. It also provides a fascinating glimpse into Brisbane’s historic past.

Disclosure: The writers stayed and dined as guests of The Inchcolm by Ovolo and would not hesitate to stay at this glamorous hotel again at their own expense.

If you’re looking for accommodation in Brisbane, we have reviewed the Treasury Hotel, The Calile, Ovolo The Valley, W Brisbane, Capri by Fraser Brisbane, Hilton Brisbane, The Johnson, NEXT Hotel Brisbane, Sage Hotel James Street, The Westin Brisbane, Oaks Brisbane Festival Suites, Royal on the Park, Ibis Styles Elizabeth Street, Sofitel Brisbane, Crystalbrook Vincent, The Inchcolm by Ovolo, Alex Perry Hotel & Apartments, and Pullman Brisbane Airport.

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Dr Tiana Templeman is an award-winning food and travel journalist, travel author and media industry academic. She is the creator of The Travel Temple, writes for Australian and international media outlets and appears on radio talking about where to go, what to see and travel industry trends.