Through The Portal

Portal Hotel:

52 Astor Terrace, Spring Hill QLD
(07) 3009 3400 or

Portal Hotel is a boutique hotel close enough to and far enough away from Fortitude Valley to be both a springboard to and a refuge from the wealth of nightlife. And if the Valley sounds a bit too much like youthful excitement for an overnight business trip, then the ground floor O Bar could be the ticket. O Bar opens to the street, and has 120 wines available, and “simple, fresh produce, cooked well. Nothing fanciful, nothing overdone, no nitrogen bombs…”, according to Manager Dallas Bickle. “It’s set up as a restaurant in its own right, not as a service to the rooms above it, which is a rare concept”. Its gothic glass blown lights match the deep red resin floor, and luxurious leather and wood finishes make for an attractive place to wile the night away. In a somewhat less censored version, owner Dugald Woods, said when designing the bar he wanted to “bring sexy back”. With 84 rooms, Portal isn’t exactly pint-sized boutique, but where it does cut down on things like a gym, it replaces with some keenly thought out ideas: such as personal trainers that take guests out to Brisbane parks for morning star jumps, and personally selected hampers instead of overpriced mini-bars with mini-bottles. “We don’t have tennis courts and big pools to sell to people as part of our ambience, so we really push quality personal service. Portal has absolutely everything you need in a hotel without the pretensions. The rooms are not overly big so they’re not overly priced, but there’s nothing in those rooms you don’t need,” sums up Woods. “Occupancy in Brisbane is still sitting around the 70 percent mark for now, which at this time of year, and with the Global Financial Crisis is very good. Brisbane is a very big corporate field, but it’s just supply and demand. If you ended up putting another four or five 600- or 700-room hotels bang in the middle of Brisbane you would see that occupancy level drop fairly rapidly. On the books at the moment there’s nothing on the cards. There were a couple of hotels due to be built over the next four to five years and they’ve all had a stop put on them. Which is fantastic!”

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