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Review The Johnson Brisbane

We're spoilt for choice in Brisbane with a surge of new boutique and upscale hotels opening across the river city. But don't let the opening of Art Series Hotels new flagship hotel The Fantauzzo overshadow its first Brisbane hotel, The Johnson.

The concept
Australian abstract artist Michael Johnson has the honour of being the namesake for Brisbane's first Art Series Hotel. Johnson's love of colour, space and form is apparent in the plethora of artwork that graces the walls throughout the hotel. The hotel features 96 self-contained suites, pool deck, gym and Tumbling Stone restaurant and bar.

First Impressions
The vast light filled, perfumed lobby, is a modern mix of white washed walls with pops of colour thanks to Michael Johnson's artwork. Check-in is relaxed and breezy, without the stuffiness you might expect from a large chain hotel. Thankfully the change in management to Accor hasn't affected the signature Art Series style.

The urban resort is a hybrid tower of designer residential apartments, hotel rooms and suites, including three penthouses. The mixed use is most apparent from the pool deck, clearly attracting a largely youthful band of residents.

The Room
We've been upgraded to a two-bedroom self-contained apartment; so spacious and well appointed I feel like moving in! Featuring two separate bedrooms, designer kitchenette, living area and balcony overlooking the rooftops and cottages of Spring Hill, it's ideal for both short or long stays. The kitchen is well appointed with all the mod cons including a coffee machine, mini bar and T2 tea selection.

The neutral colour scheme in natural earthy tones is punctuated by punchy orange and green colours from the artwork above the oversized armchair, inviting you to sit and browse the art tomes stacked on the timber side table.

The bathroom boasts a deep soaking bath and fun Evo amenities as well as laundry facilities, handy if you're here for an extended stay.

Staying In
A highlight of our stay is taking time out for a dip in the Michael Klim designed 50m pool and relaxing on the sunny pool deck. Running the length of the pool are plenty of sun lounges and booths to settle in and soak up the Queensland sunshine. While I opt for laps in the pool, there is also a well-appointed gym on the same level.

The Restaurant
Signature restaurant Tumbling Stone is named after one of Michael Johnson's paintings, with interiors reflecting the earthy tones of the artwork. The expansive dining space is divided into zones for casual dining and lounging and the all day menu takes you from a la carte breakfast of Chilli Eggs or Blini Smoked Salmon Stack through to dinner with items from the grill and a selection of seafood dishes.

Tumbling Stone has seen a rotating roster of talented chefs come and go since opening in 2016 and Head Chef Abi Dela Cruz's menu appears more sophisticated, but isn't executed with as much finesse as hoped on our visit. Entrée of Wakame Octopus Salad makes no mention of soba noodles and is drenched with dashi vinegar sauce. Next, the incorrect main arrives, however is swiftly replaced with the desired Pan Roasted Pork Cutlet, served with sautéed broad beans, crispy bacon, green peas, apple cider jam and chunky hand cut kipfler chips. The menu espouses that its been created with the very best of Queensland's produce, but when quizzed the team couldn't determine the providence of the pork, just that it was from a local wholesale supplier. Service is attentive and friendly making up for the kitchen missteps.

What we love
When it all comes down to it, you're staying at a hotel in the hope of a good night's sleep and The Art Series signature bedding delivers in spades with what is surely a contender for the comfiest hotel bed going around!

In the Know
The Spring Hill location is on the city fringe, so take advantage of The Johnson Smart cars or Lekker bicycles for hire to zip around town.

The Verdict
Rooms are exceedingly comfortable and totally liveable for an overnight sojourn or extended stay. Service is personalised and attentive and the Michael Johnson artwork is sublime making The Art Series Hotel the art and soul of Spring Hill.

The Details
The Johnson
477 Boundary St, Spring Hill QLD
Book The Johnson here.

Images: Sally Scott
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