Brisbane’s innovative The Calile hotel has earned a spot among the elite top 50 hotels worldwide. As per an esteemed global panel comprising hotel and travel industry veterans, The Calile is Australia’s sole representative on the World’s 50 Best Hotels 2023 list, clinching the No.1 position for Oceania and ranking 12th globally.
The accolade comes as part of the inaugural World’s 50 Best Hotels list by the renowned 50 Best group. This is a new venture for the organisation, popular for its global top-50 restaurant and bar ratings, powered by UK firm William Reed Business Media. This new hotel-centric ranking was unveiled in a virtual ceremony originating from London. The premier spot was claimed by Italy’s luxury boutique establishment, Passalacqua in Lake Como.
Catherine Malouf, a co-proprietor of The Calile, commented during the ceremony, “It’s a collective victory for our hardworking team, our esteemed guests, our collaborators, and for Brisbane’s stature as a travel destination. It’s an honour to champion Australia’s hospitality sector on a global platform.”
Malouf further credited The Calile for pioneering the urban resort concept since its inception half a decade ago. Positioned at the heart of Brisbane’s lively James Street district, this 175-room luxury property is the brainchild of famed architects Richards and Spence. They melded 1950s aesthetics with brutalist touches, giving the hotel a unique appeal with its white-brick exterior, sleek concrete interiors, and a palette echoing sun-faded golds and muted earthy tones.
Globally, the luxury Passalacqua hotel was trailed by some of Asia’s most iconic hotels. In the top five list, Rosewood Hong Kong, Four Seasons Chao Praya River in Bangkok, The Upper House in Hong Kong, and Aman Tokyo held prominent positions.
While European hotels dominated the list with 21 out of 50 spots, independent properties surprisingly surpassed major brands. For instance, big names like Marriott and Hilton didn’t feature, whereas the Aman and Four Seasons brands garnered multiple mentions.
The selection methodology for the World’s 50 Best relies on the firsthand experiences of 580 jury members. They rank their top seven hotel stays from the last two years. This pool of jurors consists of professionals from diverse backgrounds, including hoteliers, travel agents, and journalists.
Special commendations were also given. For instance, Soneva Fushi in the Maldives was celebrated as the Best Beach Hotel, while Capella Bangkok received accolades as the Best New Hotel.
William Drew, from William Reed, commented on the challenges of ranking during the ongoing pandemic and the importance of geographical diversity in the jury to ensure a well-rounded list.
It’s worth noting that while The Calile has earned recognition, Australian restaurants didn’t fare as well in the 2023 World’s 50 Best Restaurants, with none making it to the top 100. This absence was heavily critiqued by local food critics.