Design Travel explores the interplay between design and travel. It might be a new hotel for business travellers, an airline collaborating with a world-renowned architect or a product designed specifically to enhance the travel experience. Our brief is to make you want to be there and inspire you to seek out incredible design examples when you travel, or in your own city. 

Stephanie Williams, is an interior designer,  writer and travel communicator. Stephanie was the first editor of Qantas epiQure and her work has appeared in magazines, newspapers, television and online.  She also has a love of fashion design, borne while working for Comme des Garcons

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GETTING CREATIVE: Brisbane’s Colourful Art Hotels, Part One, The Johnson

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 Johnson lobby...love that backlit signage. 

The Johnson lobby...love that backlit signage. 

 More lobby.

More lobby.

 Studio suite. 

Studio suite. 

 Studio suite. That navy looks heavenly. 

Studio suite. That navy looks heavenly. 

 Studio suite bathroom. The navy from the bedroom against this gold and white = fresh. 

Studio suite bathroom. The navy from the bedroom against this gold and white = fresh. 

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.

 Penthouse dreaming. 

Penthouse dreaming. 

 Penthouse dining. 

Penthouse dining. 

 Penthouse bathing. Malin+Goetz bathing. 

Penthouse bathing. Malin+Goetz bathing. 

 Penthouse deck with city views. 

Penthouse deck with city views. 

 Urban landscape. 

Urban landscape. 

 Two bedroom apartment.

Two bedroom apartment.

 Deluxe Studio Twin room.

Deluxe Studio Twin room.

 Poolside. 

Poolside. 

 Pool time. 

Pool time. 

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.  

 Step up to Stepping Stone. 

Step up to Stepping Stone. 

 Dining at Tumbling Stone. 

Dining at Tumbling Stone. 

ArtSeries_TheJohnson_Exteriors_160_LR_Brisbane_supplied by hotel.jpg
 Enjoy a little smart car. 

Enjoy a little smart car. 

To book your stay at The Johnson in Brisbane's Spring Hill, check out rates on hotels.com. 

GETTING CREATIVE: Brisbane's Colourful Art Hotels Part Two, Tryp Brisbane​​​​​​​

GETTING CREATIVE: Brisbane's Colourful Art Hotels Part Two, Tryp Brisbane​​​​​​​

LISTEN UP: Design Travel podcast now on Qantas flights worldwide

LISTEN UP: Design Travel podcast now on Qantas flights worldwide