GETTING CREATIVE: Brisbane’s Colourful Art Hotels, Part One, The Johnson
A heritage-listed government building that once housed Queensland’s main roads department underwent a major overhaul in 2016. The once bland office space is now 16 floors’ worth of swanky hotel rooms and residential apartments, with 97 self-contained suites available to guests.
The Johnson is so called due to its theming around Australian artist Michael Johnson. Johnson was born in New South Wales but spent much of his time in North Queensland, where the natural environment inspired his artistic career. Three of his original pieces are hung in the entranceway, with a further 300 prints displayed throughout the building. His style is abstract yet linear, with bold, colourful lines a common theme across his art. The Johnson is one of seven hotels in Australia by the Art Series boutique hotel group, where a different artist inspires each hotel’s design.
The hotel décor is modern and homely, and floor to ceiling windows flood upper-floor rooms with natural light. The overall colour palette is neutral, but throw rugs and designer cushions add pops of colour. Fully equipped kitchens mean all practicalities are covered and the hotel group’s signature beds offer premium comfort (the hotel even invites you to jump on them if you please).
A stand out feature of the hotel is the size, with all rooms incredibly generous on space. Rooms range from a studio suite with a king sized bed through to an incredible three-bedroom penthouse with corridors so long you could roller-skate down them. The western facing 16th floor penthouse has the added bonus of a balcony that wraps around the entire apartment to provide far-reaching city views.
An award-winning pool designed by former Olympian Michael Klim stretches 50 metres across the fifth floor terrace, where there are rows of sun lounges. There is also an onsite gym and restaurant.